Spring break starts in 3 days.
Life-wise, this means that I’ll be done with my midterms in 2 days, spring break will start in 3 days, and I’ll be home in 4 days. So close, but so far…
CoOp-wise, this means we only have 4.5 hours of work this week. Which means I had to choose between granola-making or dinner-cooking, which are both 2.5 hour jobs. I can’t do both, since that would be 5 hours (yeah, math!).
I opted for granola-making. Weird, I know; normally, I’d take cooking over any job. But I’ve been on a granola kick lately. I made granola last week too. This, with the stress of midterms week, means that this post is actually crunch time, both metaphorically and literally.
Last time, I made a stellar cranberry-orange-walnut granola. But I wanted to change it up today.. So I made this sweet & salty, olive oil and maple granola. It’s really, REALLY good. I highly recommend you make it. Right now.
It involves 12 cups of oats, 4 cups sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds (which I substituted for 1 cup sesame seeds), and 4 cups shredded coconut. This is the scale that you work at when you’re making enough granola to last a week for 20 people. I used the biggest bowl we have in the house.
Postnote: it is my firm belief that shredded coconut is key in all granola. It’s not that you really taste coconuttiness.. It just gives the granola a crazy good background flavor and browns beautifully – trust me on this.
Wet ingredients included 3 cups of maple syrup and 2 cups of olive oil.
The olive oil will smell very “green” when you first add it to the granola. Don’t worry about it, it’ll fade as it cooks.
Other ingredients consisted of 2 cups brown sugar and 4 teaspoons of COARSE sea salt. Coarse salt is key here.. It doesn’t dissolve as much as regular salt and as a result, hits your tongue differently. It makes for a phenomenal salty flavor, even if you don’t use that much of it.
Mix everything together, making sure the oil and the syrup is thoroughly incorporated into the dry ingredients, and that the brown sugar clumps are broken up. Little chunks are okay.. They’ll melt into little chunks of caramelly goodness in the granola.
Spread the mix into sheet pans and bake in a 350°F oven.
Stir every 10-15 minutes to ensure even browning/cooking. Granola can go from perfectly cooked to burnt in a second, so make sure to keep a close eye on it.
The granola above is perfectly cooked, but that’ just my personal opinion. Different people have different preference for granola browness. When the granola comes out of the oven, sprinkle a pinch more of the coarse salt over the pan, toss to mix, then press it flat with a metal spatula before it cools (the spatula-ing is optional.. it just gives better clumps).
Wait until the granola has cooled before it to an airtight container for storage (and occasional nomming).
Ah, my friends. Here is my granola. All 8 quarts of it. This granola. Is. So. GOOD.
Have it with milk, with yogurt, or just straight from the spoon.It makes for perfect snacking/breakfasting/midnight eating.
Keeping the CoOp crunchy. It’s what I do.
P.S. How are you guys liking my new camera? PRETTY AWESOME, HUH?