During my senior year at Wesleyan, we set off the fire alarm in our house at least seven times. Most of these took place after midnight on weekends, and involved a lot of random frat bros in my kitchen. But one time it was me.  It happened one afternoon in April. No one else was home. I was watching Friday Night Lights  writing my thesis and got distracted. When the fire department and P-Safe came I told them I was making granola and they laughed at me. Luckily we never got fined, and I could see the humor.

 It was fitting that my one experience with the fire alarm happened when I was was making something that I made probably more than anything else during my years in college – granola. So Wesleyan, I know. I made granola every few weeks for my junior and senior years. It was, and continues to be, a weekend ritual for me. The best part of the granola ritual is how it makes then entire house/apartment/hall smell delicious. My housemates were constantly disappointed when they came home to the warm, cinnamony, sweet smell, and found out that rather than being cookies or cake or pie, it was granola.

After graduating I realized there would be rituals from college that I would have to give up, and others that I would keep. This granola, along with Netflix at midnight, and watching this video when I need some motivation, remain regular parts of my life.

 Make this granola. Start some rituals. Make more memories.

finished granola

xo,

Erin ‘12

As every one of the exactly 4.7 million recipes for granola on the internet will tell you, this granola is to be made to your preferences. Use your favorite sweetener (maple syrup, sugar, stevia), your favorite dried fruit, your favorite nuts, your favorite spices. I like a lot of coconut (I use Bob’s Red Mill Flaked Coconut – BIG flakes), but you don’t need to use any if you’re not into it. I find that adding the fruit after baking allows it to stay moist and delicious, but that the nuts should be roasted with the rest of the granola.

 Cranberry Walnut Granola

 Ingredients:

IMG_0624

Cooking spray

½ cup honey

½ cup water

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon ginger

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

3 cups oats

1 cup flaked, unsweetened coconut (optional)

1 cup chopped walnuts (or other nut, optional)

2 cups puffed rice, or rice crispies

½ cup dried cranberries

½ cup golden raisins

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°
  2. Coat two large baking trays with cooking spray
  3. Combine honey and water in a large mixing bowl and microwave for 1 minute to melt the honey.
  4. Mix the water and honey together until homogenous.
  5. Add spices, vanilla, oats, coconut, and nuts and mix until combined.
  6. Add puffed rice and mix (don’t add rice until the end, because it will start dissolving).
  7. Pour half of the mixture on to each tray and spread evenly.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes.
  9. Remove trays from oven and mix granola.
  10. Return to oven for 10-20 more minutes, checking frequently after 10 minutes as to not burn the granola. The granola is done when it’s golden brown and your whole house smells like pie.
  11. Put the toasted granola into a large bowl and toss with the dried fruit.
  12. Wait for it to cool completely before storing it in airtight bags. It will last for a few weeks.

baking sheet granola