Rainy days were meant for baking and pottering around the kitchen I've always believed! So with today being particularly miserable outside, I set about busying myself with some baking.
With our first newborn baby due to arrive any day, I'm busy getting the house in order and the freezer packed with frozen meals. The freezer is full to the gills with tubber ware boxes of stews, shepherd's pies, and lasagnas So to be fair, I'm fairly well prepared. But I thought to myself, its fine to have the dinners ready, but what about healthy snacks in between meals?! I'm under no illusion that for the first few weeks I won't have any time to be baking buns and bars; so I thought today, why not make some healthy, high energy flapjacks and freeze them for when the baby comes. That way a healthy energy boost is never too far away, plus it might keep me away from chocolate bars also.
I have made and blogged about flapjacks in the past http://serenasmediumrare.blogspot.ie/2013/01/nuts-about-seedy-fig-flapjacks.html ; but this time I'm making Rachel Allen's Chewy Apricot and Oats Flapjacks which I stumbled across on her website. The only thing different I added to her recipe is 100g of sesame seeds. (LOVE the sesame seeds!). I also substituted low fat spread for full fat butter in the recipe.
The flapjacks may have a lot of sugar, syrup and butter; but they also have a large quantity of oats and seeds and dried fruit; all of which are extremely healthy. Plus a little goes a long way, I've cut them up small as with all those high energy ingredients, you don't need to eat too much of them to get the desired energy boost.
- 300g/11oz porridge oats
- 100g/4oz pumpkin or sunflower seeds & 100g/4oz sesame seeds.
- 50g/2oz desiccated coconut
- 50g/2oz plain flour
- 200g/7oz low fat butter spread
- 200g/7oz golden syrup
- 150g/5oz soft brown sugar
- 150g/5oz dried apricots, chopped
- 125g/4.5oz crunchy peanut butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 160C/325F/Gas 3.
2. Line an 18cm/7inx28cm/11in Swiss roll tin with non-stick baking parchment, leaving a little of the parchment hanging over the edges for easy removal later.
3. Place the oats, seeds, coconut and flour into a large bowl and mix together.
4. Place the butter and golden syrup into a saucepan and cook until the two ingredients have melted and combined.
5. Add the sugar, chopped apricots, peanut butter and vanilla extract to the saucepan and mix well. Then pour the mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients and mix together until the ingredients have become evenly combined.
6. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and press down firmly with a wooden spoon. Transfer the tin to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the mixture has become golden-brown and slightly firm. Remove the mixture from the oven and allow it to cool in the tin.
7. Once the mixture has cooled remove it, and, still in the paper, cut it into squares.
8. Store in an air-tight container for up to one week. If freezing, to defrost just removed the desired quantity before bedtime and place in the fridge.