Tuesday, 5 November 2013


I thought I knew all of the cookery books that Mum owns but, when I was there the other day, I came across this very battered little gem. Family Fare was published by The Co-operative Wholesale Society - yes, the good old Co-op - and we think it dates from the late 50s/early 60s as Mum bought it when she worked for them. At that time it sold for the very reasonable price of 1/6 (1 shilling and 6 pence).

Naturally, the first sections I turned to were for cakes, scones and biscuits and it was here that I found Firelighters. The name alone seemed perfect for a recipe to share on Bonfire Night.

As the book was published by the Co-op, the recipes are used to promote their products such as Wheatsheaf evaporated milk, Eskimo frozen cod and Silver Seal margarine. This one though used Cremo oats. Despite a good hunt on the internet I couldn't find out what kind of oats these were but, since firelighters seemed to be a kind of flapjack, I guessed at rolled oats. It was only afterwards that I thought to search for 'firelighters' and came across a traditional recipe called Stanhope Firelighters. The difference is that this one includes coconut and I've added my own twist of glace cherries to represent the glowing embers of the fire.


100g soft brown sugar
100g butter
1 tbsp golden syrup
200g rolled oats
25g dessicated coconut
1 tsp baking powder
75g glace cherries, quartered
pinch of salt

1. Preheat the oven to Gas 4/180C/160 Fan
2. Melt the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a pan.
3. Mix together all of the dry ingredients in a bowl, including the cherries.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix thoroughly.
5. Press into a 28 x 18 cm tin, or whatever size you have to give a depth of about 1.5cm.
6. Bake for 20 minutes.
7. Leave in the tin but, while still warm, cut or score into pieces and leave to cool.

A sweet treat to enjoy by the bonfire :)

I'm at my yoga class tonight so won't be going to our usual fireworks display. If the weather is still fine when I get home, we might wave a few sparklers around in the garden. Hope you have a lovely evening wherever you are and stay safe. x


  1. Yumm these look delicious, I'm sure my son would love them as he's a great fan of flapjacks. In fact I baked some yesterday.

  2. These look gorgeous, my husband adores flapjacks. Thanks for the recipe.
    Marianne x

  3. These look really good and like you, I love the name of them, firelighters.
    Glace cherries, we have them here, but I remember that they were very good in England.
    What a great addition to this recipe, very clever. xx

  4. Ohhh those look really good - I'll have to convert the measurements - and figure out what golden syrup is - but I'll get to it soon - they look great.

  5. I just love old recipes like this one, thank you so much for sharing it. What an evocative name! I like flapjacks a lot, and these look like a sort of cross between flapjacks and maracoons, which makes them delicious. x

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