An Offensively Easy Flapjack Recipe

You know when you’ve got a craving for something, and you can’t stop thinking about it? That’s been me with flapjacks this week. Home made, the ones you get in little cafes, even the little squares from Sainos that I swear are just butter and sugar and oats. Not that this recipe is much better.

flapjacks are really lovely

It’s barely a recipe really. 2 parts oats, 1 part butter, 1 part brown sugar and a squeeze of golden syrup, all chucked into the food processor and whizzed about for a bit until it all came together. I then chucked in some raisins because I’m super healthy like that and mixed it all up. Squished it into a tin lined with parchment paper (get a big piece bigger than the tin, scrunch it up and run under the tap. It softens up the paper so you don’t have to cut it down to size and it makes it easier to pull out of the tin because it’s all one piece. Pop it into the oven at 180C / 350F (I don’t know the gas mark. Does anyone even use gas mark any more, the only place I ever used it was at school) for about 20 minutes.

This recipe is easily made vegan (veganised? veganable?) by switching what butter you use. Apparently golden syrup is vegan (at least the one from Lyle is, but lets face it, there is no other syrup) and isn’t too difficult to find in the US – I picked some up at my new favourite shop Cost Plus World Market but I noticed that the supermarket QFC near my house sells some in the breakfast aisle.

Go make some but don’t blame me if you eat the whole pan at once.

#dumplingfest

Dumplings!

Dumplings dumplings dumplings, dumplings.

 

Wait, that doesn’t make sense. Let’s start again.

DUMPLINGS!

The first week of May is Bristol Food Connections week, where lots of different events happen all over the city as part of a big food festival. Two of my favourite tweeters, @waiyeehong and @restingchef are getting together to host a dumpling making workshop, and I had a sneaky preview one Sunday afternoon when the craymart needed to test the recipe. Obviously, I couldn’t say no because, well, dumplings.

So! We put together a pork based filling which was quite unphotogenic

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For the first batch of dumplings, we used ready made wrappers. You can buy these frozen from Wai Yee Hong if you’re in Bristol, or you can make your own with just flour and water.

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A small amount of filling is put on the wrapper, and if they’re frozen, you need to wet the edges so it will stick together.

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Pinch, pinch, pinch…

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Once we had made enough, we cooked some off because testing is super important, you know.

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Oooh, look at those dumplings! Crispy and delicious, with a bit of sauce on the side to dip into.

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While photos and videos can show you how something is done, being shown in person is even better, so if you’re free on Saturday 9th May, head over to the Wai Yee Hong website and book your spot on the dumpling making workshop. You’ll learn how to fold jiaozi, how to cook them and…ok, you don’t need any help eating them, but you will get a bag of ingredients from Wai Yee Hong to go with your creations and will be shown other things like how to make wontons and other ways of folding.

(Oh, and if you’re not really the cooking type, you can buy ready made dumplings from the craymart, and you can go to one of the supper club events because Danielle makes one of the best roast dinners in Bristol)

Cookie Survival

First – I apologise for these photos. Apparently it’s been so long since I blogged, I forgot that photos in the evening in October are bloody awful. In fact, I can’t even bear to show you the finished cookie because it was half 9 in the evening and even with my lights everywhere, it still looked rubbish.

Another rubbish thing about October is that it’s starting to get cold and you really want something sweet to eat, but you can’t be bothered to go out. Let me introduce you to my favourite thing – frozen cookie dough.

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It doesn’t look like much, but after a few minutes in the oven (or…um…a few minutes on the side to soften up a bit DON’T YOU JUDGE ME – it’s like the cookie bits in Ben and Jerry’s, but with ingredients that you can actually pronounce) you’ve got a sweet treat to eat any time. (And it’s easy to just bake one or two at a time – this recipe is great if you want to bake but don’t want to end up with a dozen cupcakes to eat yourself)

The basic cookie mix is made of:

  • 225g self raising flour
  • 150g butter
  • 150g sugar (caster preferably, but lets face it, this is the sort of recipe that you can put together from anything in your cupboard, so granulated is fine)
  • 1 tbsp milk

Line a few baking trays with greaseproof paper, and if you’re going to be baking some off now, preheat the oven to 200C.

I’m pretty lazy with cooking (have you ever seen my fairy cake recipe?) “Whack everything in the food processor” is my default for recipes because it’s one bowl to clean (I weigh everything straight into the bowl) and it’s just so much less faff. If you’re like me, first put your butter into the food processor and pulse a few times to break it up a bit. Put the flour and sugar in, and mix for a few minutes until it starts to combine. Use the milk if needed to make it stick together better (You’ll be able to judge this best).

If you like to do things properly, beat the butter to soften it up, then add in the sugar to make a grainy buttery paste (mmm…er….don’t eat it.) then sift in the flour and combine it all together along with the milk.

Now your dough is ready, add in your flavours. Chocolate pieces or chips work well (of course)

Roll your dough into balls, and put on the trays. If you’re going to bake them, spread them out, but if you’re going to freeze them, you can bunch them together a bit more, then pop the baking tray into the freezer for a few hours. Once they’re hard, put them into a tupperware box and put back in the freezer for emergencies.

Bake for 10 – 15 minutes depending if you want a lovely soft cookie or a nice biscuitty type one. If you’re baking straight from the freezer, give it an extra minute or two – just keep an eye on it. There are no eggs in the recipe, so it’s OK to under bake them a little bit.
If you do bake for a shorter time, let the cookies harden slightly when you take them out of the oven because you’ll burn your mouth and they’re still very soft and fall apart when they first come out. Still yummy though.