Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Don't Bake When Your Tired... A cautionary tale about Granola probably already know as well as I that you should not bake things when you are tired. I chose to ignore that rule last night, hence...the burnt batch of homemade Orange Sesame Granola sitting on my kitchen counter. Actually I've made this before and it's fairly simple and not as expensive as many recipes. You do have to watch it closely since it tends to burn quickly. Also, there's no refined sugar. Yay! This is from a book called "101 Best American Recipes" Thanks Toni for passing this along to us! It's a new fav.


1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup pure maple syrup (PLEASE don't use Aunt Jemimah...I have lots of teh real stuff to spare, so ask me)
Grated zest of 2 oranges (can use extract, but better with zest!)
4 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup coarsley chopped unsalted cashews (I've never used...too pricey, just leave it out)
1/3 cup sesame seeds
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg (fresh is SO SO SO much better)
1/3 cup honey
1 cup chopped dried fruit such as apples, dates, apricots, cranberries, or a combination

Makes about 8 cups, keeps in airtight container in pantry for 1 month

Preheat oven to 375, and set racks in the middle.
Spread the coconut on a baking sheet, bake on middle rack stirring until lightly toasted about 8 min. ***Stir every 2 min! once it's close, it will burn quickly

In a medium sauce pan, combine oil, maple syrup and orange zest and bring to a boil over medium heat. Don't overcook, or the zest will burn. After it boils, turn off heat and add honey.

Put everything else but the dried fruit and coconut in a large bowl, and stir to combine well.
Add he syrup mixture and mix well to coat everything evenly. Spread over 2 large baking sheets for a crisper granola, or over one sheed for a chewier version.
Bake stirring often (***every 4 min or so, especially near the end) about 15 min (***more like 12 min, just watch it carefully after the 10 min mark)
Once it's cool, combine with dried fruit and coconut and enjoy! Keeps for a month or so in an airtight container.

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