Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Celebrating Joy the Baker's Cookbook!: Cocoa Almond Granola

I started following food blogs back in early 2009. I was fortunate enough at that time to have stumbled on a relatively new blog, Joy the Baker. Joy's blog quickly became my favorite; reading it every morning was like getting a hilarious, delicious email from a best friend. Perfect way to start each day.

Since then, Joy has launched myriad other projects, including her Joy the Baker and We're About to be Friends Podcasts on Homefries (a media venture that was, yes, also started by Joy).

So, of course, when Joy's cookbook was available for pre-order last November, I jumped on it. I even (optimistically) purchased release-day delivery. I have NEVER been lucky enough to actually receive a product on release day, even when I purchased the special shipping.

SO, imagine my delight when, on my day off, the cookbook arrived. On the day it was released. Heck, I had even gone to Barnes and Noble to see if it was there earlier in the day (it wasn't-- I ended up walking out with Veganomicon and Cook Without a Book: Meatless Meals).

Clearly, I opened it in a civilized manner, like a twenty-something year-old woman should.

Within an hour, I had the Cocoa Almond Granola in my oven.

I definitely kept picking pieces out of the oven to make sure they weren't "burnt" and putting them in my face.... and then immediately repeating. Quality control, ya know?

Some liberties were taken with the recipe (I didn't have some ingredients on hand), but it came out incredibly, as all of Joy's recipes do.

So congrats, Joy! We are all so proud of you! Thanks for continuing to share your laughter and sweet-tooth with us!

Cocoa, almond, and cranberry granola

Adapted from the Joy the Baker Cookbook

4 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup slivered raw almonds
1 1/2 tsp saigon cinnamon
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey's Special Dark)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tbsp butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350F. Line baking sheets with parchment or foil.

Mix together oats, almonds, cinnamon, salt, and cocoa.

In a saucepan, combine sugar, maple syrup, oil, and butter over medium heat. Once bubbling, pull off heat and stir in vanilla extract.

Toss sugar mixture with oat mixture until coated. Spread across baking sheets and bake for 25 minutes, occasionally tossing the granola during baking.

Cool and toss in dried cranberries. Eat by the handful... I won't tell!

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