I like my granola lightly browned with some serious crunch. I place my baking sheets in the lower third of the oven and bake them over low heat for approximately 2 hours or until they are lightly browned and dry. It takes a little extra time, but the results are well worth the wait.
Cranberry Maple Nut Granola4 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup Grade A Dark Amber Maple Syrup ( I use the darker-colored maple syrup, which has a richer flavor)
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup light extra virgin olive oil or other neutral tasting oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup raw, unsalted cashews, roughly chopped
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut
3/4 cup slivered almonds
1 1/3 cup dried cranberries
In a large saucepan, bring the brown sugar, white sugar, maple syrup, honey, and water to a boil. Cook and stir until sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat; set aside. In a large bowl, combine the oats, cashews, almonds, coconut and salt. Stir oil and vanilla into sugar mixture; pour over oat mixture and toss to coat. Transfer to two 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pans coated with cooking spray. Adjust the oven racks to the lower third of the oven and bake at 250° for approximately 2 hours or until dry and lightly browned, stirring every 15 minutes. Cool completely on wire racks. Toss in the dried cranberries. Store in an airtight container.
By: Rachel Tucker | Image: Rachel Tucker / College Gloss