I tried to make granola a few months ago, and it was pretty bad. It seemed promising (it had chocolate!), but it was a fail. So, this time around I opened The New Best Recipe book from America’s Test Kitchen to see what I could learn about granola.
I learned that honey is hygroscopic (uh huh) which means it attracts and absorbs water, so when you use only honey to bind and sweeten the oats your granola will be soft and stale. Yuck! ATK recommends you use brown sugar, but keep some honey for taste. I did not do that.
Also, there rules about the fruit you use. Raisins don’t work very well because they have thin skin that puffs up, burns and then turns hard. That was a problem that ATK couldn’t solve. Their solution? Use something like dried cranberries, coarsely chopped, because of their thick skin. I didn’t do that either.
ATK only had recipes for granola bars and I needed granola for a yogurt parfait thing. So, I found Alton Brown’s recipe for granola and altered it a bit.
Maple Syrup Tangent: Earlier this year, I was visiting a friend in Madison, WI and we went to the Dane County Farmers’ Market. The market wraps around their capitol building. Very cool. I bought this little bottle of maple syrup for a cocktail I had been reading about. Months later, I still hadn’t made the cocktail so this maple syrup was available when I need it for granola! But it used the whole bottle. Now my supply is tapped. Time to head back to Wisconsin.
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup walnuts
3/4 cup shredded sweet coconut
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup combo dried cherries and dried blueberries