Graham Cracker Granola

12 May

Food_031_This is one of my favorite recipes, for a few unrelated reasons.

First, and most predictable, is that it tastes amazing. The crunch, the sweetness, the chewiness from a bit of dried fruit – it just all works.

Second, I have made this recipe for a few memorable brunches, and something as simple as home-made granola can really top off an otherwise already-awesome gathering.

Third, I pretend it’s healthy because of the oats and nuts. Let’s face it – it’s not “healthy,” but as with most treats, I prefer to know what is going in to my food and be able to control it.

Fourth, it is made from ingredients I always have on hand – and you know how I feel about that.

And last, but not least, is where the recipe originated. Throughout the past decade, I have had several friends deployed overseas with the U.S. military. I have sent them care packages from time to time – it is the least I can do to thank them for their service and sacrifice! – and I was on the lookout for recipes that would ship well, and last in desert heat. Unfortunately the recipe is not available online in its original form any longer – a good reminder to download actual recipes instead of just saving links! – but it had instructions on how to best package treats to send to troops overseas; the original title of the recipe was “Freedom Power Bars.” So this recipe is kind of a sign of the times for me.

Ingredients:

– 2 c oats (quick or rolled)
– 1 c chopped or sliced nuts (I have used sliced almonds exclusively for my last few batches, but all nuts work)
– 5 T butter
– 1/2 c dark brown sugar, measure when packed
– 1/4 c honey
– 1 c chopped graham crackers (about 3 rectangle boards)
– up to 1/2 c dried fruit (I often use only dried cranberries, but dried blueberries or chopped dried cherries are also delicious)
– I think this would be delicious with chocolate chips and/or cinnamon, but I have not tried that yet – let me know if you do!

How do I make it?

  • Line an 8″ x 8″ baking dish with release foil (release side up!).
  • In a 350 degree oven, toast the oats and nuts on a cookie sheet for about 10 minutes (until it starts to brown and be fragrant).
  • Place the chopped graham crackers in a large bowl, and when the oats and nuts are toasted, add them as well.
  • Meanwhile, in large saucepan, bring to a boil the butter, brown sugar, and honey. When the sugar is dissolved in the butter and honey, pour the mixture on top of the items in the large bowl.
  • Carefully mix it all together, using a silicone spatula.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, pressing down with a spatula or another piece of release foil (release side down!).
  • Add the dried fruit, and mix again.
  • Bake 20 minutes.
  • After it cools a bit, press mixture down again (this makes it easier to cut).
  • Let it cool, lift out of pan, slide the block of granola off the foil onto a cutting board, and cut into bars or squares with serrated knife (or just kind of hack at it to crumble).
  • Try not to eat the whole thing immediately.

Shout-out to ARB for reminding me about this one!

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8 Responses to “Graham Cracker Granola”

  1. Alison May 13, 2013 at 8:42 pm #

    Addicted! About to make batch #3 in the span of 1 week…
    ARB 🙂

  2. Ryan May 14, 2013 at 8:33 pm #

    Sounds Delicious!

  3. Debbie December 3, 2013 at 9:46 pm #

    How do I store this, sending to some people. Any suggestions?
    Looking forward to the brisket!

    • my utensil crock December 3, 2013 at 10:22 pm #

      Hi Debbie,

      As long as you seal it *really* well, it should be fine. I would recommend breaking (with your hands before it’s completely cooled) or chopping (with a large knife) into small chunks, and sealing in completely airtight plastic, like a ziplock bag (or double-bagged) or one of the round ziplock or glad buckets that you would use for soup.

      Here are some tips from military.com:

      Keys to keep things “fresh” during their possible three-plus week journey overseas:

      – Put a piece of white bread in with cookies to keep them from going stale (just tell them not to eat the bread)
      – Seal everything in double bags to avoid crossing of smells
      – Put in plastic boxes to make it easier to pack and avoid breaking

      Sorry to keep teasing you with the promise of brisket! It’s an involved post so I need to set aside some time for it. Hope it’s worth the wait!

  4. Debbie December 3, 2013 at 9:50 pm #

    One more question on the granola, have you doubled or tripled the recipe?
    Thanks

    • my utensil crock December 3, 2013 at 10:09 pm #

      Hi Debbie,

      If you want to double it, make sure to mix well at every stage so you don’t end up with clumps of any of the ingredients, especially the butter-honey-sugar mixture! A triple batch may be a bit much to handle with all of the toasting and mixing, but double should probably be fine in a 9×13 pan. You may want to cook it a few minutes longer because it will be just a little thicker.

      Let me know how it goes!

  5. Debbie December 3, 2013 at 10:34 pm #

    Thanks for the quick response Becky! Love your site.

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