I promised to bring granola for a preschool project involving parfait. The boys’ school is nut-free, so I figured the easiest and cheapest thing to do would be to make my own granola. I fell back on my memory of an old recipe by Kathleen Daelemans, because I remembered that it used just a few ingredients and didn’t require butter, which I’m running low on.
Since I didn’t think to look up the recipe before I got started, things got crazy. For one thing, it appears my proportions were a bit off. And I used quick cooking oats. Who knew the oats would just suck up the liquid mixture and turn into a mass of goo. I salvaged the granola as best I could, and apparently it was a hit, because the teachers all asked me for the recipe. This is for them, but if only they knew!
Super Crunchy Granola
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
6 cups quick cooking oats
nonstick cooking spray
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a jelly roll sheet with parchment paper and lightly coat the paper with nonstick spray.
2. Microwave the water in a microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup on high for one minute. Add the brown sugar, stir, and microwave for an additional minute and stir until the sugar is dissolved. (Microwave the mixture for additional time if necessary.)
3. Stir in the vanilla and salt. Combine the oats and sugar mixture in a large bowl and stir well. Pour the oat mixture onto the parchment paper and spread it into a thin layer. (I covered the mixture with a second sheet of parchment and pressed it out like dough.)
4. Bake the mixture for 40 to 60 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned. Let cool.
5. When the mixture has cooled, break it up into small crumbles. (Caution: This is hurt my fingers a little and was somewhat time consuming.)
6. Return the crumbles to the parchment paper and spread into one layer. Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown and fragrant. Let cool, then store in an airtight container.
The best part about this recipe was the cost: nothing, because I already had all of the ingredients on hand!