Grab the Granola

granola

Much of my recent baking has included rolled oats.  Never gravitated towards oatmeal for breakfast, never could get used to the texture.  I began to feel that I was eliminating a great healthy ingredient that I somehow knew I could incorporate into other dishes and meals since my all-time favorite thing to bake and eat were oatmeal cookies!

I had a vague idea of what granola was but just recently discovered that it is a combination of ingredients that make up the “dish” called granola.  Here’s the Wikipedia definition:

Granola is a breakfast food and snack food consisting of rolled oats, nuts, honey, and sometimes puffed rice, that is usually baked until crisp. During the baking process the mixture is stirred to maintain a loose, breakfast cereal-type consistency. Dried fruits, such as raisins and dates, and confections such as chocolate are sometimes added.

granola

This is definitely a dish I could recreate it in my own kitchen!  What cemented the idea for me was an article on my editor’s page, Family Entertainment Media, about toasting rolled oats and adding it to yogurt.  Now my editor is an amazing, multi-talented individual but cooking and recipe creating is not something she is passionate about so if she made it and published an article about it, it passed the test for me.  I copied, tried, and enhanced the idea!  Thanks, Judith!

This granola is salty/sweet, has a wonderful crunchy texture and is a healthy, make-at-home, have-control-over, snack!  I also plan to start baking with it as an ingredient in bread or cookies; that will come soon.

Golden rolled oats, being toasted in butter.

Golden rolled oats, being toasted in butter.

Irish butter from "grass-fed" cows! Yay!

Irish butter from “grass-fed” cows! Yay!

Great nuts for great granola from Trader Joe's.

Great nuts for great granola from Trader Joe’s.

Toasted to perfection!

Toasted to perfection!

The recipe.

Granola

Ingredients

1 T butter
3 C rolled oats
¼ C almonds
¼ C sunflower seeds (or pumpkin seeds)
3 T honey
Dash of salt

Process:  in a large, shallow pan, melt the butter; add rolled oats and nuts then toast slowly over low flame care not to scorch.  This process can take about 25-30 minutes to fully cook the oats.  Once browned, add the honey and salt and stir to distribute.  Remove from heat and let cool; store in the refrigerator in an air-tight container.

Home made granola and raisins, now that's yum!

Home made granola and raisins, now that’s yum!

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Gluten-Free Layered

Gluten-Free Layered Cake with Whipped Cream Cheese
Frosting & Blueberry Granola Crumb Middle

So, this is pretty much the same gluten-free recipe I used in the coffee cakes that I’ve been baking (baking one right now with a Cheerios crumb topping, maybe not totally GF), it’s just baked in layers and frosted.

The recipe follows the tempting images…

Gluten-Free Layered Cake with Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting & Blueberry Granola Crumb Middle

Yield = 2, 6″ cake layers

Butter Cake
Ingredients

Dry
1 C Gf flour mix – used Bob’s Red Mill
½ C potato starch
2 T almond flour
1 t baking powder
pinch of salt

Creaming
1 stick unsalted butter (1/2 cup)
½ C + 2 T sugar

Wet
1 ½ t vanilla
2 eggs
2 T plain yogurt
3 T milk

Process:  add the dry ingredients to a medium sized bowl and mix well, set aside; cream the butter and sugar for 7-10 minutes to get it light and fluffy; add the vanilla continue to mix; add the eggs one at a time and mix well; add the yogurt and milk and continue to mix; add the dry ingredients and mix on low until well combined but careful not to over mix; add to prepared pans; bake for 25 minutes in preheated oven set at 325F.  Watche the cake carefully, overbaking it will cause dryness.

Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting
Ingredients:  1/2 C whipped cream, 3 T cream cheese, 3T butter, 1/2 t vanilla, 1 C (or less) confectioner’s sugar
Process:  beat the cream cheese, butter, sugar and vanilla together; fold in the whipped cream; set aside about 1/2 cup of this mixture for the blueberries to be folded in to.

Granola Crumble
Ingredients:  3T cold butter, 3 T sugar, 2T gf flour, 3/4 C homemade granola (Recipe here.)
Process:  put all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until crumbly.

1 cup of blueberries treated with 1 T sugar, 1 T lemon juice then folded into 1/2 C of the creamed cheese frosting. About 1/4 cup of blueberries for decorating.

Assemble
Fold the blueberries into the 1/2 cup of frosting; after cake layers are cooled and removed from pans, add this mixture to the top of one layer; add the granola crumble on top of this; place remaining layer on top and frost the entire cake with the remaining frosting.  Serve and enjoy!