Friday, September 21, 2012

Epicuriosity #2: Pumpkin Spice Granola

It's crisp outside, and not just early in the morning or late at night. It's "sweater weather" for 80% of the day now. Boots. Scarves. Corduroys. Chai spices. Apple picking.

And pumpkin.

Lots and lots of pumpkin.

I actually made this granola a few weeks ago. I wanted some for snacking, and none of the store bought granolas were appealing enough for the price. So, naturally, I sought out Pinterest. Wa-la! Granola recipes galore at my fingertips.

I believe this recipe came from the blog My Baking Addiction. Below I have my adapted recipe based on what I had in my kitchen.

Pumpkin Spice Granola
Makes 4 cups, or 8-10 servings

Ingredients: in order of use
4 c old fashioned oats
3/4 c dried shredded coconut
1/2 c chopped/slivered nuts

2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 c honey
3 Tbsp maple syrup
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 c light brown sugar

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 c dried cranberries or raisins (or a combo of the two)

Almost all of the ingredients seen here... I forgot the pumpkin pie spice for the picture!

1. Preheat the oven to 350*
2. Spray sheet pan or rimmed cookie sheet with oil. Just enough to coat.
3. In a large bowl, combine oats, nuts and coconut. I used slivered almonds because it's what I had in my pantry. I think the original recipe calls for chopped pecans, which would be divine, but I only had almonds on hand. Alas.

Pecans or walnuts would be a wonderful substitute. Will doesn't really care for added nuts to things, but almonds he'll ususally tolerate. So at least I have that going for me...

4. In a small saucepan, combine vegetable oil through brown sugar. Whisk to combine over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat.

At this point my camera battery died, so you'll have to enjoy the rest of this recipe sans-pictures (except for the final product). I'm sure you'll cope well enough.

5. Add vanilla extract to saucepan. Stir together. I also sprinkled in a little extra cinnamon. Pumpkin Pie spice by McCormick doesn't have enough cinnamon to stand up to the maple & honey, so I give it a little extra. But you can taste your granola at the end & decide for yourself how "spice-y" to make it.
6. Pour wet ingredients over oat mixture. Stir together with a spatula or spoon until evenly distributed.
7. Spread mixture in an even layer onto cookie sheet.
8. Bake for 15-20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so. The color will change dramatically between the 5 and 10 minute point. Don't worry if the granola isn't completely dried or crispy at the end of 17-20 minutes-- when you take it out to cool, it will dry out.

You can do a better job of distributing the Craisins than I did. I usually just shake my tupperware pretty well before I spoon out my portion for breakfast.

9. Add dried fruit. Again, the original recipe called for 1/2 c raisins and 1/2c Craisins. I don't really care for raisins, so Craisins all the way!
10. Let cool. Store in an air tight container.

Enjoy with yogurt, fruit, or on top of other fall favorites, like apple cider pancakes ... (coming next!)

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