Thursday, November 4, 2010

Pumpkin Spice Granola

I am trying so desperately to make a granola that I love.  This is close.  I love the "fall" flavor that the pumpkin puree imparts; the challenge remains for me to make a crisp granola that isn't also chunky.  You know, like big chucks that threaten to break a tooth?  Yeah, that's what I am talking about.  I wonder if I need to use a different type of oats??  (I was told by my friend "Low & Slow."  I haven't tried it, but you might consider lowering the temperature of the oven and cooking a bit longer).

Anyway, I'm sure once I toss a handful into some yogurt or splash some cold milk on it, it will be perfect!

Pumpkin Spice Granola
Adapted from Annie's Eats

3 ½ cups rolled oats
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice  (I made up my own, using 1 tsp. each of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice, as well as 1/4 tsp. ground cloves)
¾ tsp. salt
¾ cup brown sugar
½ cup pumpkin puree (I used homemade)
¼ cup applesauce
¼ cup maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
up to 1 ½ cups chopped nuts  (I used pecans, my favorite)
up to 1 cup dried fruit (I used a combination of raisins and craisins)

Preheat the oven to 325°.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place oats in a large bowl.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the pumpkin pie spice, salt, sugar, pumpkin puree, applesauce, maple syrup and vanilla extract.  Whisk until very smooth.  Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until the oat mixture is evenly coated.  Spread on the prepared baking sheet in an even layer.

Bake for 30 minutes.  Then turn over the granola using a large, wide spatula.  Sprinkle the nuts onto the granola and bake for an additional 15 minutes, until crisp and golden.  Depending on the size of your baking sheet, the center may not be fully dried if your granola layer is thick, so if necessary remove the edges of the cooked granola and let the rest cook until done, 10-15 more minutes.  Cool on pan or on a fine wire rack. Be careful not to burn the granola!

Break up granola as desired and toss with dried fruit.  Store in an airtight container.

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