Monday, February 18, 2008

Apple Cinnamon Granola

I found this wonderful recipe on one of my favorite blogs, Baking Bites. I've been thinking about fresh, homemade granola for quite some time now, so when I found this recipe, I just HAD to make it! It's so easily customizable, anyone can make it, however they like!

There is quite a bit of cinnamon in this granola, so I am entering it into this month's Master Baker competition. There is nothing quite so yummy as apple cinnamon granola!

Here is the original recipe, with my changes in red.

Mix-n-Match Applesauce Granola
3 1/2 cups rolled oats
2 cups puffed rice cereal
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
pinch ground cardamom
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup plain applesauce
1/4 cup maple syrup or honey (I used honey and Karo Syrup)
1 tsp vanilla extract (I used a vanilla bean, because I am obsessed with them lately)
up to 1 1/2 cups chopped nuts
up to 1 cup dried fruit

nut suggestions: almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, cashews, macadamia nuts, pumpkin seeds, etc (I used pecans, slivered almonds, and pumpkin seeds)
dried fruit suggestions: cranberries, raisins, apricots, cherries, blueberries, raspberries, etc. (I used apples, dates, and blueberries)

Preheat the oven to 325F and line a large baking sheet (or two smaller sheets) with parchment paper. (I cooked mine in a Pyrex baking dish because that's how my mom used to do it, but it took WAY too long to bake since it was so deep.)
In a large bowl, combine oats, puffed rice cereal, and spices. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, applesauce (do not use chunky applesauce), maple syrup (or honey)and vanilla. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients along with chopped nuts and stir to combine. Spread on prepared baking sheet(s) in an even layer. (I wasn't paying attention and I added the dried fruit now. I think it came out fine though, because I wanted my fruit to be mixed in the granola clusters.)

Bake for 30 minutes, then turn over the granola carefully using a large wide spatula, and bake for additional 15 minutes, until crisp and golden. Depending on the size of your baking sheet, the center might not be fully dried if your granola layer is thick, so if necessary remove the edges of the cooked granola to a cooling rack and let the rest cook for another 10-15 minutes until done.
Cool on pan or on a wire rack.
Break granola up as desired and stir in dried fruit. Store in an airtight container.

Makes about 8 servings, more depending on add-ins.

This granola is so yummy! I ate it plain, out of the pan, and in milk. It would also be delish with yogurt!


Nikki57 said...

Apples, Cinnamon and Granola. Does it get any better?

Thanks for the entry hun

Alanna said...

I'm ready to start my next batch already. This first one only lasted a couple of days!!!

CB said...

Dang girl! you're a baking fiend this weekend. Me loves a good granola with yogurt and fruit. Definitely need to star this one! :)

A. Grace said...

three things:
1. dexter is adorable
2. this recipe rocks.
3. yes, it's true. i've tagged you, even though you already did one pretty much just like it. don't worry, i won't cry if you skip it. :)

Mevrouw Cupcake said...

I've made this recipe too, and we're total fans now! I've made two batches so far, and now I'm going to start branching out and try different kinds of flaked grains, as my local health food store has some great choices. Our favorite fruit and nut combo has been dried cranberries, banana chips, hazelnuts, pecans and coconut flakes. Yummy!