Thursday 4 July 2013

Treacle Flapjacks

"Ther gooth a brook, and over that a brigge,
Upon the whiche brook ther stant a melle"

The Reeve's Tale, Geoffrey Chaucer

When we were in the Lakes a few weeks ago, we decided to visit Little Salkeld Watermill, one of the few remaining working watermills in the country. It's a charming place. Loose chickens scratch around in the car park. At the back, you can walk down a tiny pathway through the bushes to see the clear water swoosh rhythmically down the wheel. If you climb the steep wooden stairs through the faint haze of dust you can see the huge, grooved millstones at work, grinding flour from wheat, barley, rye and spelt.

One of the millers took us on a very extensive tour, demonstrating and explaining how each part moved and linked to the next (I think he took a bit of a fancy to mum... though thankfully our visit didn't end up quite as eventful as Chaucer's tale). I really recommend it if you're nearby - it's fascinating to see the ancient technology in action.

The mill also has a lovely tearoom and shop where you can buy the flour. Though I didn't think they looked that interesting, I bought a treacle flapjack after our lunch, mainly out of curiosity. My first bite was ok. Yet as I kept eating, the flavours started to develop. By the end, I was smitten.

When I got home, I started playing around with various flapjack recipes. At first I didn't think an all-treacle flapjack would be right, so I used varying ratios of treacle to golden syrup. They were delicious (a tablespoon or two of treacle adds depth and takes away some of the sweetness) but they weren't what I'd eaten. I then found a Cranks recipe online and decided to brave a full treacle version. It worked.

They're dark, sort of malty, a tiny bit salty and incredibly addictive.

I've had serious issues resisting them. I ended up skipping supper one night - which very rarely happens - so I can definitely attest to their ability to keep hunger at bay (except for the hunger for more flapjacks, of course).

Treacle Flapjacks
(adapted from the Cranks recipe)

150g unsalted butter
75g black treacle
75g brown sugar
pinch of fine sea salt
225g porridge oats

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Crumple up a bit of baking parchment and line a 7"/18cm round tin (or similar). Add the butter, treacle, sugar and salt to a big pan and place over a low heat, stirring until the butter has melted. Turn off the heat then stir in the oats. Scoop into the tin and press down. Bake for 23-25 minutes until the edges have darkened. Leave to cool then slice up when they're just slightly warm (if you do it too soon they crumble). They keep in an airtight tin for 4-5 days, maybe a bit longer.

(Makes 12-14 small flapjacks)

Three other posts that involve oats:
2012: Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies
2011: Porridge
2009: Ginger Oat Biscuits


  1. Sarah - The Sugar Hit5 July 2013 at 00:22

    Sounds like a lovely little trip! And I think that these complex, spicy flapjacks would be perfection.

  2. poiresauchocolat5 July 2013 at 07:58

    It was amazing, the way the mill works is so impressive. They look very boring but they really are gorgeous - I hope you make them at some point.

  3. Louise Marston5 July 2013 at 08:49

    They look delicious. I love the idea of the sweetness tempered by a bit of bitter from the treacle and the salt.

  4. Treacle flapjacks sound like a very good thing. Although I can't imagine ever skipping supper completely, I'm pretty sure I could eat several of these in one sitting :-)

  5. I do love a good flapjack and these look very good - I love the rich, dark flavour of the treacle.

  6. I love to bake flapjack and have various recipes but I haven't tried "all-treacle". I can sort of imagine the flavour but can't wait to try it to see if my imagination is right! My favourite non-golden syrup recipe has concentrated apple juice in place of the syrup,and has the addition of chopped apple and cinnamon. Yummy!

  7. The flapjacks are lovely, I love treacle, always put in hot milk in the cold months. The flapjack looks dark and rich and makes the perfect breakfast or snack.

  8. I'm always looking for a fantastic flapjack recipe (we are deprived here in the US) and these look brilliant. Seriously cannot wait to make them. Sounds like a lovely trip as well :)

  9. I have been using the Cranks recipe for over 20 years using molasses but not tried with treacle. Will be interested to try your version.

  10. poiresauchocolat8 July 2013 at 12:30

    It does temper it beautifully. I hope you try them, they're so simple.

  11. poiresauchocolat8 July 2013 at 12:31

    Hehe well skipping supper very rarely happens - I was just too stuffed with flapjacks to eat anything else (I had been eating them at 6pm or so, so it probably would be more accurate to say that I ate flapjacks for supper...).

  12. poiresauchocolat8 July 2013 at 12:32

    Me too - I love the way it has an almost mineral flavour. It is an acquired taste, though!

  13. poiresauchocolat8 July 2013 at 12:33

    It's a nice variation - I wonder if they do match up to your imagination! Do let me know if you try them. Concentrated apple juice, apple and cinnamon sounds lovely.

  14. poiresauchocolat8 July 2013 at 12:34

    Oooh treacle milk! That sounds amazing, I'll have to try that. Hope you get to try them - I bet you could double up and have them with treacle milk...

  15. poiresauchocolat8 July 2013 at 12:35

    Thanks Emilia, I hope you do try them! Let me know how they go.

  16. poiresauchocolat8 July 2013 at 12:35

    Oh how interesting, I wonder if there will be a difference. Do let me know if you try, I'd love to hear more.

  17. I made them yesterday and ,yes,they do taste like I imagined...just like the toffees that got left in the tin of mixed toffees when I was a kid because my sister and I didn't like the strong treacle flavour. It must be a flavour you grow into as I love it now,so they shall now be known as "grown-up" flapjacks.Whilst they were cooking I took a look in my one Cranks cookbook which is a 1985 edition and there was the recipe and I had never tried it! So,thankyou for bringing it to my attention.

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  19. poiresauchocolat21 July 2013 at 18:07

    I thought of them as grown-up flapjacks too - I'm glad you enjoyed them! Good to know it was in the book, too.

  20. I've had a flapjack craving ever since eating my friend's version studded with dried apricots. Huge treacle fan.

  21. I made these today. Very interesting complex flavour. I agree that they 'grow on you' after a few bites and that they are 'grown up'. Thank you.

  22. poiresauchocolat20 August 2013 at 18:06

    Dried apricots sound like a lovely addition. I hope you try these one day - if you like treacle I think you'll like these too...

  23. poiresauchocolat20 August 2013 at 18:07

    I'm glad you enjoyed them! They do have a complex flavour, I agree.

  24. I used your recipe last week. Result was delicious flapjacks which did not last very long. Thank you

  25. poiresauchocolat2 November 2013 at 12:05

    That's great! Thanks for telling me how they went.

  26. Oh my god. Just made these and they're ridiculously moreish! I made the mistake of letting my four year old try one and he's requested it for his desert. I'm just hoping my wife isn't a fan. Can't be giving these to everyone now, can I?

  27. carol postlethwaite5 March 2014 at 20:05

    Also very popular on the night shift

  28. I usually fail when it comes to making flapjack, and I'm sure that's because I think it should be healthy, so I never add enough "goo"!! I will give this recipe a go and I'm sure it will reverse my flapjack bad fortune! Thanks! X


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