Granola craving satisfied
I’ve been thinking about making granola again. The other morning I decided to just do it, that I’d probably have the granola done by the time I was ready to eat anyway. It worked. I finally got to cross, “make granola” off my mental to do list. Until I run out and crave it again anyway. Apparently I get the urge to make granola in the fall. And the last two morning have felt like fall – it is such a beautiful time of year here, but I find fall so sad, I mourn the loss of excessive daylight, and the ability to wear open toe shoes comfortably.
Recently I read about making granola stay in bigger chunks (I think it was while reading Cook’s Illustrated) so that has been stuck in my mind. But none of the recipes I had bookmarked seemed quite right so I sort of winged it. I started by following this recipe, and then eyeballed this recipe (note: also mentions the trick to bigger chunks of granola). I used brown rice syrup instead of honey because I have some I want to use up and am out of honey. I spiced it with cinnamon, ginger and vanilla. I did a mix of pecans, pepitas, and pistachios (oh hello alliterative nuts). I used coconut flakes, diced dried apricots and dried cranberries. Basically the only two ways I followed the first recipe is that I started with 2 cups of oats and used a teaspoon of cinnamon. I managed to have the right amount for one tiny (10 x 15) cookie sheet. My tiny cookie sheets are as big as my oven will fit. A couple weeks ago I made scones, the recipe has a high yield that fills 2 regular (half-sheet) size pans; it took 3 or 4 rounds of baking to finish off the dough; And that favorite recipe has been shoved to the back of the recipe box. I did make the wonderful discovery, that since I now have a microwave, I could measure, mix and heat up the liquids all in the same pyrex measuring cup.
Back to the granola. Wow. It turned out some chunky granola. The edges ended up a little bit burnt, but the kind of burnt the teeters on the edge of dark caramel flavor. I nibbled on a few edges as though they were granola bar bits. I actually think I should have broken up the granola earlier, or maybe stirred it during the first half of baking. But I’m sure it will break apart a little more when I transfer it to the jar. I hope so because I like my dried fruit to be evenly distributed in my granola.
(It did break apart a little more, but next time I think I need to stir more before it cools completely.)