Granola has always failed me in the kitchen. The first time I made it, I used a recipe from an 80's Betty Crocker cookbook and put the dried fruit in the oven with the granola. It was not appetizing. The fruit got all burnt and slightly crispy.
Today I tried my hand at granola for a second time (12 years later), and I made the same mistake with the toasted coconut. I guess granola and I were only meant to be together via a store-bought plastic package.
Other than that, it smells pretty fabulous. I found the recipe via Michelle and tweaked it slightly.
I nixed the sesame seeds and added pumpkin seeds, vanilla extract. Feel free to substitute maple syrup for the corn syrup. I was all out of maple.
Anyway, here's the recipe with alterations, feel free to try the original out and let me know how it goes.
Cashew and Orange Granola
adapted from Le Potage, who adapted it from elsewhere
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
Grated zest of 2 large oranges
4 cups rolled oats
1 cup sliced almonds
2 cups salted cashews
1/3 cup honey
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/3 cup pepitas or pumpkin seeds
1 cup dried cranberries
Directions: Position racks in the center and upper third of the oven and preheat to 375°F.
I like to toast my coconut in a dry pan over medium high heat. Feel free to use the oven method, but I get better control on the stovetop. Transfer to a large bowl.
Bring the oil, corn syrup and orange zest to a boil over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Place the oats, almonds, cashews, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin seeds in bowl.
Add the syrup mixture and mix until well coated.
Spread in a thin layer on 2 large baking sheets.
Bake, stirring often, switching the positions of the baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking, until the granola is golden brown, about 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and sprinkle with coarse sea salt then cool. Pour into bowl with coconut and dried fruit and mix together. (The granola can be stored at room temperature in airtight containers for up to 1 month.)
Update: Make sure you hit it with salt as soon as it comes out. I didn't and it all sunk to the bottom of the pan.
Also, the toasted coconut going into the mix and into the oven was not the disaster I feared. Mix it in with the rest of the ingredients, if you wish. It will clump better.