One of my most vivid memories from childhood is sitting at the dinner table with a huge glass of cherryade in front of me, now this would have been the early 1980's and I know I was at my grandparents house so it would have been Corona's cherryade that had never been near a cherry and was rammed full of every E number imaginable. Corona has a fond place in my heart, as I spent much of my childhood lugging the bottles about, my grandfather's idea of pocket money being to give me and my sisters a few empty Corona or Tizer bottles each so we could go off and cash them in the next day for a few pence (my grandfather was actually far more generous than that with his cash and saved all his 20p's for us!). But I digress, my memory is of me looking about at all the grown ups drinking tea at the table and me slurping at my cherryade thinking how on earth could they be so boring, a cup of tea compared to the nectar that was currently staining my tongue and lips a livid shade of red, and would ensure I would be bouncing off the walls for the next few hours!
I am now one of those boring adults with my own child, who I am sure will do his fair share of eeewing at tea, but I have succumbed and am a total tea addict, I drink at least eight cups a day, and what better with a cup of tea than a quick and easy home-made treat. I of course will make do with a custard cream or the odd digestive, but I am not a dunker and so my treats to munch with a cuppa don’t have to stand up to the rigours of the dunk, and my absolute favourite has got to be the humble flapjack, made with butter and oats it feels almost good for you (and oats really are!), but of course the butter content wipes out any health benefits!
I have therefore over the last couple of weeks been merrily finding and making quick, easy and delicious sweet flapjacks with a variety of delicious additions which I think go perfectly with that cuppa (they would of course taste just as yummy with a vast glass of cherryade!).
The Flapjack laid bare!
One of the easiest and tastiest sweet snacks to make, the flapjack is a never failing filling treat. With very few ingredients, this recipe is fabulous because it tastes brilliant made just as it, but you can add all manner of different ingredients to make your flapjacks that little bit more yummy!
You don't need any big recipe off the internet to make flapjacks, all you need is
- about: 300g to 350g of porridge oats
- 200g of unsalted butter
- 6 tablespoons of golden syrup.
Melt the butter and the golden syrup together and then slowly combine the oats stirring all the time, the mixture has had enough oats when its starts to look dry – you need to be able to pack it all densely and ensure it sticks together.
Pop the mixture into a lined baking tray and press down really well.
Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes (until nicely golden brown).
Cut the flapjacks while they are still warm from the oven, but don't remove them from the tray until they are completely cooled.
The best thing about flapjacks is that you can add pretty much whatever is to hand to make them more delicious and sometimes decadent! The favourites I have found over the last few weeks (and yes I am pretty flapjacked out!) include:
- diced apple and sultanas – with a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg;
- chopped walnuts;
- chopped pecan nuts, orange peel and sultanas;
- chopped peanuts and a good couple of spoonfuls of peanut butter (add a layer of melted chocolate once the flapjacks are out of the oven and on their way to cooling for a very sweet scrummy slice);
- chocolate chip and a layer of melted chocolate (once the flapjacks have come out of the oven and are on their way to cooling. I melted a Easter egg just recently and used that);
- seed mix – a good handful of seeds will add a nice crunch;
- replace some of the golden syrup with honey and add some chopped dried apricots; and
- banana and peanut butter (that ole chocolate layer could be used here too, although i have not).
Remember that any added ingredients should be chopped or crushed down quite small as pieces that are too big will mean the flapjacks will fall apart when you transfer from oven to plate, to mouth! I haven't added amounts here as you can use whatever you have, experiment and see. Personally my absolute favourite is the apple and sultana, both add a little moisture to the flapjack.
So adulthood many come with its worries, aches, pains and grey hairs! But I still love cherryade, I think I just love tea more!!