I know, it's been ages since I've posted a cooking thing. What kind of a Gastronomy 101 student am I? I have been cooking some stuff, but it's just everyday dinner-type stuff that I don't think to take time to photograph or pay attention to what I'm doing, so as to tell someone else how to do it.
But now that I'm working from home, I've realized that I actually can take a break to cook sometimes. One of the easiest things you can make is granola. It's mostly a matter of mixing some things together in a bowl, and then sticking them in a low oven to bake a little. And you can create whatever variations your clever little brain can think of.
The basic granola ingredients are oats, brown sugar, and egg whites. After that, you add whatever fruits, nuts, spices and flavors you can think of.
This particular granola that I made is adapted from the November issue of Bon Appetit. I think there was a last minute change in the recipe that led to a mistake. The yield indicates 8 cups, but the ingredients only add up to 4-5 cups. I think the cooking instructions were written for a larger yield and so if you followed the instructions, you would end up burning the granola. The comments posted to the recipe indicate that most people who followed the instructions ended up with burned granola, so I can safely say my wonky oven isn't entirely to blame. So I will present the recipe as I ended up making it, with the caveat that you're going to have to just watch the baking time to see when the right time to turn it over is.
The resulting cereal makes a hearty breakfast treat. Keep it in an airtight container and enjoy it with milk, yogurt, and/or fresh fruit. You can also try changing up the spices, the nuts, adding a different fruit, or honey instead of syrup, if you want a different flavor.
CRANBERRY MAPLE GRANOLA
(Makes ~5 cups)
- Nonstick vegetable oil spray
- 3/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar, divided
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup egg whites
- 1 Tbs. vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. ground allspice
- 3 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1 cup walnut pieces
- 1 cup dried cranberries
2. Generously coat a heavy large rimmed baking sheet with non-stick spray.
3. Stir 1/2 cup brown sugar and maple syrup in a heavy saucepan over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Pour mixture into a large bowl and cool to lukewarm. Whisk in egg whites, vanilla extract, and spices. Add oats, nuts, and remaining brown sugar, then toss well.
4. Spread the mixture in one even layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake 15-20 minutes, watching for the bottom to turn slightly brown. Using a spatula, turn the granola over. Move the sheet to the top oven rack and bake another 5-10 minutes, depending on how brown it was when you turned it over. Add the cranberries and continue to bake until dry, about 5-10 minutes longer.
5. Cool granola completely in pan, then transfer to an airtight container.