baking and moving, Bucks County molasses, Cunard voyages, easy bar cookie recipes, eggless baking, England, flapjacks, gluten-free baking, molasses flapjack recipe, molasses-nutmeg flapjack recipe, No Waste Food Challenge, Queen Mary 2, Tea Time Treats, trans-Atlantic cruise
I have another announcement to make today: one that is, in my opinion, even more exciting and delightful than announcing the publication of my first cookbook. And in order to make this announcement, it was necessary for me to make flapjacks.
I would have been making a traybake of some kind anyway for this month’s Tea Time Treats, but this announcement called for flapjacks in particular.
Why? Well, in the first place, they are quintessentially British; and secondly, they require almost no equipment and only four ingredients (or six, if you are feeling luxurious and want to add vanilla and nutmeg).
The first point is of consequence because I am travelling to England. The second is essential, because I am actually moving there, and our household goods are already on their way, leaving me very little to work with in the kitchen.
Yes, I am going back to England! I lived there before as a child, when my father was in the U. S. Air Force and stationed at RAF Dawes Hill in High Wycombe. We returned to the States when I was eleven, but I think I must have left my heart in England—I always wanted to go back. Fortunately, the rest of my family feels the same way, and now things have worked out so that we can—and I am impossibly happy.
As if moving to England were not exciting enough on its own, we are combining the move with our summer vacation and taking a Cunard trans-Atlantic voyage on the Queen Mary 2 to get there, instead of just flying. I’ve been on their voyages before, and they are simply wonderful—so elegant and refined, like stepping back into P. G. Wodehouse’s novel The Girl on the Boat.
I waited to announce this until the last minute: we sail from Brooklyn tomorrow. So, for the next eight days, don’t expect to hear anything from me. I’ll be wandering the ship’s promenade deck enjoying the salt breeze, dancing in the ballroom at night, reading novels in a deck chair by day, and, of course, eating many delicious meals.
I don’t know how long it will be after I arrive that I’ll be settled enough to start blogging again—I have to wait for the boat that is bringing over our household goods, you see, and they take longer than eight days. But I’m sure it won’t be too long, and I can’t wait to do my first post in my new home!
These flapjacks are my contribution to Tea Time Treats, the lovely blogging event run by Karen of Lavender and Lovage and Janie of The Hedgecombers. This month Janie is hosting the event, and the theme was Flapjacks and Traybakes. These flapjacks are truly a traybake: all I had to bake them on was a rather chintzy metal tray, since all my proper pans are already on their way to England!
I am also submitting them to the No Waste Food Challenge run by Elizabeth of Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary, which is being hosted this month by Anne of Anne’s Kitchen. As anyone who has had experience with moving knows, cooking during the last few weeks becomes a sort of game, trying to use up all the last odds and ends in the cupboards: “I have half a jar of molasses left! What can I do with it?”
Ingredients:5 oz. unsalted butter
¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
¼ cup baking molasses (not blackstrap)
2 ½ cups rolled oats
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F. Line an 8-inch pan with parchment paper.
2. In a medium-sized saucepan, melt together the butter, brown sugar, and molasses, just until the sugar is dissolved.
3. Remove from the heat and stir in the oats, nutmeg, and vanilla.
4. Pack the mixture smoothly into the prepared pan and bake until dark golden-brown all over, 25 to 30 minutes.
5. Remove the pan from the oven, and let the flapjacks cool slightly. While still warm, cut into squares with a sharp, thin knife. Remove flapjacks to a wire rack to finish cooling.
6. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Yield: 16 flapjacks