Since I didn’t do any baking on Valentine’s day [Mimi just made chocolate cupcakes with homemade butter cream icing on Friday - so I thought I'd do us all a favor & not make another treat to tempt us] I tried a new *healthy* recipe today. I made homemade granola – a recipe that I found just this morning. I’ll be honest, I’ve been a little intimated by homemade granola for a while – so I was shocked when it was so simple! We actually had most of the ingredients in the cabinet & what we didn’t have, I found something to substitute! So now it’s my very own granola recipe (: AND, if it’s good I’m totally going to make a couple batches, freeze them & have them sent to us while on the trail!
1 stick unsalted butter, plus more for greasing pan
3/4 cup honey
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups old fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups mixed nuts
1 splash vanilla
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 handfuls craisins
*4 oz white chocolate [Optional]
1. Preheat the oven to 325F. Butter an 8 inch square baking pan. Line the bottom and sides with parchment paper. [I didn't have parchment paper, so I just greased the pan really well & it worked fine]
2. In a large saucepan, melt the butter with the honey and sugar and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly until an amber caramel forms ~ 3-5 minutes.
3. Stir in the oats, mixed nuts, vanilla, and salt and cook, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the craisins. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the surface.
*If you are using white chocolate chips, stir them in now too. They will melt.
4. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until bubbling and brown on the edges.
Let them cool completely or they will crumble!! I would even recommend putting them in the fridge for an hour or two before trying to remove them from the pan!
the bars baking
the finished product