The trend of giving homemade goodies as gifts seems to have become less popular over the years, though I have only myself to blame for not sending culinary treats to loved ones more frequently. Who doesn’t love ripping into a package to unveil a tin of chewy chocolate chip cookies or a loaf of tender and fragrant banana bread? I know I do, and I’ll bet that you do too.
Well, consider this cranberry pecan granola my jumping-off point for bringing back the trend. After being safely encased in packaging fit for travel, this sweet and crunchy granola will be shipped off to my brother, sister-in-law, and nephew in Austin as a thank-you for hosting John and me on a recent trip.
Not much says “I love you”, “thank you”, or “I’m thinking of you” like homemade baked goods. The next time you find yourself thinking about a family member or friend, dedicate an hour or so in the kitchen to making something delicious for that special person. I promise you it will brighten their day!
Cranberry Pecan Granola
- 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
- 1 1/2 cups puffed brown rice cereal
- 6 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Meaure the oats and puffed rice into a large bowl, set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the applesauce, maple syrup, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk until very smooth.
- Pour wet ingredients over cereal and stir until evenly coated. Spread mixture on the prepared cookie sheet in an even layer.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Remove sheet from the oven, stir the pecans into the granola, and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the granola is golden brown and crisp.
- Remove granola from the oven, toss with the dried cranberries, and cool completely. Store in an airtight container.