Tag Archives: almonds

Almond Coconut Granola

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about breakfast. Perhaps it’s the promise of new beginnings that pervades this time of year–the hope for a fresh start on January 1st and, by extension, each morning. The impending possibilities make me want to wake up and eat something delicious.

Or perhaps my breakfast fixation evolved from my obsession with reading Ruth Reichl’s Twitter page. The former Gourmet editor posts an update nearly every day about what she’s eating for breakfast. I’m jealous of anyone who possesses the creativity and financial means to create a new breakfast every morning.

But you’re also looking at someone who, as a child, ate oatmeal every day for more than a year. (By choice. Or, more likely, to avoid having to make a choice.)

That little girl would be very proud of this recipe, I think. It still involves oats and brown sugar, but it’s also portable. And you can put it on practically everything without fearing judgment. There are oats! There are almonds! I’ve even done my part to Save the Bees of NC with local honey.

May all your breakfasts be so hopeful ‘n’ wholesome. Until you read my post about cheddar bacon muffins. Then you have my permission to be bad again.

Granola recipe adapted from Joy the Baker.

Toasted Almond Granola:
4 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup slivered raw almonds
1 cup whole raw almonds
1/2 cup shredded coconut (I used unsweetened flakes)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup coconut oil (you can use vegetable oil in a pinch)
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1) Place oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees. Line one large with parchment paper or Silpat.
2) In a large bowl, combine oats, whole almonds, slivered almonds, coconut, cinnamon and salt.
3) In a medium saucepan on medium heat, melt butter, then whisk in coconut oil, honey and brown sugar until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture begins to boil. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
4) Pour the sauce over the oat mixture and toss together with a spoon or two to ensure that the oats are covered thoroughly.
5) Press mixture down gently onto baking sheet. Bake for about 9 minutes. Remove from the oven, stir granola and place back in oven. Bake for another 9 minutes, stir again and put back in the oven for about 9 minutes more.
6) Let cool on the pan before placing in an airtight container.

Also, if you’re looking for other delicious granola combinations, this basic recipe from Chocolate & Zucchini is wonderful.

I’ll be posting more breakfasts over the next few days, especially now that my classes don’t begin until 3:30 on Mondays and Wednesdays. A few recipes will involve bacon. You know how I feel about bacon.

Let me know if you’ve got a recipe I simply have to try, bacon-centric or otherwise.

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Cranberry Orange Muffins

It’s finals week here, so our brains deserve a good breakfast. And a good afternoon snack. And a good dessert.

Fortunately, this recipe fulfills of all those needs. Not too much sugar, a nice bite of cranberry, and the smell of orange zest on your hands all day long.

Actually, let’s be honest. I only have one more final, and it’s not the kind to fret over. Thus, I plan on spending my days using up my stockpile of butter and flour. So, really, this recipe fulfills that need.

I juiced fresh oranges, which is way time consuming since I don’t have a citrus juicer. (Mom, dad, I know you’re already buying me a fruit-related Christmas gift, but if you need more ideas…)

I used a combination of walnuts and almonds. Also, the three oranges I juiced still didn’t render enough orange juice, so I added a bit of milk, as well.

I plan to individually wrap and freeze most of them before they all find a way into my stomach by tomorrow.

Cranberry Orange Muffins:
2 teaspoons grated orange rind
3/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup canola oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 cups all-purpose flour (about 9 ounces)
1 cup sugar (set aside one tablespoon for topping)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups coarsely chopped cranberries
1/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

1) Preheat oven to 500 degrees. (Lower to 400 right before placing the muffins in the oven.)
2) Combine orange rind, orange juice, canolia oil and egg in a bowl. Add flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Stir until just combine.
3) Fold in cranberries and walnuts.
4) Coat muffin tin with oil and pour in batter. (I filled the cups to the very top to make 12 big muffins.) Sprinkle sugar on top. Lower oven heat to 400 degrees. Bake for about 17 minutes, or until the muffin top springs back when touched.
5) Run a knife around outer edge of each muffin cup. Carefully remove each muffin.

Plum Almond Tart

The plums grinned at me under the promising-but-intimidating sign that read “on sale.” They screamed to be purchased and ripened and baked until, finally, their demands would subside.

Some people eat plums raw, allowing juice to wantonly drip down their chins. I, on the other hand, cooked those suckers into sugary submission.

Still, this tart popped out of my oven begging to be topped with whipped cream. I had no choice but to concede. John Edwards and Tiger Woods agree–tarts are difficult to ignore. When topped with whipped cream? Well, you know what’s next.

Consume, regret, repeat.

Plum-Almond Tart:

For crust
1 C. all-purpose flour
1 TB sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 C. (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 TB ice water
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1) Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine first three ingredients in processor. Using on/off turns, cut in butter until mixture resembles a coarse meal.
2) Mix 2 tablespoons ice water and vanilla in small bowl. Pour water mixture over dough. Process until moist clumps form.
3) Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Roll out on floured surface to 12-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Trim overhang to 1/2 inch. Fold overhang in and press, forming double-thick sides. Using fork, pierce dough all over. Freeze 15 minutes.
4) Bake crust until pale golden, about 30 minutes (crust may shrink slightly). Cool on rack. Maintain oven temperature.

For filling
1/3 C. whole almonds (I bought them pre-roasted)
1/3 C. sugar
1 egg
3 TB unsalted butter, room temperature
4 tsp lemon juice (you could also add some lemon rind)
about 6 ripe red-skinned plums, pitted, cut into 3/4-inch-thick wedges
1/4 C. red currant jelly

1) Finely grind almonds with sugar in processor. Add egg, butter and 2 teaspoons lemon juice. Process until batter forms.
2) Pour filling into crust. Arrange plums atop filling. Bake until plums are tender and filling is golden and set, about 50 minutes.
3) Melt jelly with remaining 2 teaspoons framboise in heavy small saucepan over medium-low heat. Brush jelly mixture over plums.
4) Cool tart. Serve at room temperature with whipped cream.