If there's one blog you absolutely need to be reading, it's Joy Wilson's Joy the Baker food blog. People, she is hilarious, and her recipes are always incredibly tasty. I think most of her subscribers secretly want to be her best friend. Right?! If you're thinking about getting a cookbook that offers sweet treats, baked goods, and green smoothies, this one has to be on your kichen shelf!
As part of my decision to start including recipe books in my review list, I've been confronted with the dilemma of how one actually reviews a cookbook. Do you try everything single recipe and then report back? Or, do you try a few things, give it a yay or nay, and call it a day?
The latter seemed like the most reasonable option because if you're anything like me you probably have a ton cookbooks-- some you rely on to make a few delicacies on special occasions, gifts that are beautiful but too scary to actually bake from, and then all the others that are totally reliable companions (save from a fire type books). So, with all that being said, this recipe will be the first installment of three recipes sampled from one title.
*Note: I would never actually save a cookbook from a fire, or any book for that matter (gasps), but I would certainly get my cats out.
I decided I'd tackle a recipe that's popular, seldom made at home, and perfect for gifting.
Yes, granola. I love the stuff. I eat it sprinkled over my oatmeal or cereal, I mix it in greek yogurt, or scoop it up for a quick snack. The crunch is such a beautiful thing. Plus, granola is incredibly easy to make and doesn't require a lot of time. Win!
Cocoa Almond Granola
4 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 Tbsp butter
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Place racks in the center and upper third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. (I used one large baking sheet and a silpat liner.)
In a large bowl, toss together oats, almonds, coconut, cinnamon, cocoa powder and salt. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan combine sugar, honey, oil and butter. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves and mixture begins to bubble. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
Pour the warm sugar mixture over the oat mixture and toss with a wooden spoon. Toss until all of the oats and almond bits are at least moistened by the sugar mixture. Spoon mixture onto prepared baking sheets and place in the oven.
Bake granola for 30 minutes, removing from the oven to toss and stir 2 to 3 times during baking. Granola is done when it is toasted around the edges and fragrant.
Remove from the oven and cool completely. Store in an airtight container, at room temperature, for up to 2 weeks.
Recipe: 4.5 stars out of 5 (reliable companion).
Give it a try! I'm sure you'll love it.