So I just got the concept of how to make granola and decided to go for it with my own recipe.
I wanted the Chefs to help with this project, as I know it would be simple and I think it is great to teach them that it can be more fun to give that receive (which can be a hard concept to master at 4 and 5).
And they were willing to help, of course, so they added all the ingredients and stirred. I finished mixing and put everything in the oven.
When it cooled we bagged it all up and were ready for our Christmas Party tomorrow!
Oh my gosh.. this stuff is so good.. so much better than any silly gift we could have got at the store. I highly recommend making it. It is wonderful over yogurt and I'm sure delicious with vanilla ice cream. It is also easy and both you and your friends will love it!!
The ingredients are not the cheapest I could have used- but seriously you could make several batches and for under $20 have a lot of Christmas gifts taken care of.
As for the bags and tags. I picked up little favor bags at Michael's for only $2.30 for 50 (with the 40% off coupon) and the tags are from here- a great little holiday freebie!!
Chocolate Cherry Granola
2 cups rolled oats (I ended up using quick oats, as they were only .99 and they worked fine, too) Substitute Certified Gluten Free Oatsto make this a Gluten Free Recipe. (.45)
1 teaspoon cinnamon (.05)
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg (.02)
1/2 teaspoon salt (.01)
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil (.20)
1/3 cup honey (.50)
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar (.20)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (.15)
1/3 cup whole raw almonds (.35)
1/3 cup dried cherries (1.25)
3 oz 72% Cacao dark chocolate (.66)
total cost for this recipe- $3.84
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with tin foil (sprayed with non stick spray) or parchment paper.
In a large bowl, stir the oats with the cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
In a medium bowl, stir together the oil, honey, brown sugar, and vanilla. Stir until completely combined.
Pour the wet mixture over the oats mixture and use your hands or a spoon to combine them. Make sure all the dry mixture is coated with the wet.
Pour the mixture onto the lined baking sheet. Spread it out evenly and you can press it in a bit to help the clumping.
Bake for 10 minutes, then take out to turn with a spoon. At this point you can add the almonds and return the baking sheet to the oven. Press the granola back down with the back of a spoon or fork.
Bake for 20 minutes and remove from the oven. I was thinking that it would be crispy straight from the oven- but it wasn't it was still pretty soft. But when it cooled it got hard.
Let cool completely then sprinkle the cherries over the granola.
When it is cool melt the dark chocolate over a double boiler (or in the microwave- instructions here) and drizzle over the granola. I put mine in the refrigerator so that it would harden quicker (yes- so I could eat it!!)
Let cool and harden and break into small pieces then bag in some pretty bags to give away or just eat it yourself.
Or you can transfer it to an airtight container. The granola will keep for 1 week.
-Cherries- you could easily sub in dried cranberries for a less expensive option
-Nuts- you could use walnuts or pecans or the almonds- either would be delicious
-Honey- Agave Syrup would sub in great for the honey
-Chocolate- You could use your favorite Chocolate instead of dark. Milk, semi sweet.. you could even just put in 3 oz of whole chocolate chips and skip the melting/drizzling part.