Cranberry & White Chocolate Granola

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Remember when I made those Caramel Apple & Pear Crumbles a while back & mentioned how my college workload was beginning to stress me out? The signs of stress were jumping out of my posts – I was grumpy, I was late putting up new posts, & then eventually I left my beloved blog to survive by itself while I curled up & died for a little while. 15 days, to be exact. The college semester ended with a bang (full of late assignments, extremely caffeinated days, & an unnervingly little amount of baking), the Christmas rush took hold in work, & I just crumbled under the tiredness. But then I went to the Christmas Markets in Munich for a few days & everything was good in the world once again (mulled wine has magical powers). Let the Christmas baking begin!

I’ve had lists upon lists of all the things I wanted to bake & post about on the blog during December (read: the best month for baking) sitting on my desk for months now. Linzer cookies, stollen, candied nuts, maybe a yule log or two thrown in for good measure, if it looks slightly Christmassy or would make a good present, it was on the list. But here we are on the 9th of December & this is the first thing I’ve gotten to post about. Oh well, more recipe options for next Christmas.

For now though, I’ve decided to ease us into the Christmas season. If you think that the 9th of December is way too late to be easing into the season, you are probably right, this is my blog & I decide what gets posted when. So tough. (I do apologize for my apparent anger, I seem to have forgotten how to write an interesting post.) Besides, it’s never too late for some Christmas baking ideas. 

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First Christmas related recipe of my first real Christmas on the blog: Cranberry & White Chocolate Granola. I came across the recipe for a nutty granola on Shutterbean a little while ago & adapted it to suit the Christmas season. (On a side note: go look at Tracy’s photography on Shutterbean & try not to like it, I dare you.) Cranberry & white chocolate are classic Christmas flavors, & trust me when I tell you that they work PERFECTLY in this granola. Like, match made in heaven kind of perfect. No big deal.

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So what we have here is a granola packed with the deliciously nutty taste of toasted walnuts & flaked almonds, the tang of dried cranberries, & cinnamon doused oats, all clumped together by the melted sweetness of white chocolate. Perfection. What we also have here is a great Christmas gift idea- imagine how great this would look all bundled up in little jars with the red of the cranberries standing out? CUTE. If you’re holding off for a granola that is more fitting to the Christmas season, I have another granola recipe ready to post closer to the big day that is just the thing you’re looking for.

Now, this granola comes with two warnings, one more serious than the other. The not so serious one: this granola is delicious, you will take a handful anytime you spot the jar on the kitchen counter, it is unavoidable. The slightly more serious one: two different family members came to me & claimed to have a near death choking experience because I didn’t chop the walnuts up enough. You could take this as a serious warning, or you could simply assume that my family members are too dramatic for their own good & both are clearly burdened with an unusually small oesophagus, like I did. Or maybe I just didn’t chop the walnuts up enough.

(Adapted from Shutterbean)

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ half cups of rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 3 tablespoons & 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup of honey
  • ¼ soft light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 flaked almonds
  • 1/3 cup of walnuts, chopped
  • 1/3 cup of white chocolate chunks
  • 1/3 cup of cranberries

Method  

  1. Preheat your oven to 160degreesC & line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the oats, cinnamon, & salt.
  3. In a smallish bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil, honey, brown sugar, & vanilla extract until completely combined.
  4. Pour the wet mixture over the oats & use your hands to make sure that they thoroughly combine, making sure that every oat is covered in the honey mixture.
  5. Spread the mixture evenly onto your lined baking sheet & bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
  6. After 15 minutes, remove the granola from the oven & use a metal spatula to stir it about. Sprinkle the flaked almonds & walnuts over the top & place back in the oven for another 10 minutes.
  7. After 10 minutes, remove the granola from the oven & stir with the spatula. Sprinkle over the white chocolate chunks to create some clusters & leave to cool completely.
  8. Once cooled, stir the dried cranberries into the granola & transfer to an airtight jar for up to two weeks.


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