Tuesday, August 09, 2011
I have granola in the oven right now, my favorite granola.
There is a cold snap here in the desert, it is only 75 degrees and will creep to 90 by the evening. The air condition is off, the windows are perched open and I am baking, testing recipes and running the oven while the house is still cool. My thoughts push me outside, I should be out enjoying the cooler temperatures but the truth is I have been as far away from my kitchen as possible for much too long.
Today, I want to be in the kitchen, baking through the morning. When I woke up today, I was finally ready to warm the oven, open a fresh bag of flour to make poppy seed rolls and make a large batch of granola to take on our trip next week.
It feels natural, on a good day, to be in the kitchen. It is usually quiet, just me, the animals and my thoughts. Moving in the kitchen when I am baking seems second nature, I know exactly what I need, what goes next, what I want to happen and I learn from my mistakes. Ask me to make dinner and the exact opposite thing happens. I am a baker. Today I was reminded that as much as I enjoy spending time outdoors, I need time indoors, to myself, using my hands and producing.
Adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan
Makes about 40 cookies
3 cups granola (no fruit)
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup salted peanuts
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
1/3 cup wheat germ
1 3/4 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
3/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
Preheat the oven to 375° F and prepare 2 baking sheets with liners.
Combine the granola, raisins, peanuts, almonds, coconut, and wheat germ in a bowl and mix well. Set aside.
In a stand mixer cream the butter for 2 minutes at a medium speed. Add the brown sugar, continue to cream for 3 minutes. Add the salt and the egg until mixed. Reduce the mixer speed to low. Add the flour and once it is just mixed, add the granola mixture. Stop the mixer once all the granola, nuts, and fruit are just combined. Do not over beat this batter. Use a spatula to incorporate any remaining dry ingredients.
Take a heaping tablespoon of the dough and gently pack. Place each cookie about 1 1/2 inch from each other though these won't spread a lot. Flatten them down a tiny bit using your fingertips.
Bake for 10-12 minutes. About halfway through, rotate the pans 180° and switch the pans on the racks. The cookies are done when they are a golden brown but not hard. Remove from the oven, let cool in the pan for a minute or two, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.