honey bunches of oats granola

As I sat at my desk, wearing my fuzzy Ugg slippers, with a big mug of chamomile and an even bigger packet of derivations and proofs, all I could think about is how badly I want to be in the kitchen.

I wanted to feel the warmth of the oven on my face, and pound out my frustrations in butter and sugar.  I hardly recognized my yoga pants without two big hand-prints of flour on them, and my camera looked so unfamiliar without any big, buttery thumbprints.  All I wanted to do is bake something.

So, being the savvy procrastinator that I am, I came up with an excuse why I had to get my hands on my Kitchen Aid.

In order to perform well on my exams, I needed a breakfast fit for a champion. Granola sounded good.  Then my inner procrastinator’s started to kick in:
Maybe this granola will knock those facts about the Hundred Years War out of me!
Maybe this will power me through that last derivation! 
Done. This granola had to be made. ASAP.
Those flashcards can wait…

So now on to the granola.  I bet that we can all agree that the best part of Honey Bunches of Oats are the “honey bunches” — or the little granola clusters.  The recipe that I’m about to share with you all is pure magic, because it turns regular Honey Bunches of Oats into pure granola!  Since I’ve been obsessed with brown butter lately, I browned the butter in this recipe.  Brown butter really takes the ordinary to the extraordinary. 

What do you like to eat when you have a big test?
With love,
Erica


Ingredients 

1 cup Honey Bunches of Oats cereal
1 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup cashews, chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2 tbsp ground flax seed
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cloves

1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice

Preheat oven to
325, and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Mix the cereal, flax
seed, and oats together, and pour onto the cookie sheet.  Bake for
about 10 minutes.  Meanwhile in a small saucepan, brown the butter, once the butter is bubbly and aromatic, add the brown sugar.  Add the vanilla and stir
until everything is well combined and the butter is melted, then remove
from heat. 

Pour the oat
mixture into a large bowl.  Add the butter mixture, cashews and
cranberries to the oat mixture and stir until everything is evenly
coated.  Add the cloves, cinnamon, and allspice. Pour it back onto the baking sheet and spread it out evenly,
while pressing down firmly.  Place in oven and cook 20-30 minutes or
until golden brown (do not overcook), stirring occasionally. 
Remove from oven and let it cool completely before storing in an air tight container.

Adapted from Little B Cooks

honey buns

Will you be my honey bun? 😉

Last year during musical auditions, I listened to my friend Tessa practice the song Honey Bun from South Pacific.  I tried my hardest to pay attention to her singing…I swear! But all I could think about were buns covered in honey. (I’m so weak!).

Thanks to Sandy (aka Frankenstorm”), I actually had time to satisfy the honey bun craving that has been tormenting me since last year.  These little buns are absolute perfection.

They are crisp and crusty on the outside, but extremely light and airy on the inside.  Due to their light texture, it is possible to down about five of these in one sitting (not like I know anything about that…).  And what really takes these little buns to the next level is the honey butter glaze.

I didn’t merely “brush” these with glaze like the recipe suggested. Oh no, sir. I full-on dunked these into a piping hot bowl of butter and honey. Oh baby.

These were the perfect thing to munch on while drinking a big mug of tea and watching the blustery storm outside, praying to the storm gods to cancel school for one more day.

With love,
Erica

Yields: 20 mini buns
Ingredients

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons honey
2 3/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup honey


In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer fitted with dough hook
attachment, combine flour, salt, honey and yeast. Add milk, melted
butter, eggs and vanilla and stir until just combined. Remove dough from
bowl and knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic,
about 7-10 minutes (or knead on low speed in stand mixer until smooth
and elastic, about 3-5 minutes). Shape dough into a ball and place in a
lightly greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until
doubled, about 1 hour.
Punch down risen dough and divide into 20 equal pieces. Roll each
piece into a ball and place in lightly greased cups of a mini-muffin
pan. Spritz lightly with cooking spray on top, cover loosely with
plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile,
preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
When buns have risen, remove plastic wrap and bake until golden
brown, about 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes in
muffin pan before turning out onto a plate. Meanwhile, make the glaze:
Place butter and honey in a microwave-safe bowl and heat 45 seconds to
melt butter. Dunk the top of each bun in honey glaze. Serve warm.

From Girl Vs. Dough