While flipping through my most recent Bon Apetit magazine I audibly gasped when I came upon Molly Wizenberg’s article on British Flapjacks. I had almost forgotten about this delicious treat from across the pond. I had them several times during my summers in London but haven’t seen anything like them in America. I knew I’d have to make them immediately.

They may not look like much, but trust me, they are very addictive. They’re kind of like a cross between a cookie and a granola bar. The first bite is all about the texture but by the time you’re on to the second bite the flavor takes over. The chewiness gives way to a rich buttery flavor with an undertone of sweetness. Like a lot British desserts, it doesn’t need a lot of sugar to be delicious. They’re very hearty, for sure, but are a perfect treat on the go. One bite of these takes me back to days of walking the streets of London with a flapjack in one hand and an umbrella in the other.

British Flapjacks
From Bon Appetit, March 2010
Makes 16

1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into one inch cubes
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup golden syrup*
2 1/3 cups quick-cooking oats
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter an eight inch square pan.

Combine the butter, brown sugar and golden syrup in a medium saucepan. Stir constantly over medium heat until the butter is melted, the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat. Add oats and salt and stir until coated. Transfer mixture to prepared pan and spread evenly.

Bake until top is golden, about 25 minutes. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Cut into 4 squares, and then cut each square into 4 triangles (mixture will still be soft). Cool completely in pan before serving.

*Golden syrup is popular in the UK, although I hear it is available at grocery stores like Whole Foods. I actually substituted it for 2 parts corn syrup and 1 part molasses, mostly because I was lazy. The flapjacks were still delicious, but next time I’m going to find some golden syrup because the flavor wasn’t exactly the same as I remember.

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8 Responses to British Flapjacks

  1. Anonymous says:

    Please try King's Syrup which is American golden syrup. It is made in the South and can be ordered online from Carriage House.I use it and love it. I have nothing to do with the above mentioned companies but do check it out.

  2. Catherine says:

    I have to admit, as an English girl, I have been known to pull faces when I see American recipes for British flapjacks as they usually have all sorts of weird, non-flapjacky things in them but these look perfect! Just the 4 ingredients that should be in flapjacks.
    Definitely try to find some golden syrup though- it's delicious stuff. I have it on my porridge (oatmeal on your side of the pond) or on crumpets, and if I'm being totally honest- sometimes straight out of the tin off my finger!

  3. Sandra says:

    I tore out the recipe too and made them right quick. (I found Lyle's Golden Syrup at the local co-op.) They were really easy and super tasty for breakfast or dessert. I lined the pan with non-stick foil and they came out perfectly. I'm thinking I need to make flapjacks quite often.

  4. Jo in NZ says:

    in the process, you mentioned salt, but it's not in the ingredients list?
    I was born in the UK and still have fond memories of my weekly flapjack treats. An extra special treat was when one half was dipped in chocolate…

  5. Anonymous says:

    I read the same article in Bon Apetit and found your site while mine are in the oven. I'm looking forward to them being ready, even the batter tastes good.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Also good with raisins in or dried apricots etc.

  7. Anonymous says:

    flapjacks are good – but have you tried Flaxjacks? Made by Flax Farm, they are totally delicious! Like flapjacks, but made with linseed/flax and so they are not only yummy but good for you too! For those of you in the States – check out the website – Flaxfarm.co.uk. Brits just do some things so well!

  8. Anonymous says:

    ahhhh flapjacks… so yammy :D im not from uk but when i was there… yammy yammy yammy :D
    but these ones look a little different :D
    i tried bakewell and i think it was coffee.. the best ones :D

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