Our June Improv Challenge, hosted by Kristen of The Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker, featured cherries and almonds. Now, the ol’ hubby only eats cherries in the form of Kool Aid…so I knew a cherry dessert wouldn’t fly. But I was overdue to make a batch of granola. I am the only one who eats granola around here and I love to keep a stash in the freezer for a special breakfast treat. I love to top a bowlful with a sliced banana and milk.
One of my blogger friends, Lori, shared this fabulous recipe on her blog. Another girlfriend wanted to learn how to make granola so she popped over for a cooking demonstration. I think she was surprised how easy this was. I gave her 3 recipes from which to choose and Lori’s won out. We declared it a success…after a lot of quality control sampling. In less than an hour, you will have a wonderful breakfast treat to serve your family (or just me in my case).
Vanilla Granola with Dried Fruit…adapted from All That Splatters~
4 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
2 cups slivered almonds
1/2 cup brown sugar
Scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons vegetable oil (1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons)
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups dried fruit (I used dried cherries, cranberries and diced apricots)
Preheat oven to 300º. Cover two rimmed baking sheets with aluminum foil (or spray with nonstick vegetable oil spray). Set aside.
Mix the oats, almonds, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl. Combine the oil, honey and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Pour over oat mixture and stir till well combined.
Divide mixture between the two baking sheets. Bake for about 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Remove from oven when golden brown and mix in dried fruit. Cool on rack. Store at room temperature or freeze in an airtight container.
Makes about 6 cups.