Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Big Crunch Granola

I am a huge fan of granola but I have anxiety over the cost and artificial taste of the stuff from the middle aisle of the store. This recipe makes a whole lotta granola and should last you for weeks. This is also totally easy and you can switch, add and subtract ingredients to suit your own tastes. The only warning on this stuff is that it is addictive and I have spent more nights than I care to admit munching away while watching Bridget Jones's Diary for the 80th time. I know, not glamorous but it puts me in my happy place and that's how I roll.

2 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 cup of water
5 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons almond extract
2 teaspoons kosher salt
8 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup chopped salted cashews
1/2 cup salted sunflower seeds
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup golden raisins

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Combine brown sugar and water in a large glass microwave bowl. Make sure it is big or it will boil over. Place in microwave for 5 minutes and cook until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from microwave; add vanilla extract, almond extract and salt. Stir to combine until salt dissolves. Place oats, all nuts and dried fruits in a bowl and combine. Pour brown sugar mixture over nut mixture and combine. Pour mixture onto the two baking sheets, piling high if necessary. Bake for 50-60 minutes until olden and crunchy. Wait until the mixture is cooled completely and store in an airtight container.

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