Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Pecan Cherry Granola...it's what's for breakfast.

Granola is one of those things that if your used to eating the pre-made version and then you try some homemade stuff, it is so much better that it's hard to go back to the package.  
We've been making granola at the bakery for quite some time. It has become so popular that folks were coming in to buy it by the pound. This summer, though, it was getting scarfed by breakfast customers so fast we couldn't sell it in bulk, which caused a bit of a ruckus, so I decided to post my personal recipe...my kids eat this up so quick, sometimes I have to make it twice a week!

Pecan Cherry Granola:
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup olive oil (I like the fruity-ness of olive oil here, if it doesn't appeal to you, use canola or your favorite mildly flavored oil)
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
4 cups rolled oats (NOT the instant kind!)
1 cup flax seed
2 cups pecans, roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups dried cherries, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the orange juice, oil and brown sugar. 
Add the oats, flax and pecans. Stir together until oats, etc are well coated.
dump out onto a large baking pan lined with parchment paper (the paper, while not absolutely necessary, makes it super easy to transfer to a container and helps make clean up a breeze)
spread out into an even layer on your pan and bake in the middle of your oven for 15 minutes. Pull pan out and give the granola a good stir to ensure even browning. Bake for 15 more minutes, stir again and bake for another 15 minutes or until it has reached your desired toasty-ness. Pull from oven and sprinkle cherries on top and then stirring them in while the mixture is still warm. Let cool COMPLETELY, then transfer to an airtight container by picking up the two long ends of parchment to form a sort of funnel, put one end into your container and pour. Sealed tightly this will last for months, except at my house.

Please Note: This formula is merely a template...you can use any fruit or nut or seed or juice or oil you like. If you like it stickier, use a little more liquid and don't toast it quite so much. Think of it as your blank breakfast canvass.