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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My Aunt Mary’s Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Scottish Oatmeal ‘Flapjack’ Cookies

I have come by my love of oatmeal and ‘sweet syrup’ honestly…I am of British stock…my parents emigrated to Canada in the mid 1960’s.

Aunt Mary's Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Oatmeal 'Flapjack' Cookies

My Scottish grandfather used to soak a bowl of oatmeal every night before bed for his morning breakfast…a tradition my son, Matthew, continues. Although, Matthew does not soak the oats…he does enjoy a big hearty bowl of oatmeal with milk and drizzled with pure maple syrup…our Canadian version of ‘golden syrup’.

I have always been drawn to recipes that incorporate the use of oats…oatmeal cookies, oatmeal bars, oatmeal crisps, crumbles and of course, a hot steaming bowl of good old oatmeal…I love the rich taste of sweetened toasted oats!

It is with great pleasure that I have finally come to adapt an oatmeal recipe handed down by my Scottish Granny, to her daughter, my Aunt Mary. To this day, my Aunt Mary bakes these cookies for all my Scottish relatives to enjoy that are still living in a small town in Scotland.

My Aunt Mary’s Oatmeal ‘Flapjack’ Cookies have stood the test of time…I can still remember enjoying them on all my visits back ‘home’ to see all my Scottish relatives.

Aunt Mary’s Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Scottish Oatmeal ‘Flapjack’ Cookies

Aunt Mary's Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Oatmeal 'Flapjack' Cookies

1/2 cup Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks or Earth Balance Soy Free Natural Buttery Spread
1 tsp Lyle’s Golden Syrup
1 tsp water
1/2 cup Demerara  Sugar

Melt the above ingredients and then add to the mixed ingredients listed below.

2 cups ‘porridge’ oats (quick oats)
1 cup ‘self-raising flour’ (1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour mixed with 1 tsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp kosher salt)
1/2 tsp baking soda

Combine all ingredients and then shape into a ball and flatten into a disc.

Tip:  For the first batch…I just left the dough in the shape of a ball. My mother informed me that my Aunt Mary’s cookies are more of the shape of a ‘Hobnob’. Click here for a picture. I found the ingredients to be too dry by the second batch…so I added 2 tbsp of water to the mixture…a bit sticky to work with…and then shaped them on the cookie sheet into a flattened disc…much like a ‘Hobnob’. By the time I was ready to shape the third and final batch…the cookie dough was much easier to shape.

Bake at 350 F for 15 – 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.

Enjoy!

Enjoying Aunt Mary's Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Oatmeal 'Flapjack' Cookies

Delish…rich tasting with that great toasty oat taste…just like Aunt Mary’s! Although, I sure would love a hands-on tutorial…I must get my baking gene from her!

P.S. I know just the couple that will enjoy a package of these ‘British treats’.

A package of Aunt Mary's Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Scottish Oatmeal 'Flapjack' Cookies for my neighbour

There is something so comforting about oatmeal…with a cup of tea…perfection!