A few weeks back I decided I wanted to try to make granola at home. It sounded easy enough. It’s just oats and stuff, mixed up and toasted, right? Who could screw this up?
Well, it is easy enough. If you read the directions. Not like yours truely, who read through the recipe once and a few days later went into the kitchen and started throwing things together. *sigh*
I used this Great Granola recipe. Mostly. I wasn’t crazy about the different variations so I kind of created my own. Apparently I wanted to create my own everything else too, since I couldn’t seem to follow the instructions for one second. I decided to do the basic recipe and add almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds and vanilla flavoring. Oh, yes. And replace all the maple syrup with molasses, you know, cause molasses is high in iron and I can make a healthy thing more healthy. Right?
First, I failed to combine all the ingredients. I don’t know why. I just left the nuts out. Then I dumped the molasses right over the oat mix, only to realize yes…the recipe says to bring the liquids to a SIMMER in a saucepan before pouring over the dry ingredients. (Oh yes. And the molasses thing? You can sub half the maple syrup with molasses. Not the whole freaking thing!) This is the most embarrasing kung faux pas in recent memory.
To the left you can see the resulting charred mess. The molasses burned before the oats toasted. (I think. It looked really dark and nasty before it went into the oven.) And it tasted like burnt newspaper. Not exactly something I want to put over my yogurt in the morning.
Undaunted, and chalking up the above monstrosity as a “learning experience” (aka, you only learned because you jacked it up so bad), I was determined to try again. I ran out and bought some more rolled oats and walnuts and tried again, this time paying much more careful attention to the DIRECTIONS!
It’s amazing the difference between following the directions and flying by the seat of your pants. In this case the difference was between burnt newspaper and crunchy deliciousness. This granola is so good I’ll never look back at the who-knows-how-old-it-is stuff in the store. And now that I know the trick to perfect granola, I’ll be making it a lot more often!