Winter Baking or “This is my deal with granola” aka Caramelized Maple Granola

Makes a great gift!
Makes a great gift!

Let’s be honest: granola is really just a cookie disguised as health food that you can eat for breakfast without your friends judging you. Actually, who are we kidding… they’re judging you. (#thatishighinsugar  #thatisalsohighincarbs) But, really, who cares? Cookies are great!

And I will not judge you.  I am a baker.  Mostly I bake cookies – but I also bake bread and a few other things that are distinctly non-Paleo.  As it turns out, I also bake granola.

This year, after Halloween, I thought it would be “fun” to cook my carving pumpkin, and then make some pumpkin-type stuff from it. (I know this seems like a total non sequitur, but stick with me.) And, I’ll tell you what.  I am going to save you a lot of pain and heartache, my friends. Do not try to cook a carving pumpkin. It takes forever, and it is a lot of work, especially in the clean-up department. And pumpkin granola, while delicious, does not taste even one iota anything like pumpkin.  It might as well be made with cucumber.  Yes: Zero. Pumpkin. Flavor.

And that is the story of how I ended up searching the web for maple granola recipes. See?  I suffer so you can have success and happiness.  You’re welcome.

So here is the most buttery, maple-y, delicious granola recipe you will ever put in your mouth.  Haha, as I am sure you know, that is a ridiculous promise.  But seriously, as long as you like both butter and maple syrup and granola, you will like this recipe. And, if you want to make your friends really happy, bring them a jar of this when you go to visit for the weekend. You will seem really thoughtful, and you can have it for breakfast.

Ingredients:

2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup raw pepitos
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 to 1 teaspoon sea salt (salt to your preference)
1/3 cup unsalted organic butter
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 egg whites
1/3 cup dried chopped black figs, optional

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine oats, pepitos, quinoa or fonio, brown sugar, cinnamon, and sea salt. Set aside.

3. In a small saucepan, heat the butter and maple syrup over medium heat until it is bubbling and continue to cook, swirling occasionally, for 3-4 minutes.  Remove from heat and pour over the dry oat mixture. Stir until dry ingredients are well-coated. In another bowl, whisk egg whites and vanilla and pour over the granola mixture and stir to coat again.

4. Pour the granola mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Spread granola into an even layer. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until granola is golden brown, stirring every 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven and stir in dried figs* if desired. Let the granola cool completely. Store in an air-tight container for up to 1 month.

*Note: any dried fruit is great in this granola.

About The Author

Anne Stericker

City-dweller, designer, writer and lifestyle consultant practicing the art of living well in the 21st Century. Fixated with good coffee, great design, and any little thing that makes life better.

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