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.

Granola

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.)

September 17, 2012. Tags: . baking, Cooking. 1 comment.

Weekly Baking: Granola, take 2

I’m more or less keeping up with the baking, though I am forgetting to write about it.  It is beginning to feel normal.  I wavered back and forth regarding which granola recipe to make next. I ultimately settled on the skillet granola Beth suggested because the granola bug hit while I had chocolate chip cookies in the oven. Except, in my usual fashion, I had to tweak the recipe. I added a mix of almonds and pumpkin seeds, a handful of coconut, shake of cinnamon, dried ginger and about half a teaspoon of vanilla, and my usual dried cranberries. It didn’t make a lot, but it satisfied my granola craving. But, a word of warning, I had to give the cast iron skillet a good scrub and light oiling after cooking the granola. And the suds smelled like cinnamon.
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In the end I think I’ll stick to a small batch of oven baked granola. 2 cups of oatmeal plus various nuts and fruit is a nice sized batch for myself (TheHusband doesn’t eat granola) and fits on one cookie sheet.

November 2, 2010. Tags: , . Cooking. 1 comment.

Weekly Baking: Granola, take 1

A few weeks ago we went away for the weekend, and one day we stopped by a bakery for a quick tea and pastry. There was a big jar of granola on the counter and it just called to me. Sadly we didn’t have time to stay and granola and yogurt didn’t strike me as the best car food (possible yes, but…). Once I was home I decided I had to recreate the fetching granola display. Since a stop to Ikea was on the agenda, I grabbed another one of their Burken jars and looked around for my aunt’s granola recipes (which I was loving a few weeks ago at her house). I couldn’t find it and proceeded to open up every granola recipe I’ve ever bookmarked plus a few cookbooks and kind-of-sort followed one of them (well the wet-ingredient list anyway), throwing in a few ingredients I remember from my aunt’s go-to recipe. Mild success. It is tasty enough, but not the granola nirvana I was hoping for. However it had drastically increased the number of days I actually eat breakfast, so that is a win.

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Granola take 1 recipe: Everybody Likes Sandwiches Better than from a Bakery Granola
Stuff: oatmeal, almonds, pumpkin seeds, pistachios, sesame seeds, unsweetened dried coconut, dried cranberries, some vanilla and Penzey’s baking spice for extra flavor (note – do not use baking spice in granola again)

September 28, 2010. Tags: , . Cooking. 3 comments.