Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy Holidays Granola

Photo by shantilly picnic

My recent career change has inspired all sorts of creativitywithin me. I’ve been baking up a storm, drawing, making jewelry, and constantlyjotting down ideas for future projects. This holiday season I wanted to takethe opportunity to share some of my new life with loved ones that I don’t getto see often enough. I decided to make a special batch of granola withingredients that I’ve been using a lot of these days. I had so much fun pulling this all together. Thank you so much to Leigh and Steve Mignogna for helping me withthe design of the new shantilly picnic logo. So, from my little kitchen in Brooklyn to yours, Shantilly Picnic Holiday Granola. Merry Christmas, everyone! 

Makes about 10 cups

4 cups gluten-free rolled oats
1 cup wheat germ (except for my special gluten-free batches)
1 cup sunflower seeds, lightly toasted   
1/2 cup golden flax seeds 
1 cup sliced almonds 
1 cup chopped pecans 
1/2 cup dried cranberries 
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
4 tsp fresh lemon zest
2 tsp grey sea salt 
1 tsp ground cinnamon 
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 cup honey 
3/4 cup pure olive oil
1 tsp bourbon vanilla extract 


Preheat oven to 325 degrees (feel free to crank the heat up but just watch it so it doesn't burn). In a large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients except for the dried fruit. Heat the liquid ingredients together and pour over oat mixture. Stir and spread out evenly on 2 half sheet pans. Bake for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Don't be a slave to exact measurements and time instructions. Add ingredients to taste and bake until you think it looks right. Mixture should brown evenly; the browner it gets without burning, the crunchier the granola will be. Remove from oven and immediately stir in dried fruit. Let cool. Store in an airtight container.

Photo by shantilly picnic
To make this batch extra rich, I used olive oil (not extra virgin) and flavors very significant to my first few months as a professional baker. I love the fresh nutmeg, lemon zest, and course grey sea salt combination, and it will always remind me of my time at Saltie. 

Photo by shantilly picnic
Photo by shantilly picnic
Photo by shantilly picnic
Depending on the coarseness of your sea salt, you may want to crush it a bit with a mortar and pestle, but don't grind it down too much. It's nice to get a little blast of salt every once in a while.
Photo by shantilly picnic

I had to get in at least one picture of my new 20 quart stainless steel mixing bowl. I can now make 4 batches/40 cups of granola at a time!
Photo by shantilly picnic
 And here they are, all wrapped up underneath the Christmas tree.

Photo by shantilly picnic

Photo by shantilly picnic

Photo by shantilly picnic

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