maple almond granola

This is the best granola I’ve ever made. 
I am the kind of girl who never makes the same recipe twice, I am always on the quixotic search for the best recipe out there (see recipe showdown).  However, this is my new “go-to” granola recipe (and this girl doesn’t do “go-to” recipes!).  

So I was telling you all about how I have justified that making granola as vital to my success in school.  I made my honey bunches of oats granola, a few days ago which was very crumbly, aromatic, and perfect for sprinkling on yogurt. But after drilling through 300+ Chinese flashcards, I was craving something with body.  I needed some real, chunky, clumpy granola.  So another batch was definitely necessary.  I tried a few granola recipes that I had lying around the kitchen, but they all turned out crispy and very un-clumpy… :'( I was about to give up and actually do some studying…

Then I found the one. 

This perfectly sweet, and super chunky recipe stole my heart at first bite.  The addition of almond flour, egg whites, and coconut oil, combined with a low oven temperature and slow baking time makes for the most magical, clumpy granola I have ever tasted. 

I remember in middle school my mom and I would stand at the kitchen counter and eat granola standing up.  We figured out that if you shake the container, the chunks magically rise to the top.  We felt like Newton when he discovered gravity (but lets not talk about Physics class now…). Everytime one of us would say “chunk” we would shake the box and the chunks would rise to the top. This was mother daughter bonding at its finest.

I am drooling as I type, thinking about this amazing granola… to bad it’s already all gone.  Othello can wait… I think I need to preheat the oven. 😉
Do you like clumpy granola?
With love,
Erica

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa (feel free to just use another 1/2 cup oats)
  • 1/2 cup almond flour (*I make my own)
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup roasted almonds, chopped
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cloves 
  • 1 teaspoon ginger

Preheat oven to 300F. Line 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
Place the oats, quinoa, almond flour, whole wheat flour,
slivered almonds, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and salt in a stand mixer. Pour melted coconut oil evenly over the mixture and mix (you could also do this in a large bowl with a wooden spoon).  Set aside.
Combine maple syrup and dark brown sugar in a medium pot over medium
heat. Stir until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and add vanilla
extract.  Pour this mixture over oat mixture and mix until
everything begins to come together. Lightly beat the egg whites until foamy, and stir into granola.
Press firmly into prepared baking pan, flattening the top so it is perfectly
even.
Bake for 40 minutes, rotating the pan every 10 minutes. Remove from
heat and let sit for a couple minutes. Cut into squares and break up
into smaller (but not too small!) cluster pieces.
Throw the clusters back into the baking pan and bake the clusters for 10
more minutes at 300F.
Remove from oven and let the clusters cool completely,

Homemade Almond Flour

  1. Pour 1/2 cup almonds into a food processor or blender. Pulse just a few
    times until they are finely ground.
  2. Once the nuts are ground, pass them through a sifter.  Any larger pieces that didn’t make it through can be ground up again.

Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

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Starbucks’ Vanilla Almond Biscotti

Today I am super excited to share with all of you one of the lovely friends that I have made through my adventures writing Cannella Vita. One of my favorite things about food blogging (besides getting all these baked goodies) is meeting and connecting with so many other people who share my passion for food. Izy is a lovely teenage food blogger (just like myself) from England. Her emails always make me smile, and all of her pictures always take my breath away. Without further ado, here’s Izy!
 
Hiya everyone! I’m
Izy, another teen blogger, and I blog over at Top With Cinnamon. I’m
super excited to share this recipe with you today, here on Erica’s
amazing blog 🙂
I love crunchy, crispy
food the most! Fresh grapes from the fridge while they’re crisp and
juicy, cereal (no milk on mine, I don’t want no soggy cereal) and
biscotti. Not ones which should come with a tooth hazard warning, but
crunchy and crumbly with creamy almonds and a sugar-speckled crust (I’m
seriously surprised I didn’t end up sprinkling cinnamon-sugar onto this
dough before baking it).
 
Along with hot coffee or tea, they are a perfect mid-morning snack!

Annndd,
it’s fact time: ‘Biscotti’ literally means ‘twice baked’- ‘bi’ meaning
two and ‘scotti’ (think of the word scorch) meaning baked. Hooray for
random facts, they make your friends sigh in exasperation amazement at
your unexpected knowledge-bombs.

Vanilla Almond Biscotti (Starbucks Copycat)

2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour (I used half a.p and half whole wheat)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup roughly chopped almonds
3 tbsp butter, cut into small cubes
1 egg plus 1 egg white
3 tbsp buttermilk
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cookie tray with baking paper.

Put the first 6 ingredients into a large bowl. Cut the butter into
the dry ingredients with a pastry blender or rub it in with your fingers
(like when making pie dough or crumb topping). Set aside 2 tbsp of the
chopped almonds, and add the rest into the bowl with the flour mixture.

In a small jug / bowl, whisk together the egg, egg white, buttermilk
and vanilla extract. Pour this into the bowl  with the flour mixture
and stir together gently until the mixture comes together. You may need
to use your hands to finish mixing it by lightly kneading the dough a
few times.

Place the dough on the lined cookie tray and shape into a log
roughly 10″ long, 5″ wide then flatten it slightly to 1″ thick. Sprinkle
on the reserved chopped almonds and bake for 30-35 minutes until golden
brown on top. Let it cool on a wire rack until it’s cool enough to
handle. Turn the oven down to 325 degrees F.

Slice the loaf across its width using a sharp
knife or a serrated bread knife, into 3/4″ thick slices. Place the
biscotti cut side down back onto the cookie tray. Bake them again for 10
minutes, then flip them over and bake for a further 10 minutes. Remove
them to a wire rack and let them dry out overnight in a dry place.

five seed almond bars

I love to decipher and reverse engineer recipes — whenever I taste
something yummy out and about, I always say smugly to my friends “I bet I
could make this at home for much cheaper.” This is exactly what happened when my mom brought home a bag of Five Seed Almond Bars from Trader Joes. If you want to go out and buy these amazing bars of goodness, you can find them in a little white bag near the biscotti, but if you want to make them yourself… keep reading.

These bars are delicious and healthy.

Delicious: These bars are moist, nutty, with just a hint of cloves. They have a satisfying chewiness, kind of like a oatmeal cookie. Their warm, spicy aroma reminds me of gingerbread or spice cookies. Basically these bars are the love child of a gingerbread man and a chewy bar.

Healthy: These bars have 53 mg of omega 3 fatty acids, and each bar has only around 110 calories and is full of delicious, healthy fats.

Have you ever reverse-engineered a recipe?
With love,
Erica

Ingredients
 
1 cup raisins
1 1/8 cup flour (I used sprouted whole grain flour)
3/4 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup quick oatmeal
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 stick melted salted butter
1 egg
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup flax oil (or you could use olive oil, or any other oil you have on hand)
1 cup of seed mix: flax, sesame, pumpkin, poppy, sunflower (or any dried fruit or nut mix)
1/3 cup slivered toasted almonds

Measure out the seed and almonds in a small bowl, so that you can quickly add them later.
Put the first set of dry ingredients in a food processor or a mixer and blend for 30 seconds, until the raisins are finely chopped (if using a mixer, pound the raisins the old fashioned way in a ziploc to form a paste). Add the liquid ingredients next. Be sure to use melted butter, otherwise the mixture will be too stiff. Processor for about 30 seconds until a ball forms. Immediately add the nut mixture and lightly blend to mix (rather than pulverize).
Place mixture on in a 9×13 baking pan lined with parchment paper. Spread evenly to the corners of the paper.
Bake at 350 for 15-18 minutes. It will be very soft and harden as it cools. Let cool a bit, then cut into bars and let cool completely.

Adapted from Seed Sprout Savor