I have a confession to make. My number two vice, maybe even tied with dark chocolate for number one, is granola. Cinnamon raisin granola. Eaten plain or mixed in with yogurt, I’m completely smitten with its crunchy, delicious taste. If you told me I could never munch on granola ever again, I’d burst into tears on the spot. However, I’m extremely picky about my granola. I’ve sampled nearly every kind in the grocery stores, and none of them quite measure up to my standards. They’re either too buttery, too crunchy, too bland, too few oats, too little cinnamon… So this week, I set out to make my own.
My second confession? I’ve tried making granola before. (That recipe called for flaxseed, and because I didn’t like the burned taste it imparted, I haven’t made granola since.) But according to my Alphabet Adventure rules, that meant I was required to come up with my own recipe. I wasn’t about to create my granola recipe without a little research, so I scoured the sides of my favorite granola boxes and combed through piles of recipes online. Once I had an idea of the typical ingredients involved in making granola, I heated up the oven, lit the stove, and began mixing.
Whenever I opened the stove, a huge gust of tantalizing cinnamon blew into my face. I couldn’t resist trying a little nibble each time I checked on it… Once the 40-minute wait was over and I poured myself a big bowl, I knew that I’d never buy another box of granola from the store ever again.
Cinnamon Raisin Granola
makes 4½ – 5 cups
I’m absolutely, positively in love with cinnamon, but scale back (or even up!) to fit your tastes. Also, the thicker the layer of granola on the pan in the oven, the longer it’ll need to cook. Times may vary by as much as 15 minutes, so check it often to prevent burning the granola! Try serving over yogurt, with milk, or just plain as a tasty snack.
3 c. old-fashioned oats
1 c. rice krispies
1 tbsp cinnamon
¼ c. packed brown sugar
¼ c. honey
½ c. water
1 tbsp molasses
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp cinnamon
dash of salt
¾ c. raisins
- Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a rimmed cookie sheet or a 9”x13” cake pan with non-stick spray. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the first three ingredients, making sure cinnamon is evenly distributed throughout cereal.
- In a small saucepan, combine the next 7 ingredients (brown sugar through salt) over medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Once sugar mixture begins to boil, heat another 5 minutes, still stirring constantly, or until it thickens and turns slightly syrupy.
- Pour syrup over cereal and mix until all of the cereal is coated. Pour granola into prepared pan and spread into a layer of even thickness.
- Cook for 40-50 min, pulling it out and stirring every 10 minutes. Granola is done when it’s begins to turn crunchy.
- Let cool, then add raisins. Granola will turn crunchier as it cools. Serve warm or cold. Store in an air-tight container for 1-2 weeks, if it lasts that long!