Monday, January 10, 2011

Granola and a Movie

We just picked up Despicable Me on DVD from the library and I was contemplating making popcorn, but then I thought granola would be a better choice for a cold dreary day. I have a recipe that I use all the time that I clipped out of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette from August 7, 2008. I keep a food journal with clipped recipes from magazines and newspapers that I would like to try. This recipe could not be simpler or more forgiving. Button Boy was able to do almost every step by himself.

4 cups old-fashioned oats
1 ½ cups sliced almonds
½ cup packed light brown sugar
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ cup of vegetable oil
¼ cup of honey
1 tsp. vanilla
1 ½ cups dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a bowl mix the oats, almonds, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon. In a saucepan warm the oil and honey. Whisk in the vanilla.
Carefully pour the liquid over the oat mixture. Stir gently with a wooden spoon. Spread granola in a 15 -by-10-inch baking pan.

Bake 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Transfer granola-filled pan to a rack to cool completely. Stir in cranberries. Seal granola in an airtight container or self sealing plastic bag. Keeps for 1 week at room temperature or in the freezer for 3 months.

Makes 7 cups.

I adjusted the original recipe a little. I added extra cinnamon and today I forgot to add the vanilla. I have used crushed and sliced almonds in the past, but my favorite is sliced. You get a sweat crunchy coating with the sliced variety. The granola makes a great topping for yogurt, ice cream or added crunch in hot oatmeal. I have never tried pouring milk over it, but I bet it would make a satisfying breakfast. Honestly we just eat it right out of our hands and I have never been able to let it cool completely. It tastes heavenly – warm. Plus the granola makes our whole house smell just like those candied nuts that vendors sell at festivals. Move over popcorn and pass the granola.

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