Friday, March 4, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Granola ola!

Pumpkin Spice Granola
I'm not going to talk weather today!
Suffice to say, it is still wintery. 'Nuf said...Anything goes with granola, you add your favorites, leave out what you want, but the coming together of toasted oatmeal and all the spices make this delightful! The pumpkin flavor is not overpowering, it might have taken the place of applesauce and honey for moistening. I enjoy this recipe and I think you will too. My mom, who is a basic granola fan, was very enthused upon trying this. This would be ideal in a ziplock bag when you or family go for a hike or need a snack on any outing.
I use my Pumpkin Spice Mix that I keep for muffins and pie. The recipe follows:
Makes 2 tablespoons
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Blend ingredients together and store in an airtight container.

 The Granola
Makes about 5 cups (large batch for you and friends!: 15 cups)
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree (large batch: 2 1/4 cups)
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar (large batch: 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 Tbsp. canola oil or olive oil (large batch: 6 Tbsp.)
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract (large batch: 3 Tbsp.)
  • 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (large batch: 6 tsp.)
  • 1 tsp. ground cardamom (large batch: 3 tsp.)
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt (large batch: 3 tsp.)
  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (large batch: 9 cups)
  • 1 cup roughly chopped pecans (large batch: 3 cups)
  • 1 cup pistachios (optional; large batch: 3 cups)
  • 1/2 c pepitas, flax seeds (optional; large batch 2 c)
  • 1 cup golden raisins (large batch: 3 cups)
  • 1 cup dried cranberries (optional; large batch: 3 cups)
  • I added a little crystallized ginger because I wanted to! ;)
Total time: 45 minutes

Preheat oven to 325°. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper (3 pans for the large recipe); set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, sugar, oil, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice mix , cardamom, and salt. Add oats, pecans, and pistachios, flax seed, pepitas  (if using), and toss to coat. Spread evenly on prepared baking sheet and bake 30 minutes, stirring halfway through. Stir in raisins and cranberries (if using), and continue baking until oats are just crisp, about 15 minutes more. Stir one last time, then set aside to cool completely. When hard, break into chunks and store in an airtight container(s). Freezes well.
I love this served with Greek yogurt. If you have any left by summer ( you may have to make more!) imagine it with fresh raspberries and the yogurt. Smacks of desert!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Big Cookie Dreamin'

My Big Anzac Cookie
March is here, snow is melting, forecasting more this week! Yikes, I need cookies to calm down. My confession for today: I can't help myself, big cookies are my dream. Some like having 2 or 3 little cookies to nibble on. Dainty, tasty, tea time sweets. Not me. I want a huge, honkin' 5 inch cookie that's all mine, no sharing. I have several recipes that I make but perhaps my favorites are the Anzac, the Peanut Butter Milk Chocolate Chip with Peanut Butter Cups chopped in and the Sugar Cookie with hard icing. Oh, and maybe the Oatmeal Raisin.
New Zealand cooking: 1T=4t
1 c flour
1 c rolled oats
1 c unsweetened coconut
3/4 c brown sugar
2T golden syrup
1/8 tsp salt
1 t b soda
1/2 c butter, chopped

melt butter and syrup, remove
in large bowl mix flour, oats, sugar
combine soda and 2 T water in a bowl
stir into butter, might be frothy, add to flour mixture and stir well
350 degrees, parchment covered cookie sheets, 15-18 minutes, 8 cookies use large scoop and flatten
Parchment paper 6 cookies per sheet, cool on sheet about 10 min before cooling on racks.

Peanut Butter Cookies
1 1/4 c flour
3/4 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1/2 c unsalted butter
1 c peanut butter (I love crunchy)
3/4 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
1 egg
1 T milk
1 t vanilla
1/2 c milk choc chips
1/2 c peanut butter cups (6 full size, cut in 1/4)

mix dry
beat butter
add sugars
add egg
stir in milk and vanilla
add dry
add choc and peanut butter cups
350 degrees 16-18 min 12 cookies, use large scoop, flatten with sugar and fork marks