My first attempt at homemade granola was not disastrous, but I can't say it was fully successful either. Here is why: The final product was no doubt delicious, but I wouldn't be able to accurately call it granola, in the sense that it was not crispy crumbly through and through. Instead it came out more like a brittle that was toasty on the top but with a soft layer at the bottom, making it malleable akin to a granola bar. In fact, if I had spread it more thickly, it would have made the perfectly moist cut-and-go bar! Equally as tasty, this one was more of a rip and dip situation, as I tore off pieces and used them as handy scoops for my morning yogurt. And it could not have been more morning; the inspiration came at 6:30am and this is what ensued.
To instant oats (my first mistake, but a blessing in disguise) I added iced coffee, freshly squeezed orange juice, raisins, crushed almonds and cinnamon. (If I had more dried fruit - cranberries, mango, apples, etc. - I would have added them.) The coffee contributed another dimension of flavor as it baked and the orange juice a nice sweetness and a binder with its natural sugars. I spread it out thinly and evenly in a pan and baked it in the oven for 45 minutes at 350. With warm, wafting cinnamon aromas taunting me, I excitedly pulled that baby out and Viola! I had...um...something granola-ish?
|A form of granola|