Saturday, October 1, 2011

Recipe: Homemade Granola

I think I've made this recipe a hundred times.  It is magical.  Even if you don't think you like granola, you will probably like this.  Once, a friend's parent sent me a box of granola ingredients so that I could bake granola for my friend.  It's that good.  (It really happened... isn't that funny?)

This is based on Pam Anderson's recipe.  Not the anatomically disproportionate blonde TV star, but the amazing cook with great, approachable recipes.  Check out the link for many, many, many variations on her basic granola recipe.

The original copy straight from USA Weekend magazine

I'll do a step-by-step for this, mostly because I remembered to take (not so good) pictures.  So, let's begin!

Here's all that you will need, unless you are gluten-free (see my note at the bottom -- you won't use wheat germ) or diabetic (again, see notes at the bottom for what I've done).

Mix all of your dry ingredients in a large bowl.

Measure the oil into your 1/4 cup measure, you'll thank me later...

Mix all of the wet ingredients in a small sauce pan and simmer just to warm everything up and help it combine.

And if you followed my advice, the syrup with slide right out of your measuring cup!

Nothing exciting will happen in the sauce pan.  Just warm it up, the oil will still be separate from the other ingredients.

Pour the wet over the dry, and wonder how I could take such a sick picture (I left the flash on... oops!).

Stir it all up and pour it onto your greased baking sheet.

Here is where I deviate from Pam.  She suggests "clumping" it with your hands, but I found I get the best clumps if I lightly spread it out flat to cover the sheet (but don't pack it down).

After 30 minutes, add these on top.

Use a spoon to gently break up the oat mixture and mix in the cranberries.  There's no stirring happening, just gentle, gentle mixing.  You don't want to break up those clusters too much just yet.

When you're done, it will look like this.  Not stirred, just lightly rustled.  A little pushed around, ya know.  Not harassed.  Be gentle! :)

I usually let it cool on the sheet, you can also pour it out onto wax paper to let it cool.  Once cool, break up any clusters that are too big for you and store in an airtight container.

Cranberry Vanilla Almond Granola

2 cups Old-fashioned Oats
½ cup Wheat Germ
2 Tbsp Dark Brown Sugar
¼ tsp Salt
¼ cup Dark Corn Syrup
3 Tbsp Canola Oil
1 Tbsp Water
1/2 cup Sliced Almonds
1 cup Dried Cranberries
2 t. Vanilla Extract (not imitation)
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position, and heat oven to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C). Coat a 9-by-13-inch metal pan with cooking spray, then set aside.
2. Mix oats, wheat germ, brown sugar, salt and almonds in a bowl. Bring syrup, oil, water and vanilla to a simmer in a saucepan over low heat. Drizzle over oat mixture, and stir to combine.
3. Pour mixture onto prepared pan. Pat into a flat layer. Bake for 30 minutes, but check at 20. Break up layer and gently stir in dried cranberries and continue to bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes longer. Let cool. (Granola can be stored in an airtight tin for up to two weeks.) Makes one quart.

  • LIGHTEN UP:  Replace 1/2 c. of oats with 1/2 to 1 c. of rice krispy cereal.
  • GLUTEN FREE:  Replace wheat germ with pulverized oats (I put 1/2 c. of oats in my food processor and process until it turns into a fine meal.)
  • SYRUP:  Any syrup will work, really.  Pam suggests maple, but I'm cheap so I use corn syrup.
  • DIABETIC:  Use sugar-free syrup and splenda brown sugar (using 1/2 the amount).


  • REESES:  1/2 c. chopped peanuts, 1/2 to 1 c. chocolate chips (add when granola is cool), 1 T. peanut butter (instead of vanilla)
  • CINNAMON WALNUT or PECAN:  1/2 c. chopped walnuts or pecans, 1 t. cinnamon (instead of vanilla)
  • GORP:  1/2 c. chopped peanuts, 1/2 c. sunflower seeds (shelled), 1/2 c. mini M&M's (added when granola is cool) , 1 T. peanut butter (instead of vanilla)

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