Author Notes: It has been a while since I decided to give up any gift-related Christmas stress and just create small presents for the people I love with my own hands, from scratch. I baked this granola for those in my family who enjoy starting their day with a bowl of cereal. I wanted to make it special and different from any other one could find in a store --something that tasted as cozy and comforting as Christmas. In it, I mixed the ingredients and familiar flavors Panettone, the traditional Italian Christmas cake: raisins, candied citrus peel and vanilla.
This recipe is incredibly versatile: you can play around with it using different combinations of grains, dried fruits and nuts. You can also make a more hearty, holiday-like version of this granola by using all butter instead of water. One last thing: don't be tempted to use more orange blossom water: it will overpower everything else. Or, if you don't like it at all, you can use all vanilla or cinnamon instead. - Valeria Necchio
Makes 1 large mason jar
- 4 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1 cup whole almonds, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup flax seeds
- 1/4 cup poppy seeds
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 4 tablespoons orange or acacia honey
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/8 teaspoon orange blossom water
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 quality vanilla bean (or 1 tsp quality vanilla extract)
- Grated zest of 1 unwaxed orange
- 1/2 cup quality candied citrus zest, finely chopped
- 1 cup raisins
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (170°C).
- In a large bowl, mix together oats with seeds and almonds using a wood spoon.
- In a smaller bowl, dissolve the honey in water using a whisk, then add orange blossom water.
- Pour the honey-infused water over the oat mixture and stir well to moisturize evenly.
- Pour melted butter over the oats and mix well, until evenly coated. Scrape the seeds of the vanilla bean an add them to the cereal together with the orange zest, stirring once again to equally distribute them.
- Spread the granola over a baking sheet.
- Bake for about 20 minutes, stirring 2-3 times during this phase to avoid burning.
- Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before adding raisins and candied citrus peel.
- Let cool completely, then store in a large air-tight mason jar. It keeps well for about 2-3 weeks.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe with Vanilla