Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Best Granola Ever!

Another treat that I sold was granola - it's a mix of pumpkin seeds, almonds, sunflower seeds, craisins, oats, and cinnamon.

I based my recipe on Nigella Lawson's granola recipe from her cookbook "Feast," which I adapted to my liking. I'm very picky about my granola and this one is simply perfect! Lots of crunch and flavor, without being too sweet. Next batch I make, I would like to try adding some more heart-healthy ingredients in it, such as hemp and chia seeds. 

Granola always takes a long time to make - particularly the baking process, as you really have flip it consistently to get that crunchy and delicious texture - but it's well-worth it in the end and much cheaper than store-bought granola! 

(adapted from Nigella Lawson)

5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
3 cups whole raw almonds
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp salt

3/4 cup unsweeted applesauce
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup honey
2 T. vegetable oil

Preheat the oven to 300F.

1. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, almonds, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger and salt.

2. In a saucepan, heat the applesauce with the maple syrup, honey and oil. 

3. Blend the applesauce mixture into the dry ingredients until thoroughly mixed, then divide and spread the mixture evenly on two baking sheets. 

4. Bake the granola for 45 minutes, stirring and flipping every ten minutes (very important!), until the granola is a deep golden brown and crunchy. 

5. Remove from the oven, then cool completely. 

Store the granola in airtight containers (I like to use mason jars); they will keep for a month. 

Cranberry-Orange Scones

For the market I made three different types of scones: Cheddar-Dill, Cheddar-Jalapeno and Cranberry-Orange. It was my first time experimenting with scone recipes and they turned out fantastic! The trick is to not over-mix the batter, as this will make the scones very dry! 

All of the scones were delicious, but the Cranberry-Orange scones were something special. The tartness of the cranberry and the citrus flavor of the orange paired perfectly! 

Cranberry Orange Scones
1 1/2 T freshly grated orange zest

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar plus 3 T
1 T baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch bits
1 1/4 cup fresh cranberries, chopped coarse
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 400F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. 

Remove the zest from the orange, and mix with flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, salt, and butter until mixture resembles coarse meal.

In a small bowl toss together fresh cranberries and 3 tablespoons sugar and stir into flour mixture.

In another small bowl lightly beat egg and yolk and stir in cream. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and stir until just combined.

Using an ice cream scoop, scoop scone batter onto baking sheet, placing an inch apart. Sprinkle with sugar, and bake in the middle of the oven for 15 to 20 minutes.

These babies are best enjoyed warm with a dab of butter, jam and a cup of tea! : )

Baker's Market

This fall I participated in a few local markets to sell my baked goods under the name of "lovecrumbs." One of the markets that I sold at was the Baker's Market - it's a small market located in South Vancouver which is dedicated to everything sweet! Each Saturday, there are about 10-15 vendors selling cookies, cupcakes, muffins, scones, tarts, and anything else delicious that you can think of. It was a lot of fun to participate in, and I'm going back this April to sell at the spring edition of the market. Here's the link for the market, I highly suggest heading there for a visit:

Stay tuned for some of the recipes!