Thursday, August 9, 2012

Cinnamon Cranberry Almond Granola

About 8 weeks ago, a dear friend of mine, Amy had her 7th baby (nope, not a typo!), so of course I made her a HUGE pan of baked penne to hopefully feed her crew for a few days.  Last time our mom's group had a bake sale, I made up a few containers of granola, and was told they sold like hotcakes.  Amy bought some herself and jokingly said,

"Can I put my order in for some of that amazing granola when I have the baby?"  

Well of course you can...I aim to please.  Postpartum mothers deserve special treatment! ;-)

So I made not one, but 3 batches of granola, because I knew if I didn't make enough for us at home, my Rebecca would never forgive me.  Well...she would...eventually.  But I honestly wanted plenty for myself's perfect over plain, Greek yogurt.  Trust really is. 

Cinnamon Cranberry Almond Granola

1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon 

3 cups old-fashioned, rolled oats (not the instant kind!)
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with aluminum foil, and lightly grease with non-stick cooking spray.

In a small pot, combine with olive oil, honey, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon over low heat.  Stir occasionally until all the sugar has dissolved.  It can bubble a bit around the edges, but don't let it boil.  Turn off the heat and set aside. 

Now in a large bowl, combine the oats, cranberries, almonds, and coconut.  

Carefully pour the sugar mixture over the oats mixture, and immediately toss...toss, and toss some more, until all the dry ingredients are evenly coated. 

Spread the granola out in a fairly even onto the prepared baking sheets.  Make sure to divide it as evenly as you can...otherwise it won't bake up properly. 

Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes, then rotate and switch the pans out (from top to bottom and front to back).  Again...this helps it bake evenly.  Bake for another 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.  Ovens can vary temperature be sure to watch it the last 10 minutes or don't want it too dark or burnt (dark coconut is quite bitter!). 

Let cool in the pans for 15 minutes, then peel it off the may come away in big pieces.  Just break it up with your hands as you pull it away. 

Serve alone with milk, or sprinkle a generous portion over plain yogurt.  It's also yummy over frozen yogurt or ice cream.  Just sayin'. ;-)

David and Rebecca eat this stuff straight out of the was gone in less than a week.  I may have to quadruple the recipe next time!  

Happy crunching, and God bless your table tonight!