Every once in a while I get on a homemade granola kick, and every time I am amazed at how good it is. This particular kick was inspired by a project referenced in an earlier post: in the process of weeding through my stacks of old cooking magazines, I came across this recipe from Molly Wizenberg, who writes at Orangette and, until recently, was regularly featured in Bon Appetit. I'm not sure why she is no longer writing for Bon Appetit, as her article was always one of the highlights of the magazine for me. Her book was really amazing, too. But I digress.
Here's the thing. Homemade granola is exponentially better than store-bought granola in just about every way. It is cheaper, you have total control of the ingredients (which means you can control the sweetness and fat), it tastes far fresher, and it stores beautifully. I made a batch a week ago, and I am amazed every morning at how light it is; I don't think I have ever tasted a store-bought granola that I would describe as "light." Anyway, I strongly encourage you to give this a go. Homemade granola,
vanilla yogurt, and a cup of coffee - in my world, there is really no better way to
start the day.
The recipe below is a tweaked version of the Wizenberg recipe. It is infinitely adaptable - feel free to switch out the nuts, add seeds, change the sweetener, throw in some dried fruit, crumble up a chocolate bar - and will probably look different the next time I make it. In the Bon Appetit article in which her recipe was featured, Wizenberg recommends aiming for about 1/2 cup of liquid for every five to six cups of dry ingredients. She also strongly recommends allowing the granola to get golden. This is a delicate matter, as it can go from golden to scorched in seconds, so keep an eye on it.
Adapted from Molly Wizenberg
Makes about 5 cups
3 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup coarsely chopped nuts (I use sliced almonds; she uses pecans)
1/2 cup shredded coconut (the original calls for unsweetened; I use sweetened)
3 tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
Optional stir-ins: 1 cup dried fruit, 1 cup chopped up bittersweet chocolate
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment.
Mix first six ingredients in a large bowl.
Stir maple syrup and oil in saucepan over medium-low heat until smooth.
Pour syrup mixture over oat mixture; toss.
Spread on prepared sheet.
Bake until golden, stirring every 10 minutes, about 40 minutes total.
Once cool, add optional stir-ins. Store in an airtight container.