Friday, January 2, 2009

Christmas Granola

For the past two Christmas' I have made this recipe for granola. It makes great gifts. I save my glass jars (recycled from sauces and stuff like that) all year and then fill them up with the granola and tie nice ribbons around the tops (unlike in this boring picture). So why am I telling you about it now, after the holidays are over? Well I want to give you a chance to start saving your glass jars for next year :) and its a yummy all year (and I have had a few requests for the recipe). Like most things I make I hardly follow a recipe, I just add what I like (extra chocolate chips and cherries) and tweak it a bit each time I make it. So here is what I have this year (I actually do follow a basic recipe)

Holli's Christmas Granola---that her husband wishes she would make all year

4 cups uncooked oats (you can use slow cook or quick, but not Irish cut)
1/3 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup shopped pecans (I break them up, I don't like all the little tiny pieces from chopping)
1/4 cup honey (+ more for first round of baking..I'll explain in a moment)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup + 1 Tbs melted butter
2 tsp grated orange peel (Todd doesn't like this part so I sometimes leave it out to be nice)
1 tsp vanilla (if you like vanilla a lot you can add more, sometimes I do)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbs brown sugar
6 ozs dried cherries
Chocolate chips

preheat oven to 350 degrees
1. Combine first 10 ingredients (everything but cherries and chocolate)
2. Mix well
3. Spread evenly in 9x13 (it will be deep but this will keep it from burning) Make sure the edges all the way around are just as think as the center, your edges will get the brownest!
4. press mixture down with back of flat spatula and then drizzle some honey over the top, this does not have to be a lot
5. Bake for 10 minutes four times, each time pulling the granola out and mixing it around, do this four times (40 minutes) the last time including the cherries and chocolate. After you remove it the final time, let it sit and cool.

Sometimes when I take it out after it has cooked for 40 minutes I press it together firmly with the back of the flat spatula and then let it cool completely, this makes big chunks of granola.

Sometimes I make shavings of chocolate with my cheese grater and sprinkle this over it and the still add the chocolate chips in the last round of baking (this is for those days you just need the extra chocolate in your life)

You can and other yummy things like craisins, and other nuts.

I hope you enjoy it!

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