This month’s Bake Off is not just about keeping health-inspired New Year’s Resolutions, it’s also about showing your personality in your baking.
I have been making this granola recipe for about 15 years, but I love how it changes each time I make it, depending on my mood, craving, or what I have in the pantry.
In this month’s challenge, I want you to show your style by customizing your granola through your choices of nuts and dried fruits, and even deciding between maple syrup or honey as a sweetener. This weekend, my granola was “Anna’s Maple Cherry Almond Granola” – I used slivered almonds, dried cherries and raisins, all leftovers from the holiday baking season.
When you submit your recipe, give it a deserving name: “Stan’s Stupendous Hazelnut Apricot Granola” or “Marie’s Magnificent Currant Pumpkin Seed Granola” and tell me about how you made it your own.
Makes about 6 cups (1.5 L)
2 cups regular rolled oats (not instant)
1 1/2 cups whole or sliced nuts (such as walnuts, pecans, almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts or even pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, coconut, or a mix)
½ cup wheat germ
¼ cup sesame seeds
½ cup pure maple syrup or honey
1/3 cup vegetable oil
zest of 1 orange
1 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
dash of vanilla extract
2 cups dried fruits (such as raisins, currants, chopped dried apricots, chopped prunes, dried cranberries, dried cherries or a mix)
1. Preheat the oven to 325 F and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
2. Combine the oats, nuts, wheat germ and sesame seeds in a large bowl. Add the maple syrup (or honey), oil, orange zest, cinnamon, salt and vanilla and stir well to coat. Spread this onto the prepared baking tray and bake for about 30 minutes until a rich golden brown, stirring 3 times as it bakes.
3. Immediately after removing the pan from the oven, stir in the dried fruits. Allow the granola to cool before packing into an airtight container.
The granola will keep for up to 3 weeks.
Here's how Bake Off works:
- Our hostess with the mostess, Anna Olson, picks a recipe middle of every month
- You make the recipe (follow it or add your creative flair)
- Email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) a picture and short descriptive blurb before February 13th at 9am ET for your chance to win! Anna will pick the winners (We are giving away a $250 gift card to Williams-Sonoma and an autographed copy of Anna's cookbook).
Professionally trained pastry chef Anna Olson is the host of Food Network's Bake with Anna Olson. Anna’s culinary philosophy is based on a common-sense approach of cooking and baking with the seasons, as well as respecting the ingredients, the technique and the process of sharing with others through food. Most of all, cooking and baking should be fun!
by Anna Olson