August 19, 2008

TWD: Grab a Granola Grabber

I didn't realize how many recipes I had already made from Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours until I joined TWD. This is another one that I baked last year. I wasn't crazy about the grabbers then and my opinion didn't improve much this time, but they're not a bad cookie. I just think that in the same basic flavor category, I prefer a really good oatmeal-raisin cookie (I have one that I love from Cook's Illustrated - will have to post it in the future).

Nevertheless, the idea of using granola in a cookie is a bit unique and a good way to use up granola if you have it in the house. I make my own granola*, which includes dried fruits. Dorie suggested using fruit-free granola because the fruit in packaged ones is often dry but since mine is fresh, there seemed no reason to do so. The cookies were chewy and chock-full of nuts, fruits, oats and chocolate chips (my addition). A nice enough cookie, but as I said above, I think I'll stick with oatmeal cookies.

I posted yesterday about the heavy cream and fruit that I bought upstate over the weekend. I made a fresh apricot ice cream that complemented the grabbers nicely since my granola had dried apricots in it.

Thank you to Michelle of Bad Girl Baking for choosing the Grabbers this week and giving me another opportunity to try them out. You can find the full recipe on her blog.

*Homemade granola is super easy! Plus it makes your kitchen smell amazing while it bakes. Here is my basic recipe:
4 cups old-fashioned oats
2 cups sweetened coconut
2 cups sliced almonds or other unroasted nuts
3/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
3-4 cups dried fruit (any combination of: diced apricots, diced figs, cranberries, cherries, golden raisins or currants)
1 cup roasted unsalted cashews (or other nuts) (optional, if you like extra nuts)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Mix the oats, coconut and almonds together in large bowl.
In small saucepan, combine the oil, honey and cinnamon. Heat gently, stirring, until fully melted and combined.
Pour the liquids over the oat mixture and stir well until all the oats are coated. (Hands are sometimes helpful).
Pour onto a 13x18-inch baking sheet that is lined with wax paper, parchment or silpat.
Bake, stirring occasionally, until the granola is golden brown and very fragrant, about 1-1.5 hours. (Make sure you really stir well so the granola on the edges don't get too brown).
(I recommend lining bottom of your oven with foil as you may spill some oats while stirring.)
Remove from the oven and cool on baking sheet. When cool, put in a bowl and add the dried fruit and cashews (if using). Cool fully before storing in airtight container.

Granola is a very forgiving blend. You can easily vary the amount of sweetener; combine honey & maple syrup and play around with the add-ins. I don't recommend reducing the oil though as you need to get the oats well-coated. I have used a dark chestnut honey in my granola a few times, and highly recommend it if you like a very rich, earthy flavor.


Jaime said...

i never realized how simple it was to make your own granola at home - if i had known that, i would have made my own for these! your granola grabbers look nice and chunky!

Pamela said...

I've made these before, too. I enjoyed them much more this time around, but maybe that's because I made bars. The granola you made sounds yummy.

Prudy said...

Your cookies look gorgeous and I'd love to try that granola.

The DeL Sisters said...

That granola sounds good! Will have to try some time.

Liz said...

I know what you mean--these cookies weren't all that. And actually, my husband said the same thing you did--they tasted like slightly stale oatmeal cookies, and he just would have preferred a regular oatmeal cookie. Oh well! Your granola sounds fabulous.

LyB said...

That's too bad these weren't your cup of tea. At least you can say you gave them a second chance. They look really good to me!

n.o.e said...

I agree with you - give me an oatmeal raisin cookie any day (and I'll have my homemade granola as a cereal). My favorite oatmeal cookies are based on the ones from Cooks Illustrated with a few changes. Next time I make them I plan to post them to my blog.

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