Maple Cinnamon Granola

I’d never really thought I was the type to make my own granola; but when I came across a recipe in Cook’s Illustrated and realized that I had all of the ingredients in my pantry – I figured, why not?  I’m sure it’s way cheaper to make your own and it actually tastes much better – plus, you can adjust the flavors, dried fruits and nuts to be exactly what you want.  I have a feeling I just stumbled upon a new addiction…

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/6 cup real maple syrup (sorry, Aunt Jemima)
  • 1/6 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups Old Fashioned Quaker Oats (do NOT use quick oats)
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 cup raisins

HOW TO MAKE IT

  • In a medium mixing bowl, combine the oil, maple syrup, sugars, cinnamon and vanilla extract – whisk well
  • Pour in the oats and almonds and mix until everything is well coated with the sugar mixture
  • Spread the oat mixture out into a thick layer on a parchment paper lined baking sheet – press it down with the back of a spatula until is compacted
  • Bake at 325°F for approximately 25-30 minutes (rotate the pan 180° halfway through)
  • Remove from the oven and cool for about 45 minutes, then break it apart into chunks of desired size, toss in the the raisins and mix well

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Ranch Snack Mix

I found this recipe on Pinterest and had to try it because it seemed so easy and so tasty – and it was!  Word to the wise: one batch won’t last too long…  it’s addictive.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 box/bag oyster crackers (you could also sub in some chex cereal or pretzels)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 package ranch dressing powder mix
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder (or to taste)
  • Salt, to taste

HOW TO MAKE IT

  • Preheat the oven to 250°F
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the salad dressing mix, garlic powder, salt and vegetable oil – mix well
  • Pour in the box of crackers and stir to get the crackers evenly coated
  • Pour the crackers onto a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes

Biscotti di Vino

Biscotti di Vino is really just a fancy name for wine biscuits.  I love these little treats with a cup of coffee in the morning or as a snack in the afternoon… they always seem to hit the sweet tooth spot.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  •  Optional: 1/2  – 1 1/2 tsp  ground black pepper
    • Adds a nice little bit of spice – but if you’re making it for kids, I’d leave it out
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup dark red wine, the darker the better
    • You could also use white, but I think that the red gives them more flavor

HOW TO MAKE IT

  • Combine the dry ingredients
  • Add in the oil and wine and mix until it just forms a dough
  • Roll a small ball of dough out into a small cylinder and tie into a knot or just pinch into a round circle
  • Line up the biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet about an inch apart
  • Bake on the middle oven rack at 350°F for 20-25 minutes or until the bottoms are golden brown