Flapjacks and granola bars are the easiest and tastiest treats to take to work for some snacking at your desk. These easy fruit flapjack bars are chewy, sticky and you can use any nuts, seeds and dried fruit that you have in your cupboards!
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Why Brown Sugar is Perfect for Chewy Oat Flapjacks?
I am not sure why most flapjack recipes call for caster or light brown sugar, but after making these, I know one thing – DARK BROWN SUGAR is definitely the way to go if you like your flapjacks chewy and nicely caramelised on the outside. Besides brilliant texture, dark brown sugar gives the flapjack a nice molasses flavour too!
Ingredients You Will Need
When I cook, I like preparing and weighing all my ingredients first. Mainly, because I get my hands all messy and don’t like having to stop to wash my hands every two minutes:).
You will need:
- oats: we think porridge oats (rolled oats) work best in this recipe. They absorb moisture well and easily infuse with all the sweetness of golden syrup and molasses from brown sugar.
- butter: we typically use unsalted butter, but salted butter can also be used if you are into the ‘sweet & salty’ baking trend.
- golden syrup: whilst we find golden syrup is best for the chewy flapjacks, honey can be used instead, although your fruit flapjacks will be slightly crunchier.
- sugar: we LOVE dark brown sugar in these flapjacks.
- dried fruit: we like a mixture of sultanas and dried apricots, but dried cranberries, mixed peel, crystalised ginger and even desiccated coconut works well.
- nuts & seeds (optional): to add some extra texture to your fruit flapjacks, add some blanched almonds, pecans or walnuts. You can also add any seeds (like pumpkin, sunflower or a mixture).
NOTE: dried fruit and any additional nuts/ seeds should come to a total of 100g in weight for best results.
Variations of Fruit, Nuts and Seeds for the Best Flapjacks
The beauty of flapjacks is, that no matter what nuts, seed or fruit you’re adding to it, they will taste absolutely amazing. As a matter of fact, they taste great without any additions. These particular ones were made with mixed seeds, blanched almonds and mixed dried fruit, but I also love three other combinations:
- chopped dried apricots and pecans
- crystallised ginger and walnuts
- desiccated coconut and dried pineapple (pina colada vibes, right?)
Tips & Tricks
- Nobody likes a flapjack that crumbles all over the office desk and your keyboard. Once the oat mixture is in your baking tray, make sure you press it in really hard into the tin with the back of a large spoon or a spatula. Get in all the corners and make sure it’s level. It will be easier to cut and eat if the oat mixture is pressed down.
- The kitchen fills with a lovely wintery, almost Christmas-like smell when these are in the oven, so bake them as means to fill your home with amazing fragrance (saves on scented candles and wax melts).
- Once baked, the flapjack should have brown edges but keep them soft in the middle. Fruit flapjack will firm up as it cools, and this will ensure the bars are chewy, rather than crunchy.
- Make sure you cool the flapjack completely in the tray before taking it out and slicing it into bars.
Other Oat Flapjack Recipes
If you make flapjacks often and pack them as snacks to take to work (just like we do), you may want to have a couple more recipes on rotation. Why not try:
Chewy Fruit Flapjacks
- 24cm x 24cm baking tin
- 100 g butter unsalted
- 60 g dark brown sugar
- 100 g golden syrup
- 200 g porridge oats
- 100 g sultanas, dried apricots, crystallised ginger, desiccated coconut or a mixture plus add any seeds and nuts too
- Preheat your oven to 180°C Fan. Line a 24x24cm baking tray with baking parchment.
- Place the butter, brown sugar and golden syrup in a pan and heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter has melted and sugar has dissolved. Add the oats and dried fruit (and nuts/seeds if using). Mix well.
- Transfer the oat mixture to the tray and spread to even thickness. Smooth the surface with the back of a spoon or a spatula. Bake in the oven for 15-16 minutes, until lightly golden around the edges, but still soft in the middle.
- Leave to cool completely in the tin, then turn out and cut into bars.