Well, hello there! I can't believe I haven't posted since Tuesday. The frequency of posting around here has been abysmal but I'm flat out of excuses. Yes, I'm still busy with work and somehow still not entirely over the cold I've had for the past two weeks, but truth be told, I've just been trying to enjoy summer while it lasts and most days that doesn't include sitting in front of the computer any more than I already have to at work. Today, though, I'm back with a bang! This is the first of two posts I'll be sharing as Sweet Melissa Sundays and the Martha Stewart Cupcakes Club both happen to fall on the same day. First up is cherry almond granola for SMS.
Like most granola recipes, this one is highly adaptable so you can probably make it work with what you already have on hand. I did make a special trip out to try to find the rye flakes Melissa calls for, but after checking the bulk bins at Whole Foods as well as my local grocery stores and striking out, I wound up substituting more oats instead. Along with the oats, the recipe includes both sunflower and pumpkin seeds as well as whole natural almonds. Honey and maple syrup sweeten and bind the granola while a full array of fall spices (think cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, etc) make this granola super fragrant. I was grateful the temperatures around here were relatively mild this weekend as the granola bakes at a low temperature (250 F) for 1 1/2-2 hours, and I'm not sure I would have wanted the oven on for that long if temps had been up near 100 F. Finally, to finish the granola once it's completely cooled, dried fruit is added. Melissa suggests currants, cherries and raisins, but I went with what was in my pantry - cranberries and raisins.
I don't really eat granola much so this batch is earmarked for my stepfather, but I've made the recipe before and can vouch that it's wonderful! I always consider it a plus when you can make something at home so easily instead of buying it and granola definitely falls in that category. Big thanks to Wendy of Pink Stripes for hosting this week! She'll share the recipe on her site today, or you can find it on pages 34-35 of The Sweet Melissa Baking Book. Don't forget to check back later today for Martha Stewart's triple citrus cupcakes.