On Thursday evening, after I’d got back from my lovely pre and post natal Pilates classes I realised I needed to rustle up something tasty for our impending Paralympics adventure.
I’d wanted to make cashew and apricot oat bars but had neither apricots nor cashew nuts in the house. I could have gone with traditional flapjacks but I’m always searching for a non sugar alternative and felt the sweetness of dates should work as an alternative to all that sugar and syrup.
I did my usual Google search and discovered a few recipes for date and walnut flapjacks (which I had in plentiful supply). One on mumsnet and another from the luscious Nigella. The recipe that follows is a combination of the two with a little Karen magic thrown in.
I have included a little sugar in the recipe to help make the bars stick together but they don’t hold like a traditional flapjack. They are however divine! The combination of dates and butter gave me a real sticky toffee pudding hit which I wasn’t expecting.
You can tweak the recipe for yourself (you might want to try adding cinnamon) but this is the one that works for me.
Sticky Date and Walnut Flapjacks
125g unsalted butter
1 tbsp runny honey
25g caster sugar
100g chopped dates
1/4tsp bicarbinate of soda
50g walnut pieces
1tsp vanilla extract
2tbsp ground flaxseed (optional)
Grease and line an 8″ square cake tin (I’ve used two loaf tins).
Preheat the oven to GM4 or 18o degrees (lower for fan assisted ovens).
Put the chopped dates in a pan with just enough water to cover and the bicarbinate of soda. Heat them gently and let them simmer for 5 minutes. This will soften the dates and create a syrup. Take care not to heat to much or the syrup becomes dark and the bars won’t be as good!
Add the butter, sugar, honey, vanilla extract and walnuts to the pan and heat until the butter has dissolved.
Add the oats to the mixture and ground flaxseed if using. You may need more oats if there is lots of liquid remaining.
Push the mixture into the bottom of the pan and cook for 20 minutes. I set a timer for mine since if they catch they’ll be chewy and bitter.
When you take the flapjacks out mark into bars but leave to cool completely before taking them out.
And as Isaac would say … “mmmm … num num num.”
Let me know how your’s turn out x