Granola is something I've been making for a while now. My father-in-law loves the stuff, but he's particular about not liking it with dried fruit. So I searched and searched for an easy recipe, one with few steps, that does not call for fruit. A few years ago Fine Cooking had a piece about making granola for the holidays. I think they even suggested packaging it up for cute little gifts. It's been a hit ever since I made the first batch.
(based on Fine cooking, Dec 2005)
Toss 1 cup chopped pecans with 3 cups oats. (as mentioned in a previous post, I would highly suggest McCann's or another stone ground oatmeal) Add 1/2 tsp salt, 2 tsp cinnamon to the dry mixture.
Bring 1/2 cup brown sugar to a boil with 1/4 cup water. When brown sugar has dissolved, add 2T vegetable oil and 1 t vanilla to the sugar syrup.
Pour liquid mixture over the dry. Toss until coated. Bake at 300degrees for 25 minutes. Toss after 15 minutes. Warm granola will come out of the oven slightly soft. It will harden as it cools.
*if you like it sweet, you might want to increase the syrup proportions by 50%.
*add 1/4 sesame seeds, flax seeds or other grain that you'd prefer
*add 1 cup dried cherries (just don't tell John)
*add 2 T maple syrup to the simple syrup
*add 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
*toss in your yogurt in the morning or if you're ambitious, yogurt parfaits
*pour over vanilla ice cream with homemade toffee sauce (Nigella's recipe here is to die for)