Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Maple-Nut Granola

I really love brownies. Rich, dense, chocolatey brownies. I've been craving homemade brownies for several days now, but I've been so swamped with work that I haven't had a chance to bake. In lieu of brownies, I came up with a new variation on my beloved Addictive Peanut Butter Granola, Maple-Nut Granola. This granola, which prominently features maple syrup and walnuts, is just as delicious as its peanut butter predecessor, but it's a little more mature. There is no chocolate in this version, just the subtle goodness of oats, maple syrup, and walnuts. And it smells amazing while it's baking in the oven!

I recommend eating this granola as a cereal with milk poured on top. I feel it's not quite sweet enough to stand up to a tart plain yogurt, but it might be good mixed with banana slices and lightly sweetened plain yogurt.

Maple-Nut Granola

4-6 servings

2 1/4 cups oats

1/2 cup flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1/6 cup vegetable oil (half of a 1/3 cup measurement)

1/3 cup pure maple syrup, Grade A or B (Grade A is a lighter maple syrup, while Grade B is a darker, more robust maple syrup. I like both kinds.)

1/2 walnuts, chopped

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2) Mix together the oats, flour, and baking soda in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the vanilla extract.

3) Add the vegetable oil, maple syrup, walnuts, and mix until moistened. The mixture will be a bit chunky and fairly dry.

4) Spoon the granola into a square 8-inch cake pan.

5) Bake the granola at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, and then dig in! Before storing, allow granola to cool completely in the pan and then store it at room temperature in a tightly sealed container. This granola will keep for at least a week.

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