There are some things that are so very simple to make yet, for convenience, we buy them—and usually spend more than if we’d just made it ourselves. One of those things is granola. I’ll admit that I’ve bought my share of granola in the bulk section or a small box of the stuff in the cereal isle and paid more than I should have. Side note, one thing I have never bought and will not ever do so—and please don’t buy this either—is simple syrup. SIMPLE SYRUP, seriously. And, it’s like $4.00 for a small bottle and all you need to do is mix a cup of sugar with a cup of water, stir to dissolve the sugar, and boil it. Do you know how much you could make for $4.00? I don’t understand how there’s a market for SIMPLE SYRUP. But I’m getting off topic, back to granola. I rarely follow a recipe for granola unless you consider a little bit of this, some that, and that, too, a recipe. Because of that, each batch is a little different and some are much better than others.
This is a decadent granola that makes the whole house smell like cookies—it’s the browned butter. Honestly, you can use any fat you want: vegetable oil, olive oil, coconut oil, whatever. But, please, for the love of granola, try it at least once with browned butter. The nuts and seeds in the recipe can easily be substituted for whatever you have on hand and whatever you prefer.
Browned Butter Granola
3 C Oats
½ C Pumpkin seeds
½ C Pecan halves
¼ C Cashews
2 Tbl Sesame Seeds
1 tsp Salt
¼ C Honey
¼ C Sugar
½ C Butter (1 stick, salted or not, up to you—you might want to tweak the salt if you use salted butter)
- Melt the butter over medium heat, swirling often. Once it’s fully melted, keep an eye on it. You should start to see some brown specks—once those show up, things happen quickly! You’ll also smell a caramel nuttiness and the color shifts to a golden light brown. Turn off the heat & swirl a few times.
- Heat the oven to 325 °F.
- Mix the browned butter (no need to scrape the bits out of the pan, just pour the liquid) with the honey and granulated sugar.
- In a large bowl, add the first five ingredients, stir to combine. Then, scrape the browned butter-honey-sugar mixture into the bowl and mix well. You can use a spatula or your hands (if the butter is cooled).
- Pour onto a large cookie sheet, spread out to a single layer. Put the sheet in the oven.
- Cook for about an hour, stirring every 20 minutes. If you like it lighter or darker, modify the cooking times to your taste.
- Remove from the oven once it’s nice and toasted, give it a couple of stirs and let it cool completely before storing. This should keep for a couple of weeks.
Some notes on granola:
- Don’t add dried fruit to the granola before you bake it—unless you really like rock-hard, break-your-teeth bits in your granola. I’ve also found that the fruit gets pretty chewy when stored with the granola; I add whatever I’m in the mood for when I eat the granola.
- Use any combination of nuts and seeds your heart desires, and feel free to add different grains.
- Coconut flakes are good, too. They get very toasted and crisp, but burn easily.
- I used a locally source Fireweed honey in the recipe above—I’ve also used blackberry honey before, too, also from a local beekeeper.
- I prefer a raw, unrefined sugar. Note that you can replace the sugar with all honey, or swap the honey and sugar out for maple syrup, agave, whatever.