Last Friday, in between editing photos for a client, packing my suitcase for a weekend trip to Jersey, publishing a post on the blog and promoting Creating for Good’s next fundraising event, I somehow found the time to bake these Oat Bars with Nuts, Chocolate Chips & Caramel Topping.
I have barely cooked or baked anything in the last few months, even though I love baking and I also have a pile of new cookbooks waiting to be tested.
I realised that it wasn’t going to happen unless I assigned time in my schedule for it. Yes, I have work to do for my clients and for my blog. Yes, I have dozens of pending blog posts to write. But I enjoy being in my kitchen, so I definitely want to make more time for it.
I travel a lot and I spend many hours in airports, eating snacks on the go, like the irresistible Pret’s Love Bars. Have you ever tried them? They are delicious flapjacks with a crunchy topping of pistachios, almonds, pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate chips, embedded in a soft caramel cream.
Every time I eat one of those bars from Pret, I wonder how hard can it be to make it at home? So I tried to recreate them and this is the result.
As you can imagine, flapjacks are not a low calorie snack, as they are packed with butter, golden syrup and, in this case, nuts and chocolate. They are damn tasty, though.
They are a delicious treat. Personally, I love them with a cappuccino for breakfast or as mid-morning snack.
Flapjacks, oat bars or granola bars are super easy to make at home with oats, butter and golden syrup, baked in the oven for 20 minutes. Side note: I also LOVE to make granola and this recipe is the best!
For the topping, you can easily make the caramel sauce yourself, using light brown sugar, unsalted butter and double cream. Or you can buy caramel from a store.
I had a jar of Bonne Maman salted caramel, so I used that instead of making the sauce from scratch. I warmed the caramel with melted butter and then poured it over the baked oats, although you can probably just use the caramel as it is – straight out of the jar.
For the flapjack base
- 150 grams golden syrup
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 200 grams unsalted butter
- 350 grams rolled oats
- 60 grams soft brown sugar
For the topping
- 300 grams caramel (I used Bonne Maman)
- 50 grams unsalted butter
- 30 grams pumpkin seeds
- grams chocolate chips
- 35 grams pistachios
- 35 grams flaked almonds
Pre-heat the oven to 150C. Grease a 23cm baking tray.
To make the base, warm the syrup, honey and butter until blended together in a large pan over a low heat. Add the oats and soft brown sugar and mix well.
Put into the baking tin and bake for 20 minutes or until the surface is lightly browned but not dark. Remove the tin from the oven and leave aside to cool completely. You can choose to keep it in the fridge for 30′ at this stage.
Tip the caramel and butter into a small saucepan, and bubble for 5 mins, stirring continuously, until the mixture turns dark golden brown and thickens a little. Pour the hot caramel over the flapjack and spread with a palette knife.
While still warm, sprinkle over with the pumpkin seeds, pistachios, flaked almonds and chocolate chips.
Leave to cool completely in the tin before cutting into bars. Keep the bars in the fridge, but let them go back to room temperature before serving.
Recipe adapted from Nigella.com
These photos were taken with my Nikon D600 using Carl Zeiss lenses I received as a loan: Milvus 2.0/100mm; Otus 1.4/55mm.