Monday, September 22, 2014

Walnut Apple Maple Granola

With last week's slight huge dip in temps, I got to turn on my oven again. I used that power for good by making a modified version of this granola from this food blogger. I love having granola in the house again and I'm realizing I might be a fall person, but how can you not be excited for cinnamon and apples in September?

There's really no wrong way to prepare or consume this granola. My way turns it into a granola/apple crisp mash-up that makes it perfect for breakfast, snacking, or dessert. However you go about it, it won't sit on your counter for long. Not if you have a house full of grazers, anyway.

Walnut Apple Maple Granola (WAM!)

2 cups rolled oats
3 apples cored and diced
1 cup chopped walnuts (The original recipe calls for almonds, but walnuts + apples = yum.)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup brown sugar (This is my addition. I wasn't ready to not have brown sugar in my granola and, again, brown sugar + apples = duh.)
slightly less than 1 tbsp vanilla (I'm not always the biggest fan of real maple, so I like having the vanilla, but feel free to let the syrup be the star of this!)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Mix oats, apples, walnuts, and cinnamon in a bowl.
In a sauce pot over medium heat, stir together butter, syrup, sugar, and vanilla until the butter is melted and the edges start to bubble.
Pour liquid mixture over dry ingredients and stir to combine.
Spread granola onto a baking sheet (covered in parchment paper if that's how you roll) and put it in the oven.
(By now things should be smelling pretty darn good and it's tempting to just eat what you have straight out of the bowl. I won't stop you, but I promise it's worth it to bake this bad boy.)
Bake for 30 minutes, stir, then bake for 15-20 more minutes--watch at the end because it goes from toasty and golden to dark brown pretty quick!
Let cool (or don't) and enjoy!

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