Thursday, June 9, 2011

Steve's Best Damn Granola

{In the Kitchen with My Father-in-law}



P's dad makes the best damn granola I've ever had. Period. He brought us a giant Ziploc bag of the stuff when he visited us in Joshua Tree for the first time several years ago, and I've been keen to get his recipe ever since. What makes Steve's granola so special is that it's sweet and just a tad bit salty; he uses maple syrup (from a family friend's sugar bush in New Hampshire, sigh) complimented by a healthy pinch of salt to balance out the sweetness. And it's no-nonsense stuff: no dried fruits or frilly, fancy ingredients. This is hard-core New England granola, folks, which is why I'm calling it Best Damn. And so when P. and I were up in Massachusetts two weeks ago to visit his parents I made it my furtive duty over the course of the weekend to demolish the ready-supply of Best Damn they keep in a giant glass jar in the kitchen. One morning I casually mentioned to Steve that hmm, strange, the granola supply seems to be running low, and would he like to teach me how to make it? Shazam. Instant bigBANG guest-post by my FiL + top secret granola recipe finally revealed. So without further ado:




Steve's Best Damn Granola
Straight from my father-in-law's New England kitchen to your computer screen. Feel free to add flax seeds or unsweetened shredded coconut, etc., but know that it is the masterful simplicity of this recipe that makes it so versatile, special and delicious.

Ingredients:
5 cups rolled oats
1 cup almonds
1 cup walnuts
1 cup pecans
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup canola oil
1+ cup water, or until good and wet

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350. In food processor, pulse almonds for 10 seconds, then dump in pecans and walnuts, brown sugar and salt. Pulse gently until evenly broken up into nice granola-sized bits.

2. Pour nut mixture into large bowl. Add the oats, maple syrup, oil and water; mix with spoon. Adjust sweetness or saltiness to taste. Mixture should be completely and evenly damp (the moisture helps make those satisfying little clumps once you bake). Pour mixture into large ungreased roasting pan and bake for 45 minutes or so, stirring occasionally. Granola is done when golden and just-crisp. Allow to cool at room temperature, then store in an airtight container. Excellent with yogurt and fruit, milk, or by the handful as a snack.

Note: If you don't want to deal with stirring your granola as it bakes, turn the temp down to 275 and bake unattended for up to two hours. Steve uses either method, depending on his morning schedule.

28 comments:

  1. I am so glad that your cooking posts are back! We made your strawberry shortcake last summer and we kind of died over it. I can see myself dying over this granola too.

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  2. I might be missing something, but is some information left out? Do we pour the oats and the canola oil and the nuts altogether into the big bowl? Otherwise, when to add the oil?

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  3. the one time i made muesli H, ate it all in under 36 hours.

    if i made this granola, i have a feeling he'd eat it all in 8 and KILL HIMSELF.

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  4. Here in Uruguay there is NO maple syrup, as matter of fact i guess the 90% of people here never even heard about it (well maybe some really heedful ones who heard it on us' movies...), is there anything i can replace it with? thank you!!

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  5. Julie- you made my day by making the strawberry shortcake last summer. That was our wedding desert, btw.

    Misie- heavenly is RIGHT.

    LPC- thank god for your close-reading. Just added the adding of the oil. ;)

    ESB- I've eaten, like, probably a pound of the stuff in under 36 hours and I lived to tell the tale. So H is in the clear. Also, this is a judgment-free grammar zone, which you should know by now. Shame, lady, shame.

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  6. Renata- no worries! If you have agave syrup, which I imagine you might be able to find at any specialty grocery or health food store, sub that in. Otherwise just double the amount of brown sugar. Let me know how it turns out, or if you find another sweet solution! It's a VERY forgivable recipe; you really can't mess it up!

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  7. Ok, color me stupid, but I'm not seeing at what point you add the oats? I'm presuming they're in the bowl when you add the nut mixture prior to the wet ingredients, but just want to make sure!

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  8. Looks amazing. Will be making a batch of this soon as possible. For us Brits, what's canola oil?

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  9. That looks beyond delicious, I want some!
    Happy day, friend!

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  10. this looks delicious i am going to make this for my hus because he is big on granola!

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  11. Is that a Kimberlina mug in the first pic?

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  12. Yum, I am bookmarking this!

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  13. can i rent your family:)!
    you guys are amazing, honestly i think you and your family should start a magazine!

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  14. yum, I make granola every other week that's similar, only 1 cup of syrup & no brown sugar or water. Never thought of adding water! Guessing it makes it clump into clusters? I do, however, use peanut butter, which creates these amazing clusters that are kind of caramely. I'm VERY picky about use of peanut butter in baking, so trust me on this. Someone told me coconut oil instead of canola is amazing, but that shit is the price of gold.

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  15. Y U M M Y. India is amazing, but isn't the U.S. wonderful? I have a vegan cookie recipe that I'll share with you. They're super granola-y and awesome.

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  16. Yay Lily! Can't wait for Saturday morning..and I have the perfect glass jar for safe keeping. Thank you thank you thank you.
    ps. miss you

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  17. Never thought about adding water, hummmmm. Or grinding the nuts, ever, hummm, might make my version a little less frightful to those whom scare off easily. Large whole nuts, and all. I surely hope your FIL doesn't mind the internet world blast of his family recipe! I use honey instead of maple syrup, but will resort to some of that luscious tree goo next time around. Yum, yum, yum.

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  18. Full of Heart- no no, you're right on the ball. I got too excited when transcribing the recipe and left a few, um, details out. Edited and accurate, now. Thanks;)

    Becky- canola oil is a mild combo of rapeseed oil and mustard oil that performs well at high temps (therefore a good baking oil). You can sub in any number of light high-heat oils -safflower or peanut, for instance. Hope that helps.

    Anna, Shellie, Abby, Nadia- xo!

    Bonnie- you bet it is. From True World, too! How can I get in touch with the mysterious Andy Telford- I would *love* to order a whole set of mugs like that in different shapes and sizes...I owe you an email...

    Kate- DONE.

    James- omg we miss you SO. MUCH.

    ChickenKitty- YAY! Tell me how it works out! How's my lil' favorite fat cat these days? Give her a big scratch on the belly for me.

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  19. Nom. Thank you. I close read because I would like to cook this:). BTW, I have started using coconut oil in place of canola. a) no smell of burnt rubber. b) paleo. Kinda fun.

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  20. LPC- Are you that person who told Kate to use coconut oil? Nom is RIGHT.

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  21. No, just an harmonic convergence:).

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  22. i have been looking for a simple granola recipe. every one i have seen always has a zillion ingredients (like sunflower seeds, ew) and i immediately lose interest. this is perfection. can't wait to give it a whirl.

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  23. I'd just been thinking that I need to make granola from scratch since we go through it so quickly. (With plain greek yogurt and fresh berries in the morning for breakfast. Yum.) Thanks for the recipe!

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  24. Hey Lily, my mother is now your avid blog-fan. And she just made your granola recipe.

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  25. I use coconut oil on my FACE, it's so marvelous.

    Also, this recipe is officially NOT MESSING AROUND.

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  26. I'm making this tomorrow with my Mom. Can't wait!

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