Great minds think alike and fools never differ. So they say. I’m certainly not a great mind, and our good friend Pixie at You Say Tomato is no fool, but we happened to make flapjacks around the same time a few weeks back. Pixie got her recipe and pics up smartly while we dallied, and because of that I’m only posting this now as Memorial Day / May Bank Holiday approaches and flapjacks are no longer even remotely seasonal. Ho-hum.
In my mind though, any sweet recipe that goes up on this blog – no matter how easy – represents a victory since both my wife and I are poor bakers, so I’m posting this recipe for cranberry flapjacks anyway and to hell with the seasons!
Flapjacks remind me of my late mother as they were an old favorite of hers that she often made for when we came home from college or weekends, and we’d sit with her and catch up over flapjacks and a cup of tea. These turned out really well (they are dead easy to make) and I’m sure my mum would be proud of me.
UPDATE BY THE AMERICAN: Just like I scratched my head in curious wonder when I first noticed that the English term for flapjack was very different from what I knew of flapjack, so were many of our readers. So, I realized we need to add a bit of history here. According to research, in the US, the term flapjack dates back to the early 1600’s. This is the second oldest term to describe what we also know as pancakes here in the US (which is the earliest term, coined around the 14th century). We also have the good ‘ole American term johnnycake (Soprano’s fans? Remember that hot scene between a sweaty, hairy fat Vito and his sweet Johnnycake near the motorcycle? Sexy!) or hoecake (love this one). In the UK, a flapjack is a tray bake made of oats, fat and sugar and often syrup or honey. They range from being soft and moist to dry and crisp (like this recipe) and are eaten as an alternative to a biscuit (cookie). Also, a pancake in the UK is kind of different from our pancakes here (they are much thinner and lighter). Check out our post on Pancake Day for some delicious UK pancake recipes. To the English, a flapjack and a pancake are two completely different things. To Americans, they are interchangeable.
Wikipedia does a good job of explaining the bottom line: The word flap– meaning a tossed mixture and jack, an uncertain word suggesting a variety, imply any ingredients could be called a flapjack. To me, this explains why the word flapjack can basically be anything that is both tossed and with a variety of ingredients. Salad = Flapjacks? I’m still confused.
Cranberry (Craisin) Flapjacks
- 3½ oz (100g) butter, plus a bit extra to grease your brownie pan
- 2½ oz (75g) light brown sugar (muscovado)
- 3 good tbsp runny honey
- 12oz (350g) porridge (Quaker) oats
- pinch of salt
- 3½ oz (100g) dried cranberries (craisins)
- 1 banana, mashed (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350F (180C) and lightly butter a 10 x 10 or 10 x 12 inch brownie pan
- Melt butter gently in a saucepan and mix in sugar and honey.
- Then add oats and salt. Stir well.
- Add cranberries (and banana) and stir well again.
- Turn mixture into brownie pan and press down so surface is smooth and mixture is evenly spread.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until oats are golden brown and crispy.
- Allow to cool for 10 minutes, but cut into squares while still warm.
- Store in an airtight jar or tin. They keep very nicely and continue to develop their chewiness for a while.
Check out some other posts you may enjoy:
- BROILED MISO-GLAZED SALMON WITH SOBA NOODLES
- SANDWICH DE MERGUEZ (BAGUETTE FILLED WITH MERGUEZ SAUSAGE, FRENCH FRIES AND FRIED LEEKS)
- CREAMY LEMON PASTA
- TOAD-IN-THE-HOLE (Sausages Nested in Batter)
- ENSALADA DE CABRALES (Thin Sliced Apple and Cabrales Cheese Salad w/ Vinaigrette)
- AVGOLEMONO SOUP (Greek Lemon-Egg Chicken Soup w/ Orzo)