Have you ever cooked through a recipe with anticipation only to find at the end that it didn’t yield anything close to the results that you had hoped for? Few weeks ago, I was trying a new recipe for chewy granola bars, and noticed I had forgotten the egg white just as I was putting the baking pan into the oven. Assuming that one missing ingredient wouldn’t have any tangible effect on the granola bars (oh boy was I wrong…), I went ahead and baked them as they were.
And of course, some things were bound to take a disastrous turn.
As I lifted the parchment paper up from the pan, the granola square just crumbled into pieces. It was unexpectedly crunchy, and not chewy at all! Apparently, the egg white was more important than I gave it credit for, and so, the ingredients did not hold together like they should.
Why am I sharing this recipe with you? Well, because even though the granola bars did not turn out the way they should be, I discovered the trick for making granola with clusters of oats (like those in my favorite cereal Honey Bunches of Oats)! Packing them tightly into a pan as if you’re making bars actually helps them stay in chunks. Once they’re cooled, you can break them up into whatever size of clusters you like. Sometimes when I’m making granola, the loose pieces of oats and nuts that gather on the corners of a baking sheet tend to brown more quickly. This method helps to avoid the problem.
I had a small scoop on top of yogurt this morning with a handful of pomegranate seeds. It’s the perfect Fall breakfast. Lesson of the day? Sometimes a mishap can turn into something quite splendid, depending on how you view it.
Maple Pumpkin Spice Granola
(makes about 3 cups)
4 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
¼ tsp salt
2 cups old-fashioned oats
½ cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
¼ cup raisins
¼ cup apricots, chopped
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking pan with parchment paper and set aside
In a large bowl, stir to combine maple syrup, honey, canola oil, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Add oats, pumpkin seeds, raisins, and apricots, and stir until they are coated with the mixture. Pat the mixture tightly and evenly into the prepared pan.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the oven, until the granola begins to turn golden at the edges. Cool for 5 minutes, then break up into pieces.
*Add more honey if you prefer the granola to be sweeter.