Granola

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I grew up eating granola that my mother made from scratch. I always loved it and I have fond memories of eating it. My wonderful wife made me granola with my mother’s recipe for the first few years of our marriage. Eventually she found this recipe and we converted to it. We found it easier to make and just as tasty.

Granola

from Cook’s Illustrated magazine number 115 (March & April 2012) page 9

Ingredients

  • ⅓ cup maple syrup
  • ⅓ cup packed (2⅓ ounces) light brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 cups (10 ounces) raw almonds, chopped coarse

Directions

Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 325℉. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Whisk maple syrup, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt, and oil in large bowl. Fold in oats and almonds until thoroughly coated.

Transfer oat mixture to prepared baking sheet and spread across sheet into thin, even layer (about ⅜ inch thick). Using stiff metal spatula, compress oat mixture until very compact. Bake until lightly browned, 33 to 45 minutes, rotating pan once halfway through baking. Remove granola from oven and cool on wire rack to room temperature, about 1 hour. Break cooled granola into pieces of desired size. (Granola can be stored in airtight container for up to 2 weeks.)

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Pumpkin Muffins

So my wife and I were laying in our bed one morning last week, wondering what to have for breakfast. I suggested eggs. My wife suggested these Pumpkin Muffins. As Halloween is still fresh in our memories, and Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and cans of pumpkin puree not a few grace our pantry shelves, I thought it only appropriate to feel obliged to my wife’s suggestion.

I was not disappointed.

Pumpkin Muffins

Pumpkin Muffins

from Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or ½ tsp cinnamon + ¼ tsp ground ginger + ⅛ tsp allspice + ⅛ tsp nutmeg)
  • 1¼ cups plus 1 Tbs sugar
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Directions

Put oven in middle position and preheat oven to 350℉. Put liners in muffin cups (or spray cups with baking spray).

Whisk together pumpkin, oil, eggs, pumpkin pie spice, 1¼ cups sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl until smooth, then whisk in remaining dry ingredients (flour and baking powder) until just combined.

Stir together cinnamon and remaining 1 Tbs sugar in another bowl.

Divide batter among muffin cups (each should be about three-fourths full), then sprinkle tops with cinnamon-sugar mixture. Bake until puffed and golden brown and wooden pick or skewer inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Spend those 25 to 30 minutes cleaning up the mess you just made.

Cool in pan on a rack five minutes, then transfer muffins from pan to rack and cool to warm or room temperature. Eat them quickly, before someone else smells them and tries to take them from you.