Muesli Flapjack Squares

Muesli Flapjack Squares are THE answer to rushed mornings and missed breakfasts. Make these at the weekend and you’ve got brekkie covered for the whole week. Ooh and did I mention they’re gluten free too!

FF Muesli Flapjack Squares
Muesli Flapjack Squares delicious and full of good things for your body.

Most people I know don’t have hours of time to spare in the mornings, during the week. They know breakfast is THE most important meal of the day, so in a bid to give their body something they grab a latte and coffee shop choccie muffin on the way to work. Then wonder why they are starving again by 10am if not sooner.

FF Muesli Flapjack Squares
Muesli Flapjack Squares are great food on the go.

One of these Muesli Flapjack Squares will keep you going until lunchtime!

Now eating one of these delicious Muesli Flapjack Squares isn’t the same as sitting down with a bowl of muesli, or a plate of wholemeal toast and homemade jam and a cup of coffee. But, they are a whole lot better both for your body and you wallet, than the take out option.

FF Muesli Flapjack Squares
Muesli Flapjack Squares so easy to make.

Flapjacks do contain both sugar and butter, as do the take out muffins. I have tried to reduce both and even tried to switch to honey, but, unfortunately I haven’t cracked that recipe code yet.

What I have done is taken a fabulous gluten free, muesli mix made by Delicious Alchemy and turned it into the gluten free Muesli Flapjack Squares. So yes you’ll get the initial sugar hit and a wee bit of caffeine from the dark chocolate, but instead of the post sugar slump, the oats, seeds and dried fruit will start slowly releasing their energy – sustaining you until lunch.

FF Muesli Flapjack Squares
My lunch today was one of these and a banana!

With everything made in one bowl, a little mixing, 20 minutes in the oven, cool then swirl on some chocolate, these can easily made by anyone.

If buying a different muesli from the one suggested ensure that it has no added sugar, salt or fat and of course, that it’s gluten free if you have dietary intolerances.

Recipe: Makes 12 Muesli Flapjack Squares

225g/8oz Unsalted Butter

100g/4oz Light Soft Brown Sugar

100g/4oz Golden Syrup – light corn syrup

425g/15oz Muesli – I used Delicious Alchemy

100g/4oz Chopped Dried Fruit – I used mango and apricots (dried)

Method: Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan, gas mark 4

  • Line a 8″ x 11″  20cm x 28cm Swiss roll, or 2″ deep baking tin with baking parchment. I have found it unnecessary to grease my tin prior to lining, however, using a little butter in the corners, should help the parchment to stick without fully greasing the tin.
  • In a large heatproof and microwaveable bowl add the butter and then sugar.
  • Place in the microwave a heat on low until the butter is just melted.
  • Once melted remove from the microwave and add the golden syrup. Stir with a wooden spoon until everything is well mixed.
  • Add the muesli and chopped, dried fruit.
FF Muesli Flapjack Squares
Now to get mixing!
  • Next stir everything together until it is all covered in the glossy butter mixture.
  • Tip the mixture into the prepared pan and press flat and even using the back of a dessert spoon.
FF Muesli Flapjack Squares
Pressed evenly into the tin, ready for the oven.
  • Place in the centre of the oven and bake for exactly 20 minutes.
  • Once the baking time is up remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the tin.
FF Muesli Flapjack Squares
Muesli Flapjack Squares beautifully baked and golden.
  • When cooled lift the flapjack slab from the tin on to a board.
  • Cut into 12 even squares (if you look mine aren’t that even – oops)!
  • Melt the dark chocolate in a heatproof, microwaveable bowl until almost melted. Remove and stir until completely melted.
  • Drizzle over the squares, or fill a small piping bag and pipe hearts on each square.
Muesli Flapjack Squares
Beautifully decorated with a heart.

During hot weather it might be worth popping the Muesli Flapjack Squares into the fridge for an hour. This will set the chocolate and really firm up the bars.

I like to wrap them in baking parchment for packed lunches, cling film and foil work well too.

Store them in an airtight container. I use an old biscuit tin and separate layers with baking parchment.

FF Muesli Flapjack Squares
Muesli Flapjack Squares a great solution to breakfast.

Give yourself a pat on the back knowing you have breakfast sorted for the week!!

If you have enjoyed these Muesli Flapjack Squares you may also like these:

Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars

FF Muesli Flapjack Squares
Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars a delicious oat biscuit base topped with cherry sponge.

Macacdamia Apricot Flapjacks

FF Muesli Flapjack Squares
Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks another delicious flapjack bar.

Lemon Drizzle Cake Bars

FF Muesli Flapjack Squares
Lemon Drizzle Cake Bars with a layer of lemon curd on top of an oat biscuit base.

All of the recipes above are easy to make and are fabulous food on the go. Ideal for packed lunches, picnics, or simply having something on hand at home that easily fits in a tin.

I deliberately left nuts out of this recipe so that more people on a restricted diet can enjoy it. I’ve also successfully switched butter for coconut oil in my Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks, which would make this recipe suitable for those with lactose intolerance.

It is my intention to make as many recipes as possible versatile, so that those with dietary restrictions can also have fun feasting!

Sammie xx

Delicious Alchemy provided the muesli mix for me to try. All opinions, views, content and photographs are my own. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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Red Onion Sausage Plait

This week just happens to be National Picnic Week and as you’ve probably realised by now, I’m a big fan of outdoor eating. My Red Onion Sausage Plait is perfect for picnics and many other meals too. Great quality sausage meat mixed with red onion marmalade, encased in golden, all butter puff pastry. Utterly delicious.

FF Red Onion Sausage Plait
Red Onion Sausage Plait full of flavour and texture.

The very nice people at Hawkshead Relish sent me some savoury relishes and marmalade to try out. I am a huge chutney fan – everything from jellies, to chutneys, relishes and marmalades. For this review, however, I wanted to use them as ingredients and see just how well they worked being in a dish as opposed to being spooned onto the side of a plate.

I have actually made this Red Onion Sausage Plait twice. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get good pictures the first time round. Nobody in our house was upset that I had to make this again. We all loved the flavour and added texture from the red onion marmalade that contains raisins and crunchy pine kernels.

FF Red Onion Sausage Plait
Red Onion Sausage Plait, juicy, crispy with incredible flavour.

So I set about making another Red Onion Sausage Plait, a little heavy hearted. I love, I mean absolutely, completely, adore this Red Onion Marmalade and I knew this would use the last of it. Still I cheered myself with the fact that it makes such a knockout recipe and that I’d be eating it for dinner!

FF Red Onion Sausage Plait
Red Onion Sausage Plait also great as a mid week meal with salad and potato wedges.

Warmed and served with a huge pile of salad and some potato wedges that I had in the freezer, this Red Onion Sausage Plait really does make a tasty, weekday meal. It’s easily made ahead uncooked, wrapped in cling film and kept in the fridge until dinner time. It only takes 40 minutes to cook, which I why, seeing as the oven was already on I whacked in some potato wedges from the freezer.

FF Red Onion Sausage Plait
The huge bowl of salad I made to accompany the meal also had thinly sliced red onions in it which echoed the flavours in the sausage plait.

The caramelised onion flavour works so well with the meaty pork sausage. This is definitely a firm, family favourite now. I look forward to eating this Red Onion Sausage Plait on picnics and for dinner many times in future.

Recipe: Makes one Red Onion Sausage Plait serves 4 – 6 people

450g/1lb Good Quality Pork Sausagemeat – free range or organic for preference

3 heaped tablespoons of Red Onion Marmalade from Hawkshead Relish

320g Ready Rolled All Butter Pastry Sheet – I used JusRoll

1 Medium Free Range Egg

Pinch of Sea Salt – I use Maldon

Method: Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan, gas mark 7

  • Line a large baking tray with baking parchment.
  • Place the sausage meat in a bowl with the red onion marmalade.
FF Red Onion Sausage Plait.
I enjoyed smooshing the mixture together with my hands!
  • Using a clean hand smoosh the mixture together, through your fingers, until it is fully combined. Set to one side and wash your hands.
  • On a clean work top unwrap the pastry sheet.
  • Place the sausage meat mixture down one side of the pastry, rather like a huge sausage roll, leaving a gap at each end and the side of at least 2.5cm.
F Red Onion Sausage Plait.
The right side of the pastry will fold over the sausage meat.
  • Crack the egg into a small bowl and whisk with a fork until well mixed – egg wash.
  • Dip a pastry brushing into the egg wash and brush all of the visible pastry (not the sausage meat) with egg wash.
  • Bring the right side of the pastry over the sausage meat so that both side edges are together.
  • Crimp with a fork or twist all the way around where the pastry layers overlap to seal them.
  • Transfer the Red Onion Sausage Plait to the baking tray – mine would only fit on at an angle!
  • Brush over the entire outside of the sausage plait with egg wash. Finally sprinkle with a little sea salt.
FF Red Onion Sausage Plait
Red onion Sausage Plait with diagonal slits.
  • Using a sharp knife cut light diagonal slits through the pastry. This allows steam to escape and enhances the look of the finished bake.
  • If not baking straight away, wrap the entire tray and sausage plait in cling film and store in the fridge – ideally it should be baked within 24 hours.
  • If baking straight away, place the baking tray in the middle of the hot oven and bake for 40-45 minutes. The sausage plait should be a deep golden colour and any juices should run clear – if in any doubt slice a portion off of the end and check. There should be no pinkness to the sausage meat – if there is pop back into the oven for 15 minutes and reduce the heat by 20C.
  • Once baked remove the Red Onion Sausage Plait from the oven and leave to cool slightly on the tray.

To serve, allow the Red Onion Sausage Plait to cool for at least 15 minutes, longer if possible. Slice into portions and serve with salad, new potatoes, or for ease potato wedges.

FF Red Onion Sausage Plait
Golden pastry and sausage meat with caremelised red onion.

To store and for packing up for a picnic, allow the sausage plait to cool. Cut into slices – I find a serrated knife is best when it’s cold. Pack the slices into an airtight container, or wrap in cling film. Store in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Delighfully savoury and full of texture, slices of this Red Onion Sausage Plait also make a welcome change to packed lunches!

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Red Onion Sausage Plait then here are some others you may also want to try:

Feta Red Onion Marmalade Quiche

FF Red Onion Sausage Plait
Feta Red Onion Marmalade Quiche.

Spicey Sausage Rolls

FF Red Onion Sausage Plait
Spicey Sausage Rolls

Sausage Plait With A Twist

FF Red Onion Sausage Plait
Sausage Plait With A Twist

Using the Red Onion Marmalade as an ingredient, rather than just as a condiment, has opened up a whole world full of flavours. I have so many more ides, from pasta dishes to soups, stews and a million more.

Do you ever use condiments in your cooking? Let me know in the comments section. I’m always interested to here and learn about new recipes and cooking methods.

Whatever you are cooking up in your kitchen, have fun preparing your feast!

Sammie xx

Hawkshead Relish provided me with a sample jar of their red onion marmalade. All views and opinions are my own. All content, recipes and photographs are my own and covered by copyright law of the land. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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Twisted Fruity Jam Tarts

Who loves the idea of eating jam tarts for breakfast? I certainly do. My Twisted Fruity Jam Tarts are a fun way to start the day.

FF Twisted Fruity Jam Tarts
Twisted Fruity Jam Tarts delicious for breakfast.

Inspired yesterday by a conversation on Twitter and with a spare packet of ready rolled, all butter pastry in the fridge, I challenged myself to come up with a twist on the regular jam tart.

The result were these Twisted Fruity Jam Tarts, that taste rather like a Danish pastry. Incredibly easy to make, the golden pastry hides an apricot half and strawberry jam. A final sprinkling of demerara sugar over the egg washed pastry, a quick bake and the result is a delicious, fruity, flaky pastry delight!

FF Twisted Fruity Jam Tarts
Twisted Fruity Jam Tarts so easy to make and easier to eat 😉

Having never tried to bake something like this before, I was unsure how they would turn out. I couldn’t have been more thrilled. Each twist is strong enough to hold the entire tart by, which makes them ideal as picnic and finger food.

The demerara sugar caramelises on the pastry, nudging each twist into a sweeter flavour sensation. Combining apricots with strawberry jam was utter genius. The softened, tart apricots are offset by the sweet strawberry jam.

FF Twisted Fruity Jam Tarts
Twisted Fruiy Jam Tarts a twist on a regular jam tart.

Making these Twisted Fruity Jam Tarts was one of those moments in the kitchen when everything goes to plan and turns out better than I could of ever hoped for. If I can make these, then you can to.

Recipe: Makes 6 Twisted Fruity Jam Tarts

320g Ready Rolled All Butter Puff Pastry – I used Just Rol

6 Apricot halves – I used tinned ones from Waitrose

2-3tbsp Good Quality Strawberry Jam- I used Hartleys Best Strawberry Jam

1-2tbsp Demerara Sugar -I used Billingtons

1 Medium Free Range Egg

Method: Preheat the oven to 210C/190C fan, gas mark 6-7

  • Unroll the puff pastry and ensure that you have a baking tray that fits the size of the pastry. Trim the paper that the pastry has been wrapped up in so that it fits within the tray, as you will be using it to bake the tarts on.
  • Using a sharp knife cut the pastry in 6 equal squares.

FF Twisted Fruity Jam Tarts

    This photo shows how to cut the squares.
  • Cut diagonally from each corner towards the centre two thirds of the way. See the photograph above.
  • Crack the egg into a small bowl and whisk – this is the egg wash.
  • Brush over each of the squares with the egg wash.
  • Place a scant teaspoon of strawberry jam in the centre of each tart.
  • Put half an apricot, flat side down, over the top of the jam.
FF Twisted Fruity Jam Tarts
Twisted Fruity Jam Tarts the delicious filling they contain.
  • Take the right hand point of the triangle at the front and place it over the apricot. Pressing down to secure the fold.
  • Next take the left hand point of the opposite triangle and do the same.
FF Twisted Fruity Jam Tarts
The pastry points should cover the apricot and jam.
  • Continue for each of the tarts placing a cocktail stick through the pastry and apricot in the centre to secure it whilst baking.
  • Next take the top right hand point of the triangle on the right of the tart and fold it so it is on top of the other point of the triangle.
  • Work in the opposite direction for the left hand triangle.
FF Twisted Fruity Jam Tarts
Each tart has an X type shape.
  • Brush the tarts with egg wash again and sprinkle over liberally with demerara sugar.
  • Place he Twisted Fruity Jam Tarts in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes and bake until they are puffed and golden.
  • Once baked remove the tarts from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack.
FF Twisted Fruity Jam Tarts
Twisted Fruity Jam Tarts delicious warm or cold.

The portion size of these delightfully fun and delicious tarts is perfect. Not having to transfer the tarts from a floured board to baking parchment really does make these so easy to whip up. Although I haven’t tried it, I suspect these Twisted Fruity Jam Tarts would also freeze well, for up to one month – defrost and then refresh by reheating in a moderate oven for 10 minutes.

I am definitely making a double batch next time!

In fact, I need to make these again soon as I am sure they would be delicious served warm with a scoop of my Very Vanilla Ice Cream!

So there you go easy peasy jam tarts, with a twist!

If you have enjoyed the recipe for these Twisted Fruity Jam Tarts, here are some others you may also like:

Blackberry Nectarine Tart

FF Twisted Fruity Jam Tarts
Blackberry Nectarine Tart a tasty quick dessert!

Spicy Sausage Rolls

FF Twisted Fruity Jam Tarts
Spicy Sausage Rolls with a little extra warmth added.

Perfect All Butter Shortcrust Pastry

FF Twisted Fruity Jam Tarts
Perfect All Butter Shortcrust Pastry for when you want to make your own!

Pastry is such a wonderfully versatile baking medium. I always have a stash of all butter puff pastry in the freezer. It is so handy when a quick meal, dessert, or even a decision to go out for the day tomorrow, as the weather looks good – picnic!

If you try these Twisted Fruity Jam Tarts please let me know how you get on? I love reading your comments and appreciate you taking time to write them. I also enjoy seeing your makes and bakes on Twitter and Instagram. Tag me in and I will be sure to give yo a shout out and retweet.

Whatever you are making and baking in your kitchens, I hope that you are having fun preparing your feast!

Sammie xx

 

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Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars

Hi lovelies, thank you so much for stopping by and taking a look at what I’ve been cooking up lately. Whilst the sun is still shining and the sky a most glorious blue colour, my mind is once again on portable food. Picnics, packed lunches, outdoor parties, or even just something to have mid morning with a cup of coffee in the garden. May I present these Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars!

FF Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars
Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars swirly, sparkly deliciousness.

A crunchy oat biscuit provides the base for these delicious bars. Topped with cherry jam and then a thick layer of light, vanilla sponge studded throughout with glacé cherries. The Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars are then finished with a drizzle of cherry icing and a sprinkle of edible glitter!

FF Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars
Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars perfect with a cup of tea.

Incredibly tasty, these bars also hold together really well, very important when being packed up for lunch or a picnic.

Feel free to sit in the sun with a cup of coffee and one of these Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars and simply stare at how beautiful and sparkly they are.

I would!

I did!!

FF Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars
Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars if you like cherries then you will love these.

For an afternoon tea, you could easily cut these into 24 smaller, bite sized delights – in fact, if you decide to do that, it may well be worth icing them after they have been cut. That way you can loop the icing around each individual square, making them look even more elegant.

No matter whether you make these as beautiful bars or simple, elegant squares, there is one thing guarenteed and that is they taste amazing.

A perfect combination of pretty and pretty yummy!

Recipe: Makes 16 Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars

For the biscuit base:

225g/8oz Caster Sugar

125g/5oz Unsalted Butter – softened to room temperature – plus a little extra for greasing the tin

Tiny pinch of salt – 1/8 tsp

50g/2oz Rolled Oats – not quick cook – I used Waitrose Essential Porridge Oats

225g/8oz Plain White Flour

1/2 Jar/4tbsp Cherry Jam – I used morello cherry

For the sponge top:

175g/6oz Unsalted Butter – softened to room temperature

175g/6oz Caster Sugar

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

3 Large Free Range Eggs

Scant pinch of salt – see biscuit base

175g/6oz Plain Flour

1.5tsp Baking Powder

175b/6oz Glacé Cherries

For the drizzle icing:

100g/4oz Icing Sugar

3tsp Black Cherry Syrup – I use Monin Syrup

if you do not have the syrup simple make up the icing adding a little extra water in lieu of the syrup – a tiny dot of pink food colour gel added will create a similar colour

1/4tsp Almond Extract – I use Nielsen Massey

Optional – edible glitter – I used holographic silver

Method: Preheat the oven to 175C/190C fan, gas mark 5

  • Lightly grease and line with baking parchment a 28cm x 20cm x 5cm (12″ x 8″ x 2″) swiss roll tin.
  • In a large bowl add the butter and sugar and whisk/beat until pale and creamy.
  • Add the oats, flour and salt and mix gently until the dough just comes together.
  • Tip the biscuit dough into the prepared pan and press into a single, even layer with your fingers.
  • Place the tin in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to allow the dough to rest.
  • After the dough has chilled place the tin into the centre of the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
  • The biscuit base will be a lovely golden colour. Once the cooking time has elapsed remove the tin from the oven.
FF Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars
Beautifully golden oat biscuit base.
  • Whilst the biscuit base is hot spoon over the cherry jam so that it covers the base but does not spread right to the edges.
FF Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars
Delicious morello cherry jam spread over the biscuit base.

Making the cake layer:

Reduce the oven temperature to 160C/140C fan, gas mark 3.

  • In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar until pale and creamy.
  • Add all 3 eggs and the vanilla extract. Whisk/beat until combined.
  • Reseve 1 tablespoon of the flour and sift the rest of the flour, salt and baking powder into the bowl.
  • Mix until the ingredients are just combined.
  • In a separate bowl toss the cherries in the reserved flour – this will prevent them sinking to the bottom of the cake whilst baking – although the cake layer in this Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars is not very deep, it is a good tip to remember.
  • Add the flour dusted glacé cherries to the cake batter and mix gently so that they are evenly dispersed.
  • Using a spoon, evenly dollop the cake batter over the biscuit/jam base.
  • Spread out the cake batter until it almost reaches the edges – I used the back of a metal spoon. The cake will spread to fill the pan whilst baking.
FF Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars
Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars ready for the oven.
  • Place the tin into the centre of the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes.
  • The cake layer is baked with it is a golden colour and springs back from a light touch.
  • When baked remove the tin from the oven.
FF Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars
Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars a beautiful golden colour when baked.
  • Allow the Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars to cool completely in the tin.
  • When cooled invert onto a baking rack and carefully remove the baking parchment.
  • Place another cooling rack on top of the tray bake and flip over again, your bake should now be cake side up.

Making the cherry drizzle:

  • Sift the icing sugar into a medium sized bowl.
  • Add the cherry syrup and stir.
  • Next add 3 teaspoons of cool tap water and the almond extract.
  • Stir to combine. You will have a thick, icing that will just hold it’s shape when piped.
  • Fill a small disposable piping bag with the pink, cherry icing.
  • Snip the very end of, leaving a small hole.
  • Pipe swirls and squiggles all over the top of the tray bake. Alternatively, use a teaspoon to lightly drizzle the icing over.
  • Dust with a sprinkle of your favourite edible glitter, if desired.
FF Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars
Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars decorated in black cherry swirled icing.
  • Allow the drizzle to completely set before slicing.
  • Transfer the Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bar slab onto a flat surface – I use a glass kitchen saver – don’t use your best knife for cutting as the glass will blunt it!
  • Cut down the centre length of the bake. Cut across the middle of the width to create 4 quarters. Cut each quarter into 4 bars
FF Double Cherry Oat Bars
Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars sparkling in the sunshine.

Take lots of photos of these utterly dazzling Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars just because they are so pretty! Also don’t forget to pop a picture on Twitter/Instagram, tag me in and I will retweet, or give you a shout out.

I know in previous posts that I’ve mentioned not taking ‘anything’ iced on picnics – however, these bars are so completely delicious I’m going to make an exception. The nutty flavoured oat base and hint of almond extract in the cherry drizzle work together in complete harmony with the cherry studded sponge creating a perfectly flavour balanced bar. They stop the Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars from being too sweet.

Ok so the smart ones among you (that’s everyone, just to be clear), may have notice that these ‘double’ cherry are in fact triple cherry drizzle oat bars. I’d already written most of this post, edited and labelled photos, so I thought I’d throw in the extra one for free 😉

If you have enjoyed these Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars, here are some other recipes you may like too:

Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks

FF Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars
Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks delicious oaty goodness.

Bakewell Shortbread Bars

FF Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars
Bakewell Sortbread Bars utterly yummy.

Sticky Pecan Sultana Buns

FF Double Chocolate Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars
Sticky Pecan Sultana Buns so easy to make and incredibly delicious to eat.

Eating outside, whether on a picnic, at a barbecue or even in the garden, is such a great way of getting together with friends old and new. There is something so informal and relaxing being in the great outdoors. I can see why so many people choose to get married outside, as it’s a great way of mingling a diverse combination of guests in a relatively informal environment.

We are planning a fab get together with our friends and neighbours over the coming weeks, so watch out for fun, feasting and barbecue recipes coming up.

Are you planning on any outdoor get together’s?

Do you enjoy the great outdoors  – even if it’s only your back garden?

Sammie xx

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Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks

I am so loving the longer daylight hours at the moment. Feeling as though I want to make the most of every drop of sunshine. Winter being a distant memory, I’ve been out in the garden, clearing, ready for sowing and planting. Don’t worry I have also been in the kitchen baking and these Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks are the delicious result.

FF Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks
Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks, slow release energy that’s delicious.

When the weather is warm and the sun is shining I simply love being in the garden. Listening to the chatter and chirruping of birds, feeling the warmth of the sun on my back, our garden becomes my haven again, after the long, cold winter months.

So being able to eat breakfast, or more usually brunch, outside is very much treasured. These Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks are perfect to munch on whilst sitting on our garden bench, hot cup of coffee to hand. Packed with slow energy release oats, they make a tasty, yet filling alternative to toast or cereal.

FF Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks
Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks so good with a cup of good coffee.

This recipe is so simple and quick. A few minutes in the kitchen melting, mixing, baking and cooling means that you can have a great, portable bar, that is perfect for breakfast on the go, packed lunches, getting through the late afternoon energy dip. Plenty of deicious bars to see you through the week.

That has to be a winning recipe – right?

FF Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks
Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks – crunchy, chewy bars of yum!

I love easy recipes – more so during the warmer months, when my passion for cooking and baking is matched by my passion for gardening. Yes I still have to work around my body (see – Living with siezures ), that just makes the time I have even more precious. Whilst in the winter I can happily spend all day – relatively speaking – in the kitchen, during warm spring and summer days my preference is to be outside.

My hubby jokes that I was born wearing Wellington boots! Whilst I may not be able to do the heavy digging of years past, I still like to get my hands dirty. I’ve also found, especially during the hotter months of summer, baking is best done first thing in the morning. That way there isn’t a hot oven baking bread, mid afternoon, just as the temperature outside is peaking.

Macadamia Nut Dried Apricot Flapjacks
Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks crunchy, chewy and full of flavour.

Back to the Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks! The macadamia nuts add a buttery crunch to these bars that I absolutely adore, however, I know they can be pricey. A great substitute would be almonds, either flakes or whole almonds that you chop yourself. I have used dried apricots that are the gorgeous tangerine orange of their fresh counterparts, however, if you prefer the darker, unsulphured apricots, use them instead. Good quality rolled oats, absolutely make these flapjacks the stars that they are.

I have specified that these Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks are gluten free, please check the labels of ingredients carefully to ensure that they are so. This is vital when baking for someone on a restricted diet. Their health absolutely cannot be compromised.

Recipe: Makes 12 Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks

250g/10oz Unsalted Butter – plus a little extra for greasing the tin

100g/4oz Golden Syrup (light corn syrup)

125g/5oz Light Brown Sugar

325g/11.5oz Rolled Oats (not quick cook) – I used Delicious Alchemy as they are 100% gluten free

150g/5oz Dried Apricots – chopped into rough quarters

100g/4oz Chopped Macadamia Nuts – I buy whole nuts and roughly chop them myself

Optional – 100g White Chocolate

Method: Preheat the oven to 180C/165C fan, gas mark 4

  • Grease and line a 8″ x 11″ – 20cm x 28cm swiss roll tin/shallow baking tin, with butter and baking parchment.
  • Into a medium saucepan add the butter and sugar. Warm over a medium heat, stirring until melted.
  • In a large bowl add the golden syrup.
  • Pour the melted butter/sugar mixture into the bowl containing the golden syrup. Stir continuously until combined.
  • Add the oats, chopped apricots and macadamia nuts and stir to thoroughly combine.
  • Tip the mixture into the prepared tin and press down using the back of a metal spoon, until the mixture is one even layer.
FF Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks
The Macadamia Apricot Flapjack mixture compacted into an even layer and ready for the oven.
  • Place the tin in the middle of the oven and bake for 20 minutes exactly.
  • The flapjacks will be a light golden colour when baked – do not be tempted to bake them for longer as this will result in them being hard, not chewy!
  • Once baked remove the tin from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  • When completely cooled remove the entire flapjack bake from the tin, using the excess baking parchment to help lift it out.
Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks
Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks ready for the finishing touch.
  • As seen above, cut down the middle length of the bake and then across the width.  Cut each quarter into 3 generous bars – you could cut each quarter into 4 making 16 individual flapjacks in total.
FF Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks
Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks with a drizzle of white chocolate.
  • To finish the flapjacks – chop the white chocolate into small pieces and place in a heatproof, microwaveable bowl.
  • Zap for 20 seconds at a time, stirring between each heating session.
  • When the chocolate is half melted, remove from the microwave and stir until completely liquid.
  • Fill a small disposable piping bag with the melted chocolate.
  • Snip off the very end of the bag, creating a small hole.
  • Pipe swirls or zig zags of chocolate onto each flapjack to provide a beautiful finish.
FF Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks
Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks as pretty to look at as they are delicious to eat.

Ooh how completely yummy do these Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks look?

A couple of notes: During the summer, once the flapjack bake has cooled to room temperature, if the ambient temperature is 25C or above, it may be worth popping the tin in the fridge for an hour to allow the flapjacks to completely set. Likewise, unless the flapjacks are stored in the fridge I would leave off the white chocolate drizzle. If these Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks are going to get warm throughout the day, whether in a packed lunch box, or a bag, the white chocolate will melt and create a whole lotta mess!

This is just my advice as a mum of three and wife to hubby who takes a packed lunch to work.

Im just sayin’!!!

Love these Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks? Here are a couple of other recipes you may like to try as well.

Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks

FF Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks
Coconut Almond Date Flapjacks

Bakewell Shortbread Bars

FF Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks
Bakewell Shortbread Bars

Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks

FF Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks
Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks

Whilst spending time in your kitchen, baking and cooking, have you ever thought of making extra and sharing some?

We all have people in our neighbourhood who are lonely and perhaps a little unhappy. Inviting them round for a chat over a cup of tea and delicious slice of cake, or flapjack, may seem such a small thing to us and yet can make the world of difference to someone else’s day.

Time seems to be so precious to many, which is why it is such a valuable gift to give.

Sammie xx

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Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins

I love a recipe that is versatile, which is exactly what the Cheese Bacon Breakfast Muffins recipe is. So I took that recipe, fiddled a bit and the result was these utterly delicious Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins!

FF Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins
Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins perfect warm from the oven.

I had ordered the ingredients with last weeks shopping, intent on making them during the week. Somehow I got distracted by other things, until today. Boy was I glad I waited. The cupboards, well fridge are always fairly bare on a Saturday as that’s the day our shopping is delivered. Having Hubby here to unpack and put things away, saves me from spending the following day in bed!

I kid you not see Living With Seizures if you’d like to know more.

Both our girls were out late, last night at a concert in London, so I knew the house would be fairly quiet this morning as they snoozed away upstairs. Little man was getting hungry and I suddenly remembered what I had stashed in the fridge. Phew!

FF Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins
Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins perfect for breakfast or brunch.

I made these Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins in less than 10 minutes, they cooked in 15 minutes AND I had enough for my photo shoot to let our little man munch happily away, whilst I snapped a few shots.

Oh my, these are good – I mean really, really, pass me another one good. The Chorizo could make them taste a bit like pizza, nothing wrong with that – but breakfast, hmm not so sure. That’s where the goats cheese kicks in and completely rounds out the flavours, bringing it back to breakfast, brunch time.

FF Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins
Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins a great way to kick start the day.

Brain is ticking now – watch this space for pizza style muffins!!

Back to the Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins – I cooked the chorizo first so that it would start to release it’s red paprika juices when mixed into the batter. Just a quick word, as my friend Liz from Teta Lizza’s Kitchen also emphasises, when making muffins don’t over mix the batter. A few floury streaks are ok. The best, lightest, yummiest muffins come from just mixed, lumpy batter. It is true.

It’s definitely worth checking out Liz’s blog, she’s an amazing cook and baker, whose food is so mouth wateringly good. I should know I made her Carrot Soup! She’s a great girl with a wicked sweet tooth, balanced by lots of healthy, beautifully presented recipes. Pop over to Teta Lizza’s Kitchen and say hi.

FF Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins
Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins utterly delicious.

Before you visit I’ll show you how these fantastic, lazy weekend, Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins are made 😉

Recipe: Makes 12 Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins

100g/4oz Sliced Chorizo

150g/5oz Goats Cheese

200ml Whole Milk

2 Large Free Range Eggs

4tbsp Vegetable Oil

350g/12oz Plain White Flour

2tsp Baking Powder

Good grinding of black pepper – to taste

1/2tsp Cayenne Pepper – plus a little extra to sprinkle on the baked muffins

Method: Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan, gas mark 6

  • Chop or dice the chorizo into 1cm pieces.
  • Cook in a dry frying pan until the chorizo starts to release its delicious paprika juices.
  • Remove and put on a plate to cool slightly.
  • Measure the milk into a jug. Add the 2 eggs and vegetable oil. Stir to combine – wet mixture.
  • Into a large bowl add the flour, baking powder, cayenne pepper and black pepper. Use a whisk to stir and combine.
  • Chop or crumble up the goats cheese into roughly the same sized pieces as the chorizo.
  • Add the chorizo and goats cheese to the flour mixture, stir to distribute – dry mixture.
  • Make a well in the centre of the dry mixture and pour the wet mixture in.
  • Stir with a fork until just combined.
FF Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins
Lumpy muffin batter makes the lightest muffins.
  • Line a muffin/cupcake tin with muffin cases – and yes I found mine!
  • Divide the batter equally between the 12 cases – ideally an ice cream scoop can be used – I forgot!!
  • Place the muffin tin in the centre of the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes.
  • Mine took 15 minutes.
  • The Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins are baked when they are firm to touch and golden on top.
  • When baked remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack.
  • Sprinkle the top of each muffin with a little bit of cayenne pepper.

These delightful Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins are best served warm and eaten on the day they are made. However, they can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days and refreshed by warming in the oven. They also make a great addition to packed lunches, as a change from sandwiches or wraps.

Now that Spring is firmly here and warmer weather is in sight, I will definitely be making these for picnics, perfect eaten alongside some cherry tomatoes and cucumber sticks.

FF Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins
Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins perfect to pack up for picnics.

Do you enjoy eating outside?

I must admit I’m yet to be converted to barbecues, yet I love nothing more than throwing a blanket on the lawn, or on rare good days, going to the seaside or park and having a picnic. Some of our best picnics have actually been in the rain, children sitting, welly boots on, on the flat boot of our car munching on scotch eggs, olives, carrot sticks and crisps. These Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins will be a new and very welcome addition to our picnic outings!

If you enjoyed this recipe for Chorizo Goats Cheese Muffins you may like these too:

Cheese Bacon Breakfast Muffins

BN Cheese Bacon Breakfast Muffins
Cheese Bacon Breakfast Muffins utterly delicious warm from the oven.

Super Light Scones

Cookies Super Light Scones
Super Light Scones

Toffee Banoffee Waffles

FF Toffee Banoffee Waffles
Toffee Banoffee Waffles serve straight away.

Whatever you are making and baking have fun and remember that food always tastes better when it’s shared.

Sammie xx

 

 

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