Friday, October 6, 2017

Brown Butter Maple Granola

Had my first PSL of the year, stocked the pantry with pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice, slowly transitioning the wardrobe to all the hoodies and sweaters. Fall is in full force and I am LOVING IT.

Along with excitement for the holiday season, I also am in disbelief that it's almost the end of another year. I feel like I'm still getting used to the sound of 2017, but before I know it it'll be New Year's and 2018. Gah, life is too fast. 

Some of my friends are even turning 20 this year, which sounds even crazier now that I'm typing it out and seeing the number. I know it's still such a young age, but just the fact that there's not a 1 in front of my age is bizarre and unsettling and too adulty. I feel like I'm still 16, in all seriousness.

Whatever legal/mental age I may be, I will always have a huge soft spot for brown butter. It especially perfumes so deliciously throughout this granola. I was debating whether to just use oil as I've done before, or treat myself and go for brown butter. As soon as the gloriously browned butter hit the maple syrup, I knew I made the right decision. I couldn't help but close my eyes and breathe in the heavenly fragrance. Because the only other flavors here are maple syrup, the nuttiness of brown butter really shines through. I don't think I can go back to granola made with regular oil, it just seems so flat now that I've tasted what brown butter can do. 

I've been loving this granola paired with plain yogurt, bananas, a swirl of honey and dash of cinnamon. Basically my breakfast for the past week after making this. But it's also perfect to snack on by itself, and I've been dreaming of sprinkling it on top of some pumpkin bread smeared with peanut butter. Post about that coming soon!

Makes about 3 cups

5 TB unsalted butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup maple syrup
3/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup nuts (I used almonds and cashews)
1/4 tsp cinnamon

1) Preheat oven to 325 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2) Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. The butter will start to foam and bubble. Remove from heat as soon as the milk solids turn golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add maple syrup, vanilla extract, and salt.
3) Add oats, cinnamon, and nuts to the bowl. Mix until everything is well combined. 
4) Pour mixture onto baking sheet, and spread into a thin, even layer. I found that baking in a thicker layer prevents the granola from crisping up well.
5) Bake for 20 minutes, and rotate pan. Bake for another 15-20 minutes. Make sure it isn't burning!
6) Let the granola cool completely before breaking it up. Doing this will leave you with satisfying robust clusters of granola, aka granola in its best form.

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