Maple Granola toasting away in my oven.

Granola ready and waiting to be packaged.
I can hardly wait to try this!! Yet it will be hours before I can. It is really big recipe and I am baking it out of laziness in one half sheet pan instead of the recommended two. Why??? Well I am like that, not much on two pans in a conventional oven and switching them either.

I expect I will bake them twice as long. No problem.

Since my week thus far has been every day working on taxes. Yes, we filed an extension. I just didn't find a week to devote to it before now. I was much too busy making things for the grand kids and zipping around doing whatever keeps me so busy!!

Oops. I hear the buzzer on the oven right now. Back in a minute.

OH MY GOSH!! Smells like heaven upstairs in my kitchen. Wow. Not browning yet but I did not expect it to be.

This morning I said a prayer for all of those afflicted and affected by the terrible storms that swept the south.. I told Brian, "there but by the Grace of God," It could just as easily been any of us.

It was a joy though to wake up to the sun as it has not happened much of late!! It made me grateful for my home and family and enthused about a new day and to try this new recipe for granola before I hit the adding machine one last day. I am excited about finishing the tax paperwork today and mailing them off to the CPA in Jasper for his finishing touch.
Some of the optional ingredients.
I always marvel at all of the different ways people have come up with to make granola. This one is similar to the first one I ever tried from the Deaf Smith Country Cookbook.

I found this on the King Arthur website and made it my own. Here is my version of their Crunchy Granola:

7 C. old fashioned rolled oats
1 C. organic shredded coconut (optional)
1/2 C. oat bran
1/2 C. wheat germ
1 C. sliced almonds
1 C. walnuts
1 C. sunflower seeds
1/2 C. grape seed oil ( any oil you prefer)
1/2 t. kosher salt
1 C. pure real maple syrup (not maple flavored cane syrup)
1 T. pure vanilla
3 T. powdered maple syrup, Optional
5 C. (about 20 oz.) dried fruit of your choice*

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F and lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray 1 or 2 large (half sheet if you have them) pans.

Using a very large bowl mix all of the dried ingredients, BUT NO FRUIT. Mix them well. Using a very large measuring cup (2 C. or larger) or batter bowl (one having a pour spout), combine the oil, salt, syrup, and vanilla and whisk together. Pour the wet over the dry and mix stirring and tossing until everything is very well combined and dampened evenly. OPTIONAL, at this point I sprinkled in 3 T. powdered maple syrup*, hoping to enhance the maple flavor, and stirred it well until it was absorbed into the cereal mix.

Spread evenly over the sheet pan or pans you have prepared. If you are using 2 sheet pans the recommended time is 90 minutes or until a light to medium (your taste) golden brown. Stir every 20 minutes or so moving away from the edges and pushing back from the center.
Ready to be toasted in the oven.
When the granola has finished baking cool completely in the pan. Transfer to an extra large bowl and add the dried fruit, again mixing well. Store in a tightly closed container at room temperature for several weeks or freeze for extended storage. Yield 18 C. or 4 1/4 pounds granola.

*This week I dehydrated 5 pounds of apples so I am using apples, cranberries and apricots.
*Powdered Maple Syrup as well as Granulated Maple Syrup can be ordered on the inter net.

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