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Chocolate bran flapjacks

Now Arthur, my 4 year old, has started ‘big’ school, he is expending so much more energy than he used to. We always got him out and about before, he was always very active, but I don’t think anyone can prepare you for how tired they get due to the sheer increase in mental and physical expenditure. At about 4.30pm we get full on histrionic meltdowns over the tiniest things: “Bea took a piece of my leeeeggggggoooooooo!!”, accompanied by pained wailing as though you just told him the end of the world was nigh. Then, at about 4.35pm, having only been home for about 45 minutes and just recovered from his breakdown, he starts enquiring as to the ETA of dinner.

To tackle this I have to do one of two things: get dinner on the table no later than 5pm, like, not 5.01pm or 5.11pm, but on the dot. Or, the minute he walks through the door, shove something ideally chocolatey and usually vaguely nutritious into his little hands to scoff. If I have an after school snack ready for him to devour then it buys me an hour, so dinner can be closer to 6, which is great as Adam sometimes gets home for then.

I created these by adapting (and modernising) a very old Be-Ro recipe for flapjacks that also contained cornflakes. I added a chocolate element, halved the sugar and swapped cornflakes for bran flakes (great for using up the powdery stuff at the bottom of the box). Try it with cornflakes and no cocoa for a plainer effect. Yes, I know it has unhealthy golden syrup in, but it’s not much and, I don’t know about you, but I have some leftover from Christmas that needs to be used up.

I made these with my 2 year old, it’s a perfect one to get the kids involved in, as it’s so easy.

Makes: 16 squares
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes

200g butter
2 tablespoons of golden syrup
100g sugar
100g oats
100g self-raising flour
150g crushed bran flakes
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and line a square or rectangle tin of about 23cm (9in) x 23cm proportions. 
  2. Melt the butter in the microwave. Add the sugar and syrup. 
  3. Stir this wet mixture into the dry: the crushed flakes, oats, flour, and cocoa. Also add the vanilla extract. Mix well. 
  4. Press the mixture firmly into the tin. Bake for 20 minutes. 
  5. Let it cool in the tin, then take out and cut into 16 pieces. 



  1. November 13, 2014 / 6:44 pm

    Hi Vanesther – sorry just seen this – I'll check it out! X

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