Graham Cracker Granola

Food_031_This is one of my favorite recipes, for a few unrelated reasons.

First, and most predictable, is that it tastes amazing. The crunch, the sweetness, the chewiness from a bit of dried fruit – it just all works.

Second, I have made this recipe for a few memorable brunches, and something as simple as home-made granola can really top off an otherwise already-awesome gathering.

Third, I pretend it’s healthy because of the oats and nuts. Let’s face it – it’s not “healthy,” but as with most treats, I prefer to know what is going in to my food and be able to control it.

Fourth, it is made from ingredients I always have on hand – and you know how I feel about that.

And last, but not least, is where the recipe originated. Throughout the past decade, I have had several friends deployed overseas with the U.S. military. I have sent them care packages from time to time – it is the least I can do to thank them for their service and sacrifice! – and I was on the lookout for recipes that would ship well, and last in desert heat. Unfortunately the recipe is not available online in its original form any longer – a good reminder to download actual recipes instead of just saving links! – but it had instructions on how to best package treats to send to troops overseas; the original title of the recipe was “Freedom Power Bars.” So this recipe is kind of a sign of the times for me.

Ingredients:

– 2 c oats (quick or rolled)
– 1 c chopped or sliced nuts (I have used sliced almonds exclusively for my last few batches, but all nuts work)
– 5 T butter
– 1/2 c dark brown sugar, measure when packed
– 1/4 c honey
– 1 c chopped graham crackers (about 3 rectangle boards)
– up to 1/2 c dried fruit (I often use only dried cranberries, but dried blueberries or chopped dried cherries are also delicious)
– I think this would be delicious with chocolate chips and/or cinnamon, but I have not tried that yet – let me know if you do!

How do I make it?

  • Line an 8″ x 8″ baking dish with release foil (release side up!).
  • In a 350 degree oven, toast the oats and nuts on a cookie sheet for about 10 minutes (until it starts to brown and be fragrant).
  • Place the chopped graham crackers in a large bowl, and when the oats and nuts are toasted, add them as well.
  • Meanwhile, in large saucepan, bring to a boil the butter, brown sugar, and honey. When the sugar is dissolved in the butter and honey, pour the mixture on top of the items in the large bowl.
  • Carefully mix it all together, using a silicone spatula.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, pressing down with a spatula or another piece of release foil (release side down!).
  • Add the dried fruit, and mix again.
  • Bake 20 minutes.
  • After it cools a bit, press mixture down again (this makes it easier to cut).
  • Let it cool, lift out of pan, slide the block of granola off the foil onto a cutting board, and cut into bars or squares with serrated knife (or just kind of hack at it to crumble).
  • Try not to eat the whole thing immediately.

Shout-out to ARB for reminding me about this one!

Comments

    • says

      Hi Debbie,

      If you want to double it, make sure to mix well at every stage so you don’t end up with clumps of any of the ingredients, especially the butter-honey-sugar mixture! A triple batch may be a bit much to handle with all of the toasting and mixing, but double should probably be fine in a 9×13 pan. You may want to cook it a few minutes longer because it will be just a little thicker.

      Let me know how it goes!

  1. Debbie says

    How do I store this, sending to some people. Any suggestions?
    Looking forward to the brisket!

    • says

      Hi Debbie,

      As long as you seal it *really* well, it should be fine. I would recommend breaking (with your hands before it’s completely cooled) or chopping (with a large knife) into small chunks, and sealing in completely airtight plastic, like a ziplock bag (or double-bagged) or one of the round ziplock or glad buckets that you would use for soup.

      Here are some tips from military.com:

      Keys to keep things “fresh” during their possible three-plus week journey overseas:

      – Put a piece of white bread in with cookies to keep them from going stale (just tell them not to eat the bread)
      – Seal everything in double bags to avoid crossing of smells
      – Put in plastic boxes to make it easier to pack and avoid breaking

      Sorry to keep teasing you with the promise of brisket! It’s an involved post so I need to set aside some time for it. Hope it’s worth the wait!

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