Morning Rituals

“Can we make flapjacks?” comes the eager request most mornings as I peer out through my sleep deprived haze. This new ritual involves the Little Paddler climbing in to her helping box and transferring porridge oats from their storage bucket in to a baking tray and back again. Occasional queries of “Is this enough?” and “Mammy I made a mess – you clean it.” can be heard while I pump caffeine into my system. Coffee how I love you. I really am trying to cut back. But the struggle is real.

no better sound or smell in the morning than freshly percolated coffee

Some mornings the craving for coffee isn’t as primal and I feel enthusiastic enough to actually tackle flapjacks. Convincing the Little Paddler is another story. She subscribes to the school of “a bit of this, a dash of that and sure we’ll chuck it all in and hope for the best”. I have to admit, she didn’t lick that technique off the ground. 

But for flapjacks, I like to follow a bit of a recipe, if only because the liquid component is so limited and I don’t want the flapjacks turning out too powdery. I use a recipe I found by Nigella Lawson.  I have altered it slightly just based on what we have in the pantry but only slightly. The original recipe can be viewed here.

all you need

1 tin condensed milk

9 oz porridge oats

2.75 oz shredded coconut

9 oz trail mix or a mix of any dried fruit and nuts you fancy

4.5 oz mixed seeds – sunflower and pumpkin

Preheat oven to 130C. Grease two 9″ square tins or we just use two silicone trays.

Empty trail mix out in to a clean tea towel and wrap loosely. Arm your toddler with a rolling pin and let them loose. You want the large nuts cracked and broken in to small pieces. Depending on your toddler, safety helmets and eyewear may be required.

In a large saucepan, warm the condensed milk over a low heat. Stir regularly to prevent the milk catching. It needs to get things and runny without boiling.

not the most attractive at this stage

While milk is warming, mix dry ingredients together. Add to warmed condensed milk and stir till everything is well mixed and everything is covered in condensed milk.

Little Paddler’s second favourite bit as she gets to lick the spatula now

Divide mix between two trays and smooth mix out patting firmly to fill out corners and gaps. Bake for an hour.

Let cool for ten or fifteen minutes. Then tip out of tray and divide each tray in to 16 squares and let finish cooling. 

these don’t last long here unless I hide them

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