Last Granola Recipe…..for now :)

This is the final recipe for granola that I planned on making.  I would have made it sooner, but I had problems finding the Dark Chocolate Covered Raisinets.  I decided to stock up on all the ingredients for all the granola recipies, since I couldn’t find the raisinets for so long.  Of course, I couldn’t find the stupid cherries this time *SIGH*

Ingredients
TCG_Ingredients

Mixing the chocolatey sauce.  I had to nuke it a little bit because my brown sugar was a little old.  If I didn’t, it wasn’t going to end up a nice smooth sauce.
TCG_Chocolaty Sauce

I really struggled to get it all mixed up again.  I need a special granola mixing class or something.  I still got it mixed and spread out to bake.  You can see that I still missed a few places.  I really didn’t notice when I was eating it.
TCG_ReadyToBake

Add Ins.  I decided to throw the rest of the cherries in because there wasn’t enough to make even a half recipe of the nutella granola.
TCG_AddIns

Add ins in with the hot granola.  I have gotten used to having nice chocolatey chunky granola that I went ahead and put all the add ins on the hot granola.
TCG_MeltingAddIns

Mixed
TCG_Mixed

This is where it gets weird.  I tried the granola on the night I made it and it actually tasted sour.  I could figure out what happened.  The only thing I could think of was that I forgot the salt.  Is salt the opposite of sour?  Regardless, I let it cool completely and put it in a container.  It still tasted ok, just a bad after taste.  I figured that I would be able to mix it with some granola and call it good.

Fast forward a couple days.  I opened the container and grabbed a piece.  I kept munching at it, expecting that sour to hit me, but it never did!!  Maybe it needed a rest time?  No matter, it was really good.  The granola itself (without the chocolate parts) reminds me of the nature valley chocolate granola bars.  I loved it.  I have no idea what happened between the baking and the snacking.  I don’t know if I want to know.  I do know that I need more containers to hold all the granola I plan on making – lol

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Oat Candy

The first granola recipe I got was so good, I couldn’t wait to try another one.  I picked the Dark Chocolate Cherry.  This time, I actually read through all of the steps – you’re impressed aren’t you?  😉

Ingredients.  Can I just say that Sunmaid REALLY needs to redesign their seal.  I tried about 5 times to close the stupid bag before giving up
DCG_Ingredients

Cherries and oats mixed.
DCG_CherriesOats

I didn’t get a picture of the Nutella and the Honey.  Think about it – Big hunk of dark brown goo in the middle of a golden pool of liquid.  What you’re thinking?  Yea, that’s what it looked like.  It was actually really hard to get the Nutella to melt.  The honey was even bouling and the it still didn’t want to melt.  I may have had to heat it a little more because this was way harder to mix thouroghly than the last recipe.  I even tossed the spoon and ended up using my hands to finish it.  Even then, it doesn’t look very chocolately before being baked
DCG_PreBake

Every 10 minutes, the granola gets stirred until it is cooked for an entire 30 minutes.  You can see it darkening after just the first 10 minutes.
DCG_FirstBake

After it is done, you place the chocolate chips on the hot granola while it cooks.  I took these a little too early.  I didn’t have the patience before tasting it.
DCG_FirstBake

Closeup!
DCG_ExtremeCloseup

It is definitely very good.  I don’t even know how to describe it.  The nutella doesn’t really give a hazelnut taste, but it is very chocolatey.  The cherries are a wonderful contrast to the rich flavor and the crunchy granola.  This is definitely more crunchy than the last.  Unlike the last, I think this benefits from being crunchy.  It is just really good.  I am definitely becoming a fan of the homemade granola.  I have another granola recipe from this website in the queue of recipes to make.  I almost want to finish this so I can make that one – lol.  I have been noshing on this for a bit and, MAN, does it take a lot to chew!  I think I will only bake for like 20 minutes next time.

Not as crunchy as intended

I like granola.  Well, I like certain granola.  I am a bit picky, but they are so expensive – especially with my tastes (Can we say Kashi chocolate granola?).  I ran across this recipe,but I have no idea where.  I like granola.  I like oatmeal cookies.  I figured it was a good fit.

Ingredients:  See that honey?  Yea, not enough honey by thaaaat much.  I wasn’t quire sure what else to add to it.  I really didn’t want to add syrup or the barely malt syrup in my fridge.
G_Ingredients

I forgot to show this one.  I may have used more than the recipe calls for, but, hey, who doesn’t like cinnamon.  I was just too lazy to try and find my tsp, so I just guesstimated with a 1/2 tbsp.
G_Forgot

All the dry mixed up.  When you make this recipe, don’t do this.  I just wrote down the ingredients when I went to the kitchen instead of all of the directions.  Mistake.  I put the raisins and chocolate before the first bake instead of after.
G_Mixed

Close-up cause it looks cool
G_CloseUp

I tried to make the just not quite enough honey and mixed the crap out of it when I poured it on.  I was determined to get every piece covered.  By the way – use a bowl bigger than a cereal bowl to mix up the peanut butter and honey……trust me.

All laid out to be baked
G_ReadyToBake

Baked.
G_Baked

See, this is when you were supposed to put in the chocolate and raisins then bake again.  I just took it out and put it to cool while I worked on some other things.  I didn’t realize that I got it wrong until I sat down to write this post.  I didn’t want to put it back in for fear that it would burn the chocolate.  I took a taste while I was breaking it up and it was pretty good.

See this?  This is what I originally wrote about my first impression of the granola
“The honey I used is very strong and makes me kind of wonder if I could use something else in it’s place.  Honey and I have an odd relationship.  It’s not that I hate it, it’s just that I prefer it sometimes and others, I don’t.  I definitely want to try this again with corn syrup or agave nectar or something. “

Fast forward to when I was putting it away for the final picture.  I couldn’t stop eating it.  I started wondering what cocoa roasted almonds would taste like in it or cinnamon toasted almonds.  I think I will keep it the way it is – definitely use honey.  It wasn’t as crunchy as standard granola, but I am guessing that is because of the missed second baking.  I cannot WAIT to make this again.  Oh, yea, and actually make it the correct way next time 😀

Retro dip

The other day, I was writing out all the recipes in my handwritten cookbook and I came across Spinach Dip.  Oh yea, I am bringing it back!!  I could not get it out of my head – the seasonings, the creaminess – insert Homer drool.  I just HAD to make it.  Sad part?  I couldn’t eat it last night because I made a couple snafus with grocery store purchases and ended up buying higher calorie items.  I will defintely be having some during the day today.  I bought some thin triscuits to go with them.  I have plain and parmesan garlic.  I think they will both be good, but since I have been craving the seasoning, I will and just use plain this time.  There are 4 cups to eat, so I think I will get a chance to try with the other ones.

Ingredients – I did not use all the sour cream.  It just so happened that I had tacos last night and needed some extra.  This was the perfect size.  I also used more spinach than was called for in the recipe.  My coworker made this a while ago and the proportion of spinach to creamy dipness was way out of wack.  I bought a 2 pound bag of spinach instead of the brick.  With what was lost when squeezing dry, it was the perfect amount.  I hate water chestnuts, so they were out.  As for the green onion?  I didn’t think they were necessary.
SD_Ingredients

Ready to mix
SD_ReadyToMix

All mixed up
SD_Mixed

Yep – that’s it.  I cannot wait to have it.  I will stress that the refrigeration time in the recipe is key – it gives the time enough for all the flavors to blend.  It was a huge difference from when I first mixed it to later last night when I tasted.  I am bringing it into work to share.  I still hope to have enough to last the rest of the week and possibly over the weekend.  I may separate some and keep it home to ensure this 🙂  Hey – at least I am sharing, I should be able to keep some of my own!!