Monday, June 28, 2010

Granola, take 1 and 2

Hooray, we have a fully functioning kitchen again, including a fridge...what a blessing to have it all back to normal and usable again. I also have the laundry back, so don't have to squeeze washing in through the tiny gap the fridge was allowing the door to open (did that sentence make sense?). We had another very chilled day yesterday, with church morning and afternoon and time at home before and after. We did take ourselves to Mcdonalds for lunch though because we left church fairly late and I didn't have any lunch plan cooked up. It was cold and the skies were grey, perfect weather for tweaking a take-away. I baked a batch of granola bars in the afternoon, getting them out of the oven just before leaving for church again. They were moderately successful but I tried them again after lunch today, modifying the recipe slightly with a better result. Here is the recipe:
• 2 cups rolled oats
• 1 cup shredded coconut
• 1 cup sliced almonds or chopped peanuts
• ½ cup seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, sesame etc)
• 1 cup chopped fruit (raisins, dried apricots, cranberries, dates etc)
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 3 tablespoons (42 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
• 1/4 cup (55 grams) Demerara or light brown sugar
• 2/3 cup (160 ml) honey
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Turn oven on to 180 degrees and place the rack in the center of the oven. Grease AND line a cookie sheet with spray and baking paper.
In a large bowl mix together the rolled oats, coconut and nuts. Transfer to the baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes while the oven is heating, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven and transfer the oat mixture back to the mixing bowl, discarding the baking paper. Stir in the seeds, fruit, salt, and cinnamon.
Melt the butter, brown sugar, honey, and vanilla in a small saucepan, placed over medium heat. Once the sugar mixture comes to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for a couple of minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and pour over the oat mixture. With a large spoon or spatula, stir the granola, making sure all the dry ingredients are completely coated with the butter mixture. Pour the granola into the greased pan and, with damp hands, lightly press the granola evenly into the pan.
Bake for about 12-15 minutes, or until light golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 20 minutes before cutting into bars, fingers or squares. (Note: The granola bars will be soft when they are removed from the oven but will firm up as they cool.) Can be stored at room temperature for several days.

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