Thursday, May 16, 2013
I signed up to be one of Cooks Illustrated's recipe testers. This recipe came to me a few months ago by email from them and I was eager to try it out. The end product is a chunky, crunchy, not-too-sweet granola with lots of goodies in it. What makes it so great is that unlike other granola recipes, you don't have to rotate the pan and toss the granola every few minutes in the oven. This is WAY easier. You simply mix up the ingredients, pack it down on a baking tray and ptu it in the oven to bake til golden brown - as though you are baking an oversized cookie. After it has cooled, you break the giant granola bar into chunks. It freezes well, but is so addictive it probably won't make it to your freezer anyway.
More tips: Chopping the almonds by hand is the first choice for superior texture and crunch. If you prefer not to hand chop, substitute an equal quantity of slivered or sliced almonds. (A food processor does a lousy job of chopping nuts evenly.) Use your favorite dried fruit or a combination. Do not use quick oats.
Cranberry Maple Almond Granola
Makes 9 cups | Cooks Illustrated
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup packed (2 1/3 ounces) light brown sugar
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups (10 ounces) raw almonds, chopped coarse
2 cups craisins or other dried fruit, chopped
1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Whisk maple syrup, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in large bowl. Whisk in oil. Fold in oats and almonds until thoroughly coated.
3. Transfer oat mixture to prepared baking sheet and spread across sheet into thin, even layer (about 3/8 inch thick). Using stiff metal spatula, compress oat mixture until very compact. Bake until lightly browned, 40 to 45 minutes, rotating pan once halfway through baking. Remove granola from oven and cool on wire rack to room temperature, about 1 hour. Break cooled granola into pieces of desired size. Stir in dried fruit. (Granola can be stored in airtight container for up to 2 weeks or frozen).
Baked by Tia the Baker at 11:11 AM