Sunday, January 17, 2016

Pecan & Cranberry Granola

Winter.  You guys, I don't understand for the LIFE of me, how food bloggers can come up with such wonderful food photos during the winter.  During the week it's dark by the time I get home, so no matter how many delectable dinners I cook up, any photos of the meal look muted and bland, flattened by artificial light.  On weekends, I'm busy working on projects around the house.  Buying a home formerly inhabited by college students lends to some interesting questions: "Why did someone punch a hole in the closet door?"  "What is that weird stain on the ceiling?"  "Did they mop this floor even once during the years they lived here?"  The answer, I have come to realize, is simple:  I'd rather not know.  However, I digress.  Onto less frightening questions - how about some granola?

My grandparents sent me 5+ lbs. of pecans from the tree in their backyard.  It was a totally unexpected and delicious surprise!  And then, my parents shipped us a few Christmas presents... but instead of foam packing peanuts, they used packing pecans!  (I'm a sucker for a pun.)



With a combined 8+ lbs. of pecans in tow, I've spent many an evening since Christmas shelling away, filling freezer bags full of pecan halves.  And I'm only halfway through!  I wanted to take a break from the home projects this weekend, and it seemed like a perfect time to start using my new found bounty.  Granola seemed like a fitting project - easy, delicious, and I can make a batch big enough to share with coworkers this week.


This pecan & cranberry granola is a little bit sweet, but not overly so.  I make it just with dark amber maple syrup, but if you like a sweeter granola you can add a bit of dark brown sugar.  This is great served with milk, over yogurt, or with ice cream for a bit of decadence.


Pecan & Cranberry Granola
Makes about 5 cups
Click here for a printable recipe

3 c. raw old fashioned oats
1 1/4 c. pecan pieces or halves
1/4 c. sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 c. dried cranberries
3 T. neutral-flavored oil
1/4 c. dark amber maple syrup
1 -2 T. dark brown sugar (optional)
1 t. vanilla
1/2 t. salt
1/8 t. cinnamon
Dash nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, stir together oats and pecans.  In a small bowl, mix together oil, maple syrup, brown sugar (if using), vanilla, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Pour over oats and pecans and stir until everything is lightly coated.

Transfer oats and pecans to a half sheet pan lined with parchment and bake for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.  After 25 minutes, rotate the sheet pan and stir in the shredded coconut.  Bake for another 7-10 minutes or until everything is golden brown.  Remove from oven and let mixture cool thoroughly to room temp.  Stir in dried cranberries, and transfer to an airtight container or serve immediately.  Keeps for about a week.

2 comments:

  1. Always love your stories...in addition to the yummy recipes!! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Always love your stories...in addition to the yummy recipes!! :-)

    ReplyDelete