I revisit my ACHB work every so often. I published this on A Cook and Her Books on January 13, 2013:
A Cook and Her Books, January 2013:
Welcome to 2013, the Year I Will Be Organized. There, I’ve said it. I mean it and I intend to follow through. The hot zones in my house will be de-cluttered, the laundry list of chores and honey-do’s will be whittled down, and I will be ready for whatever the future holds.
I’m already charged up about this project because I found a keeper of a recipe – British Flapjacks – in a March 2010 Bon Appetit that’s been sitting in my bedroom for lo these nearly three years. Until this week, I hadn’t made the first recipe from the magazine, but this week, in my quest to be organized, I finally made these fantastic cookies. The recipe is from Molly Wizenberg, of the Orangette blog, and is part of a sweet essay about backpacking through Europe and discovering flapjacks, not the pancake, but a cookie.
The cookie is simply butter, brown sugar and oatmeal with Lyle’s Golden Syrup. I found Lyle’s Golden Syrup at my local Publix and jumped on it like a lion on a hyena carcass. I looked over my shoulder lest anyone see me – how long until the inventory gods realize their mistake and take away the golden syrup? Golden syrup is somewhat like corn syrup, molasses or honey, but way more delicious. Look for the Lyle’s to make these cookies, but in a pinch, I’d tinker with a combination of honey and corn syrup.
A Cook and Her Books 10 Years Later, February 2023
~ The passage followed up with the recipe. Here’s the thing: I completely forgot about these cookies. And they were delicious! I obsessed over flapjacks as long as the bottle of Lyle’s Golden Syrup lasted. And like so much of life, I was on to the next thing. I filled the intervening decade with carpools, permission slips and deadlines and clean forgot about the glorious British flapjacks.
Lucky for me, I still keep brown butter, sugar and oats on hand. All I needed was the golden syrup. These days I’m not reliant on the whims of the Publix inventory gods. I pay for Amazon Prime, thank you very much, and I can wait the 5 to 7 days that it takes for 2-day shipping to arrive (insert laughing emoji).
And so, a few days later, I made British flapjacks again. And they were just as addictively delicious as I remembered (and then forgot and then remembered again.)
These sweets are ridiculously easy to make. And they keep for up to a week. I pack them in my daughter’s lunch box. I’ll take one with my afternoon tea.
British Flapjacks Recipe
Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit.
Yield: 8 cookies
Repeat after me: 1/2 cup, 1/2 cup, 1/4 cup, 2 cups. That’s all you need to know to make these from memory. That, and keeping Lyle’s Golden Syrup on hand (or in your Amazon cart).
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, save wrapper for greasing pan
1/2 cup brown sugar (dark or light, packed)
1/4 cup Lyle’s Golden Syrup
2 cups quick-cooking oats (not instant or old-fashioned)
- Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a small saucepan over low heat, combine butter, sugar and syrup. Stir frequently until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat.
- Use butter wrapper to grease an 9 X 9 X 2 square baking pan. My pan is nonstick. If your pan is not, you might try lining with parchment paper. (Original recipe calls for 8 X 8 X 2 and that makes for a delicious, thicker cookie.)
- Stir oats into sugar mixture. Spread mixture into buttered pan. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes. Turn cookie out on to a cutting board. Cut into four squares. Cut each square into 4 triangles. Cool cookies before serving. Store cookies in airtight container at room temperature.
Jazzed Up Flapjacks
In 2013, I jazzed these up with 1/4 cup of sliced almonds stirred with the oats. They gave the tops a bit of texture and color variation because these are invariably boring to look at, as cookies go.
My 2023 take on British Flapjacks is adding cocoa nibs (properly called cacao nibs, I just find that “cocoa nibs” is easier to remember. Like “Coco Puffs” because I was raised on kids television with sugary cereal cartoon characters and hypnotic messaging like “I’m cuckoo for coco puffs.”). I ordered cocoa nibs from an online grocer in a pandemic splurge, i.e., I was feeling fancy and they were on sale! (like I would even know the going price for cocoa nibs insert laughing emoji).
Here’s how to level up your British Flapjacks with cocoa nibs: scatter a few tablespoons in the oats and sugar mixture. Spread the mixture onto parchment paper and scatter another handful or so on top, then press into the mixture. Bake per usual. Gild the lily by pressing a few more nibs into the cooling cookies.
And that’s it.
This is a very simple recipe. Let me know what you think about British flapjack cookies in the comments. If I’ve messed it up in any way, or even if you’ve enjoyed it, kindly let me know in the comments. My recipe policy is Perfectly Imperfect. Reach out on the socials like Instagram and Facebook.