27 November 2012

you say flapjack, I say flapjack

Everybody knows that in America biscuits are called cookies. And I'm led to believe that they call scones* biscuits. And by scones, I mean scones, not what sassanachs refer to as drop scones. Drop scones are pancakes. By which I mean pancakes, and not what the French call crepes or what the Americans have for breakfast. And then I heard that Americans sometimes call pancakes flapjacks.

So what do Americans call flapjacks?

Confused yet? Let's not even get started on macaroons...

The Boss' new best friend was coming over for tea after school, and I had no shopping in. What to do? The answer was flapjacks. Because every Scottish household has porridge oats, and everything else can be cobbled together.

While I knew the principles, I'd never actually made flapjacks before. So it might have been a bit of a risk to allow the quantities to be dictated by what I had left in various packets. But they turned out pretty good.

They are so quick too. I put the Dragon Baby in his bed at noon, and the flapjacks were in the oven with the dishwasher loaded twenty minutes later.

It might have been beginners luck. Meaning that I'll have to make these many more times. Just to be absolutely sure.

spiced seed flapjacks
makes 20
200g unsalted butter
2 tablespoons runny honey
6 generous tablespoons golden syrup
325g porridge oats
1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
generous pinch ground nutmeg

- preheat oven to 180*C
- roughly line a tin of some kind with parchment (mine is... hang on let me go and measure it... a 20cm x 26cm rectangle. A touch smaller might be better because the flapjacks will be thicker.)
- oil your tablespoon measure (this prevents the syrup and honey sticking to your spoon)
- put butter, honey and syrup in a pan to melt
- mix the dry ingredients together and pour into the pan with the liquids
- mix together and press into the lined tin
- bake for 20 minutes
- let your tea steep while you cut the flapjack into squares in the tin
- let them cool on a wire rack (except the warm one that you have with your tea)

*Scone rhymes with gone in my house btw. When scone rhymes with phone my skin crawls. No idea why.


  1. Whatever you want to call them...they look great! I've never made flapjacks either and keep saying I should...if they only take 20 minutes maybe I will :-)

  2. beautiful... I made flapjacks for the first time this year and they were so golden and yummy. I loved them... and call them by their proper name... FLAPJACKS!!!

  3. I think you might find the terms change according to region in the U.S., but in the northern Midwest (Ohio) a cookie is your biscuit, though a tastier version (if I dare say) than a crisp "biscuit" esp if made at home. A cookie usually contains eggs and butter or shortening. A biscuit is fluffy and soft in the middle, and usually rather tasteless thus eaten with butter and jam or honey. A scone, rhymes with phone and bone is similar to the biscuit but usually tastier with additions of sweet or savory flavors (ie cheese or fruit). Neither biscuits nor scones usually contain eggs. A pancake has egg and milk or buttermilk and butter, is runny and is poured onto a griddle, cooked for a few moments and then flipped and finished.

    Your flapjack sounds like our coffee cake, though the absence of eggs is curious. :-)

    1. Brilliant!! You know your stuff lady! I think we're on the same page (but I didn't know the distinction between biscuits and scones; here it's all just plain scones or cheese scones or fruit scones etc). Now I have to go and look up coffee cakes (which would be a coffee flavored sponge cake round these parts; and my absolute favourite!)

    2. Our coffee cake would be any simple, generally unfrosted, cake that goes well with coffee, or tea as the case may be.

  4. Have to second SCMom, she nailed the lingo! Yeap, leave it to the Americans to make everything more complicated! ;)

    1. I certainly wouldn't presume to blame it on the Americans; we're hopelessly capable at tangling our language in knots!

  5. biscuits, flapjacks, pancakes, cookies..
    who cares what they're called.
    If you're serving, I'm eating.

  6. Biscuits are light and fluffy, scones are meant to eat with your tea (as they are NOT light, NOR fluffy). They are more like bread, a cookie is a sweet treat. I would call your flapjack a "bar"... :) juist to complicate things!

  7. I agree with you on the pronunciation of scone!

  8. And that's another vote from me for your pronunciation. The flapjacks look scrummy, I've bookmarked the recipe :D

  9. Haha, sometimes you wouldn't think that the US and the UK are supposed to be speaking the same language :D I sometimes say cookies instead of biscuits (UK biscuits that is), but otherwise use the British version of the names. We have several North Americans in our lab, so it does sometimes lead to confusion! I couldn't agree more with you about the pronunciation of scone – it always amuses me how divisive a topic it can become though. Your flapjacks look scrumptious! I've never actually tried making them, which is ridiculous since I have all the ingredients in my cupboards.


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