Sunday, January 6, 2013



Sometimes, baking projects are premeditated, planned-out, scheduled affairs. But sometimes, it's liberating to not have a plan, to just make something for yourself (not with a plan to give it to someone else) because it sort of sounds good -- "let's buy some stuff and throw it together and see how it comes out," that sort of thing.

So I bought some stuff to make homemade granola, since I'd come across some recipes for it lately and it just sounded good, not to mention potentially a lot cheaper than it is to buy it at the store. And it turns out that it could've been even cheaper, 'cause most of the ingredients were things I already had in my pantry or things sitting around left over from when I made fruitcake last month. It's that kind of recipe, too, the kind where you can just sort of throw in whatever sounds good.

I'm glad I bought the extra ingredients I didn't need, though, 'cause I have a feeling I might need to make a second batch of this before the week's over -- my husband came out in the kitchen and grabbed some, and as he munched, this happened:

"Is it good?"
(crunch, crunch) "Mm-hmm."
"You can have some more if you want."
(grabbing another handful and chewing) "Mm-hmm."
"... Should I make more this week?"

I guess we have a winner. :)

Adapted from Amateur Gourmet

2 c rolled oats (not quick oats)
1 tsp cinnamon
Scant 1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp plus 1 tsp oil
1/4 c honey
1/4 c brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 c sliced almonds (or any kind of nut)
1/3 c chopped pecans (again, use what you have)
1/3 c chopped dates (or any other dried fruit, or leave it out entirely)

1. Set the oven to 325 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment. (When your hand's all sticky in a couple of minutes, you'll be glad you did this first.)
2. In a big bowl, mix together the oats, cinnamon and salt.
3. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the oil, honey, brown sugar and vanilla.
4. Pour this mixture over the oats and mix with your hand (if you use one hand, you can keep the other one clean, perhaps using it to hold a spatula to scrape down your oat-covered sticky hand when you're done). Combine thoroughly, squeezing the mixture between your fingers to make sure it's all well-coated.
5. Scoop the mixture up and spread it on the cookie sheet, leaving it at least partly clumped together.
6. Bake about 10 minutes, then fold in the nuts.
7. Bake another 10-15 minutes or so, until a nice, toasty golden color (it will still be soft -- don't worry, it'll harden as it cools). Remove from the oven and let cool on the pan.
8. Once cooled, mix in the fruit, if using, and break it all up a bit if it's too clumped together.

1 comment:

  1. Home granola is great. The method I follow (Ruhlman's) is pretty much the same as yours except you can pick some fruit to puree in with the liquids. the water in the fruit bakes off and you are just left with the fruit flavor. I like the strawberry-banana combination.