This is a perfect granola base for creating your own customized granola blend by exchanging nuts, adding dried fruits, and different flavored chips. The aroma of the toasted oats and nuts will make you fall in love with this granola; the smell takes over the whole house and is amazing! This granola is a great treat for snacking on its own, adding to yogurt for crunch, and for layering in yogurt and fresh fruit parfaits.
Vanilla-Scented Granola: (slightly adapted from epicurious)
- 4 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1 cup chopped nuts (whatever you prefer, I used walnuts because that is what I had on hand)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tablespoon sugar
- 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.
Mix first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Combine oil, honey, and sugar in a small saucepan; bring to simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Pour hot liquid over oat mixture; stir well. Gather up some of the mixture in each hand, and make a fist. Repeat until all the oats are coated.
Pour onto prepared baking sheet. Spread it out evenly, but leave a few clumps here and there for texture. Bake until golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Transfer sheet to a rack; cool completely. (Can be made 2 weeks ahead. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.)