I could seriously live off the stuff.
I love that the world of granola has evolved into so much more than just toasted oats! My mom eats it most mornings, and when it's in the house, I'm a perpetual snacker and literally have to hide it from myself in order to not demolish it all at once. Because of this, she usually doubles the recipe to have enough to last, and even then it barely makes it through the week.
I'm not kidding when I say we're slightly addicted - this stuff is like the crack of breakfast foods.
We discovered Alton Brown's recipe a few months ago and it is now our favorite! I think it's something about the maple syrup instead of the honey we used to use, but the flavor is amazing - sweet, but not overly so, and perfectly crunch. We have made a few modifications to suit our tastes, like using pecans instead of almonds, and cranberries instead of raisins.
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup pecans
- 1 cup cashews
- 3/4 cup shredded sweet coconut
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
- In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts, coconut, and brown sugar.
- In a separate bowl, combine maple syrup, oil, and salt. Combine both mixtures and pour onto 2 sheet pans. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to achieve an even color.
- Remove from oven and transfer into a large bowl. Add raisins and mix until evenly distributed.
In order to make this recipe less messy and to make cleanup easier on us, I've started using BakeItFun's Silicone Baking Mat! BakeItFun sent me a Half Sheet in the Standard Bubble Blue to try out and review and I've been amazed at how versatile it is. The best part about using their mat is the fact that I can pull up the corners and pour the cooled granola straight into a tupperware container or Ziploc bag, saving me from having to clean up overspill or use big spoons to transfer, which always results in crumbs on the counter.
I don't have to use cooking or baking sprays, or lay down parchment paper or flour, and yet nothing sticks! I love that I can reuse it again and again (up to 2,000 times according to BakeItFun), and all it takes to clean is a quick wipe-down with some hot soapy water. Their baking mat can be used anywhere from -40*F to 450*F, meaning you can use it in the freezer as well as in a super hot oven, without having to worry about the temperature compromising the mat.
I've only ever used one other silicone baking mat, but it was very thin and chintzy, so BakeItFun's Silicone Baking Mat really stood out to me because it is thick and sturdy, so I can believe it'll last me the long amount of time that they claim. Rounding out the awesome qualities are the ruler that goes around all four sides, as well as circles laid out to help you perfectly align, space, and size your creations!
While I initially thought I'd only use it for cookies, it's great for any and all baking I've done so far - pizza, homemade fries, croissants, macaroons, meringue cookies, and any and all sticky foods!