Unlike granola bars, I prefer my flapjacks to be completely unadorned - 'a hymn to butter and sugar' as Felicity Cloake describes them.
These flapjacks are slightly less aggressively sweet than the Hamlyn All Colour Cookbook version I first tried, have a decent amount of salt and browned butter for some extra oomph. I also give options for making them fudgy or crunchy.
Making browned butter is much easier and less fancy than it sounds, so don't be intimidated! But if it's your first time try using a lighter coloured saucepan (ideally white or stainless steel) rather than a black one. That can help you see the milk solids change colour more easily. —Stottey
unsalted butter (4oz)
golden syrup (4 tablespoons)
sugar (any) (3 tablespoons)
porridge oats (8oz)
heaping 1/4 teaspoons
extra butter or oil for greasing
In This Recipe
Preheat oven to Gas Mark 2/300F/150C. Oil or grease an 8-inch square or round tin and set aside.
Brown the butter. Add the butter to a medium-sized saucepan. Melt over medium heat. Keep swirling and stirring the butter until the milk solids have lightly browned, the butter is a deep yellow colour and it's no longer fizzing and spitting (once the butter quietens down it means the water has evaporated). This should take around 8-10 minutes, but use your nose and eyes not the timer to tell when it's done. It should small nutty and no longer be foaming. Be careful not to get impatient and turn the heat up too high: although browned butter is delicious, burnt butter is...less so.
Mix. Once the butter is nicely browned, turn off the heat and add in the golden syrup. Mix well until incorporated.
Add the oats, sugar and table salt to the pan and mix well. The mixture will be less sticky than a typical granola bar, almost the texture of uncooked granola. Give it a taste - if you want it a little sweeter or a little saltier, adjust here as needed.
Press the mixture into your greased tin. A rubber spatula is great here for scraping the sticky mixture out of the saucepan. Press the flapjack mixture firmly, compacting it in a little bit and smoothing the surface evenly.
Bake. Bake the flapjack for 25 minutes if you like a fudgier flapjack, or 40 minutes if you prefer them drier and crunchy (like a Nature Valley bar).
Slice. Let the mixture cool for 5 minutes or so to slightly solidify, then cut into pieces. I went for 12 squares for the square tin, and 8 slices for the round tin. Let cool and then enjoy!