Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free ‘British Flapjacks’

My interest in Flapjacks stemmed from this great article that I read in the March 2010 issue of Bon Appetit Magazine titled, “bar none When is a flapjack not a pancake? When it is a delicious, buttery British cookie”, by Molly Wizenberg.

A pan of Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Flapjacks

I have to say, Molly’s article made me laugh. It made me recall my own memories of my trip to Europe with my best friend, at the age of 19.  Michelle and I visited my Scottish relatives and over-indulged in all their tasty delicacies. Thank goodness for Pepto Bismol! More importantly, it reminded me of an oatmeal cookie.

My Aunt Mary, in Scotland, is famous for her Oatmeal Cookies…could this have been a Flapjack? I quickly emailed my cousin who contacted his mother…I had the recipe the very same day.

My Aunt Mary’s Oatmeal Cookie recipe turned out to be more of a cookie than a ‘flapjack square’. I tried it all the same and fell in love with the memory. Click here for my post on my adapted recipe for my Aunt Mary’s Oatmeal Cookie recipe.

I had to adapt a batch of Molly’s British Flapjack recipe to compare…I replaced the butter with Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks or for a soy free version use Earth Balance Soy Free Natural Buttery Spread.

A selection of Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Flapjacks

I love Molly’s description of her experience eating her first British Flapjack

“You take a bite, and it tastes good, if a little wholesome. But you keep chewing, and in a second or two, the flavor opens up threefold, big and toasty and rich, and your salivary glands start going, and you think, This is delicious. I don’t know what this thing is, but I’m going to need another.”

Molly is ‘bang on’! Both my Aunt Mary’s Oatmeal Cookie and Molly’s British Flapjack have that rich, toasty oat flavour that makes your mouth water. Whereas, the cookie is, well, more like a cookie…the flapjack has a slightly sweeter, candy like chew to it.

A Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Flapjack and Oatmeal 'Flapjack' Cookie

Frankly, both are yummy and terribly addictive!

Enjoy!

Click here for the Molly’s original article and here for her original recipe.

Tip 1:  Molly’s British Flapjacks were a bit difficult to remove from the pan…might want to remove them soon after they have cooled and store in another container. Although, I did enjoy nibbling on all the bits stuck to the pan!

Tip 2: I would love to try both my Aunt Mary’s Oatmeal Cookie and Molly’s British Flapjack using canola oil instead of Earth Balance.

Tip 3:  Oat flour would make for an even ‘oatier’ taste and texture in my Aunt Mary’s Oatmeal Cookie.

Tip 4: Both my Aunt Mary’s Oatmeal Cookie and Molly’s British Flapjack could be gluten-free using gluten-free oats, flour or oat flour.

Tip 5:  Lyle’s Golden Syrup is a British staple…many would say it is irreplaceable in both my Aunt Mary’s Oatmeal Cookies and in Molly’s British Flapjacks.

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Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Haystacks

I stumbled upon this handwritten recipe (written by me as a teenager) for my favourite childhood bake sale treat…Chocolate Haystacks.

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Haystacks with a recipe written when I was a teenager

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner…I thought this chocolatey treat, filled with whole oats, coconut and rich cocoa, would be the perfect sweet indulgence to adapt for the boys.

I was right…they loved them!

I have no idea where the original version of this recipe came from…more than likely, I asked the mother of the child who brought in the Chocolate Haystacks for the bake sale.

Yes, even at such a young age I was drawn to recipes…I was and still do, ask anyone for a recipe if the dish is deemed to be delish!

Simple to make with no baking required…just measure, boil, mix and stir!

Adaptions for this recipe included:

1)  Butter…Earth Balance Buttery Vegan Sticks (for a soy free version substitute Earth Balance Soy Free Natural Buttery Spread.
2)  Milk…Natur-a Soy Beverage or for a soy free version, Natur-a Rice Beverage
3)  Cocoa…just make sure that the cocoa powder you use is dairy/peanut/tree nut free if you have these food allergies.

Always check all ingredient lists and allergy alert warnings no matter how familiar a product seems to you.

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Haystacks

A plate of Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Haystacks

2 cups Demerara sugar
1/2 cup Natur-a Soy or Rice Beverage
4 cups whole oats
1/3 cup Earth Balance Buttery Vegan Sticks or Earth Balance Soy Free Natural Buttery Spread
6 tbsp cocoa (dairy free/peanut/tree nut free)
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

In a medium saucepan, melt sugar and choice of Earth Balance.
Let it come to the boil.
Take off heat and quickly stir in oatmeal, coconut and cocoa. (I had them all pre-measured in a bowl)
Drop from spoon onto wax paper.
Let stand to firm.

Enjoy!

Enjoying a Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Haystack

Mmmmm…just how I remembered them to be…delish!

Do you have a childhood favourite recipe you have adapted for your children to enjoy?
Will you be baking any allergy friendly treats for Valentine’s Day?

P.S. Hope you are all weathering the storm that has hit Southern Ontario…as I sit here looking out my front window, it is a ‘white out’! How bad is it where you are?