I’m enjoying getting creative during the COVID-19 lockdown period. Baking is helping me pass the time and unleash my experimental side (plus we end up with some yummy treats and some that go horribly wrong e.g. my latest banana bread experiment). However with social distancing guidance in the UK enforcing minimising time spent outdoors and only venturing out for essentials or exercise, baking is proving somewhat difficult, especially with key ingredients like flour and eggs in short supply.
I’m seeing this as an experimental challenge. My life has descended into a curious trial of how many things I can prepare using porridge oats (which we seem to have accumulated in abundance over the previous 6 months). I’ve trialled and tested a few recipes and this one has become my firm favourite, and the best thing is it offers a slight degree of flexibility based on what is in your cupboards. So I present to you, the cupboard flapjacks:
What you’ll need:
90g butter, margarine, vitalite
I used 30g brown sugar, but if you like things sweeter use more
Sticky Stuff: 2 spoons (dessert spoons/the ones that come in regular cutlery sets!) of golden syrup, honey or maple syrup (I used honey)
A handful of dried fruit if you have it, you could always supplement with chopped nuts or chocolate. Fresh/frozen fruit would also work but be careful at overloading the mix.
A bowl, a spoon, a baking tray
This makes 9 squares in a baking tray measuring 20cm by 20cm as I’m sure we all have different sized trays, you might want to adjust the mix accordingly
What to do:
WASH YOUR HANDS and preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius
Melt the butter or equivalent in the microwave for approximately 20 seconds, stir and put back in for longer if needed (do in 20 second intervals so it doesn’t overcook).
Add the sugar to the oats and stir with a spoon- don’t be tempted to use a food processor as this will cause the oats to lose their consistency. Brown sugar sometimes sticks together so don’t be afraid to get your hands involved to break the sugar up (providing you’ve washed them that is!)
Once mixed add the melted butter and stir so this coats all the oats.
Then add two generous spoonfuls of whatever ‘sticky stuff’ you’re using and again stir so this coats the oats. The consistency you want is for all the oats to have some sort of coating (i.e. none that are clearly dry) but not be saturated. The mix will look a little crumbly. Finally add a handful of dried fruit and distribute this evenly through the mix.
If you have greaseproof paper line your baking tin with this, or alternatively grease it lightly with some butter just to prevent the mix sticking. Add the mix to the tray so its 3 – 4cm thick and evenly spread the mix.
Pop in the oven for 20 minutes and check on it. The mix should be golden brown. I found that mine worked best with 30 minutes in the oven. There is a fine line between under cooked and over cooked so do keep checking in on it.
Remove from the oven when cooked, take it out of the tray and let cool for a few hours. Enjoy on your own or with your household and use as bribes for help with the washing up.
If you make this let me know how you get on!
Other recipes you might enjoy: