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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Oat Topped Lemon Shortbread Bars

Hi and thank you for dropping by. I have a delightful treat for you today, my – Oat Topped Lemon Shortbread Bars.

Oat Topped Lemon Shortbread Bars - totally delicious!
Oat Topped Lemon Shortbread Bars – totally delicious!

 

The other day I spotted a jar of Lemon Curd (unopened) in the cupboard. My brain started whirring with all the possibilities of how I could incorporate the Lemon Curd into my next bake. I didn’t fancy making pastry, let’s be honest, sometimes it seems like too much effort – even though it is really easy – anyhow, wasn’t feeling the pastry thing. Then I thought about a cake, but that wasn’t doing it for me either, I must’ve been having a funny day? Then I thought shortbread. But not as a biscuit, as a base. Yippee, I was finally getting somewhere. Everything good so far, shortbread base, slathered with lemon curd and then oats. Wasn’t quite sure how I was going to use them in the topping, just knew I needed oats – and that’s how these Oat Topped Lemon Shortbread Bars were born!

Oat Topped Lemon Shortbread Bars - these did not last long in our house!
Oat Topped Lemon Shortbread Bars – these did not last long in our house!

 

With the oat topping I decided to keep back a quarter of the shortbread dough and then crumble with the oats and pray that it would work – am not joking. It did! Although in all honesty, the bars were quite crumbly when I cut them up. Next time I would leave the whole tray bake intact, for at least a few hours, or even better overnight. The Oat Topped Lemon Shortbread Bars had firmed up beautifully by the next day.

Oat Topped Lemon Shortbread Bars - shortbread covered in lemon curd, then topped with oat crumble.
Oat Topped Lemon Shortbread Bars – shortbread covered in lemon curd, then topped with oat crumble.

 

Recipe : Makes 12 bars

225g/8oz Unsalted Butter – room temp

150g/5oz Caster Sugar

1/4tsp Salt

1tsp Vanilla Extract

1 Large Egg Yolk – room temp

275g/10oz Plain White Flour

310g/11oz Jar Lemon Curd

175g/6oz Rolled Oats – not quick cook

Method : Preheat oven to 185C/170C fan

Butter and line with parchment paper a 30cm x 20cm (12″ x 8″) at least 4cm (1.5″) deep tin.

Into a large bowl whisk the butter, sugar and salt until light and fluffy.

Add the egg yolk and vanilla extract, whisk until fully incorporated.

Next add the flour and stir with a spoon until just combined.

This is how your shortbread dough should look.
This is how your shortbread dough should look.

 

Reserve a quarter of the shortbread dough (for the topping).

Using the remaining shortbread dough, press lightly into the pan, so it forms an even layer.
Using the remaining shortbread dough, press lightly into the tin, so it forms an even layer.

 

Pop the tin into the oven for 10 minutes. This will form a light crust on, but not fully cook, the shortbread. After 10 minutes remove from the oven.

Immediately start spooning the Lemon Curd over the shortbread base
Immediately start spooning the Lemon Curd over the shortbread base.
Cover the entire shortbread base, just inside the edge.
Cover the entire shortbread base, just inside the edge.

 

Set to one side whilst you make the oat topping.

Add the oats to the remaining shortbread dough.
Add the oats to the remaining shortbread dough.
Using your fingers rub the buttery shortbread dough through the oats until you have an even crumble mix.
Using your fingers rub the buttery shortbread dough through the oats until you have an even crumble mix.
Starting at one corner sprinkle the oat crumble topping...
Starting at one corner sprinkle the oat crumble topping…
...until the entire top is covered. Very gently press down on the topping to slightly compact it.
…until the entire top is covered. Very gently press down on the topping to slightly compact it.

 

Place in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until the oat topping is golden in colour, then remove from oven.

Oat Topped Lemon Shortbread Bars - allow to cool completely in the pan.
Oat Topped Lemon Shortbread Bars – allow to cool completely in the tin.

 

Once completely cooled, cut lengthways down the middle of the bake. Then cut into bars. Remove and store in an airtight container.

Oat Topped Lemon Shortbread Bars - pre-cooking the shortbread layer ensures it is cooked through with a lovely golden bottom.
Oat Topped Lemon Shortbread Bars – pre-cooking the shortbread layer ensures it is cooked through with a lovely golden bottom.

 

I really cannot emphasise how gorgeous these Oat Topped Lemon Bars are. The buttery shortbread, topped with good, tangy, lemon curd and then the crunch from the oat crumble topping.

Oat Topped Lemon Shortbread Bars - it's a layer thing - it just works in THE most delicious way!
Oat Topped Lemon Shortbread Bars – it’s a layer thing – it just works in THE most delicious way!

 

Everyone who has tried these has loved them! That’s definitely a winner in my book (or blog!!!).

Perfect for sharing!

Please let me know what you think?

Sammie x

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Cranberry Oat Cookies

Hi, there. How are you today? I woke up and felt the need to bake – it’s been too long. Then I checked my posts and realise it’s been ages, I mean like a gazillion seconds, since I’ve posted a Cookie recipe!! So, today I bring you my Cranberry Oat Cookies.

Cookies - I need Cookies!!!!
Cookies – I need Cookies!!!!

 

Now that doesn’t mean I haven’t baked Cookies since the last Cookie post, just that I’ve baked Cookies I’ve already posted. Confused yet??? Any how I baked a a batch of Cranberry Oat Cookies. Oh my!! I think these may be my favourite Cookies today!!!

 

These Cookies are a mash-up of two previous recipes I’ve posted – Cranberry and Almond Cookies and Apricot and Oat Cookies!

So these delish Cranberry and Oat Cookies also have Almonds added!
So these delish Cranberry Oat Cookies also have Almonds added!

 

I really fancied Cranberries, Oats and Almonds. So I made these Cookies throwing in all the ingredients hoping they would turn out ok. Oooh they are so much more than ok they are scrumptious.

 

Scrumptious Cranberry and Oat Cookies - yum x
Scrumptious Cranberry Oat Cookies – yum x

 

Recipe :  Makes 18-20 Cranberry Oat Cookies

150g/5oz  Caster Sugar

225g/8oz  Unsalted Butter – room temp

1  Large Egg Yolk

1tsp  Vanilla Extract

1/2tsp  Almond Extract

1/4tsp  Salt – I use Kosher (no additives)

175g/6oz  Plain White Flour

175g/6oz  Oats – not quick cook

50g/2oz  Flaked Almonds

Method :

Preheat the oven to 175C (160C fan).

Into a large bowl add the butter, sugar and salt.  Beat together until pale and fluffy – I used an electric whisk, a stand mixer with the paddle attachment fixed is fine.

Add the egg yolk and vanilla/almond extracts and thoroughly mix in. Next add the flour, oats, cranberries and flaked almonds.  Mix until just combined.

Take about a heaped tablespoon of the Cookie dough and roll into a ball using your hands.  Place the Cranberry Oat Cookie dough balls onto baking sheets (line with parchment paper if not non stick).

Cookie Dough Balls
Cranberry Oat Cookie Dough Balls

 

Gently press down on the cookie dough balls so they just become flattened.
Gently press down on the cookie dough balls so they just become flattened.

 

Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Then remove from the oven.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Then remove the Cranberry Oat Cookies from the oven.

 

Once golden, remove from oven and allow to fully cool on the baking sheets.  This allows the Cranberry Oat Cookies to firm up.  These Cookies are particularly scrumptious with a nice, cold glass of milk.

Cookies and milk - the perfect combination.
Cookies and milk – the perfect combination.

 

One of my best friends has been unwell recently, a fresh delivery of Cookies will be just the boost she needs.

Who will you share your Cookies with?

Remember, food always tastes better when it’s shared.

Sammie x

 

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