Granola

I’ve been dying to make homemade granola for ages. Granola is a staple for my breakfast almost everyday of the week. So when my dad came up this past weekend for parents day and we embarked on an extravagant food shopping expedition, I decided that this would be the perfect time to buy all the ingredients. He was buying I figured, so why not 😉

Anyway, I was a little worried, because as I have said before, our oven is a little faulty, but that proved not to be the problem. To start, I doubled the batch, so there were A LOT of oats. I put it on one baking sheet at first, but after 20 minutes and no browning happening whatsoever, I transferred half to another sheet with much better results. The biggest mistake of the evening came when I took the sheets out of the oven and placed them on top of the stove. I went back to my halloween decoration making at the table when one of my roommates noted that something smelled like it was burning. I ignored it, assuming some oats had just fallen into the oven and they were burning off, but when I noticed smoke actually rising up from one of the cookie sheets, I knew something was wrong. I realized that I had left the stove on from when I was melting the butter, so the entire middle section of the cookie sheet was scorched. Thank goodness it was only a little bit, otherwise it would have been a huge waste of granola.

DSC03992

All in all, besides the mini stove debacle, I’d say my first attempt at granola making was very very successful. I put the cranberries in before I baked it, which was a mistake, but it turned out fine – they were just a little harder but still yummy. Next time, I think I’ll try it without butter and perhaps use molasses in addition to the honey and maple. I’d say it will definietly become a staple for me 🙂

SIMPLE GRANOLA

(Adapted from Cookingforseven)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup shredded or chipped coconut
  • 1 cup nuts of choice, chopped coarse (I used pecans)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (I used agave, since maple syrup is far to expensive)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup dried fruits (I used cranberries)

DIRECTIONS:

1) Preheat oven to 300° F and place rack in center of oven. Either grease or line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2) In a large bowl combine the rolled oats, coconut, nuts, and salt.

3) In a small saucepan set over medium low heat, melt the butter. Remove from heat. Stir in the honey, maple syrup, and vanilla. Pour this mixture over the dry ingredients and toss together, making sure all the dry ingredients are coated with the butter mixture.

4) Spread onto the prepared baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown, stirring every five minutes. Do not over bake.

5) Place on a wire rack to cool. You will notice that the granola is still sticky when you remove it from the oven but it will become crisp and dry as it cools. Once the granola has completely cooled stir in your choice of dried fruits if desired. (I forgot this part. Whoops) Store in an airtight container or plastic bag. It will keep for several weeks.

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