I am a granola girl. A whole grain, gluten free granola girl. And this year, I am celebrating my inner Rudolph by making decadent granola studded with pecans for my friends and neighbors.
SHHHH. I am starting with a mix…an Among Friends Trish the Dish crisp mix, because lets face it, behind is my middle name in the month of December. (The month is replete with birthdays, my mom’s, mine, my youngest son’s, my sis in law’s, and I refuse to let Christmas take over until I’ve honored the births.)
Trish is one of my favorite people, my hard-nosed, warm- hearted friend who insists on science when baking along side me. It’s a good thing since recipe development is not for the flakey, as all mistakes are amplified when produced enmasse.
But Trish is perhaps my favorite mix for its sheer flexibility. You can use any kind of fruit to make the crisp and it will be gorgeous. You can make it with coconut oil and honor the vegans, and everyone else will swoon, too. And making a Trish crisp is a great way to celebrate the seasons, as luscious with apples and pomegranate seeds in the winter as it is with a bumper crop of Michigan summer blueberries.
But it is granola season in Michigan. Few things signal the season for me quite like the aroma of nuts roasting mingling with freshly cut pine.
So here’s how to make granola in a jiffy. But first a caveat. This recipe is fun, flexible and forgiving. (This can also serve as your new year’s s resolution.)
You cannot mess it up.
Dump the crisp mix into a bowl. Add 5 or 6 Tablespoon of butter, vegetable oil, or coconut oil and mix with a beater or your hands. You can add small bits of cold butter, soft butter or melted butter. Your goal is to make crumbs. Now for a little trick. I add the white of one egg as well. This helps create some tasty clumps in the granola. Spread crumbly mixture in a large jelly roll pan, a cookie sheet with sides. I put pecans on the top so they roast. And I almost always add coconut. But again, flexibility is king here. Bake in preheated oven at 350 for 25 minutes or so, stir well, and then reduce heat to 275 and let it go for 25 to 30 minutes. Then I open the oven door, turn off the heat, and let the mixture dry for a few hours. I like to brown mine a bit more than most people.
And that’s it.
This granola girl has got to go. I am meeting my fellow granola girl Suzie Q, at my son’s basketball game in a half hour. And I have the perfect snack, granola to go, for my husband, who kindly took the boys early so I could finish my granola project. SO what if I smell like cinnamon and nutmeg.