The best flapjack is soft and chewy, buttery and very lightly sticky. You can add in fruit, coconut or chocolate, or keep it plain and healthier. If you prefer your flapjack crunchy and brittle, just bake it five minutes longer.
The best flavour for flapjack?
Orange and ginger flapjack is my favourite flavour. It is nice to throw in various enhancements, dried fruit or nuts, decadently chocolate or glace cherries, but – as I point out further – it might make it a bit too much of a good thing.
I based my ingredient proportions on River Cottage guidance and followed my instinct for flavours. And you can trust me – my love of flapjacks is deep as an ocean of honey and butter.
Are flapjacks healthy?
There is a common misconception about the health benefits of flapjacks (flapjacks as in the British understanding of the confection, squidgy and sweet oats bars, made with golden syrup. The Americans sometimes call their native pancakes ‘flapjacks’, while the oaty thing I’m talking about is a granola bar for them. Clear as mud. I’m not even going towards biscuits or pudding), perceived as a ‘good for you’ breakfast or snack.
Not so much, I'm afraid
It’s the oats, you see – anything that has oats in it seems HEALTHY these days, as well as being GLUTEN FREE, as if it was a good thing. Oats there certainly are, along with equal amounts of sugar and butter. Are we still calling flapjacks healthy? I thought not.
Even if you replace ordinary sugar with honey or maple syrup, trying to deceive yourself those are better, an individual bar will still be basically rich dessert which just happens to contain quite a bit of fibre. As do pears poached in syrup, incidentally.
Let's face it: it's a sweet treat
Having the health issues cleared up, we can now enjoy flapjacks as a treat, sweet, pudding, dessert. Still, it does make some sense to have it for breakfast as the early time of day gives us more time of day to burn the calories from foods high in sugar and fat; and they will tend to energise us rather than give us a post-lunch slump.
But who cares?
But you know what? Life’s too short to be concerned ALL the time about whether things we eat are healthy enough: let’s just bake a batch of this orange-ginger squidgy wonders and enjoy them whenever we fancy!