It’s been so long I’m not really sure that I know how to blog anymore. How was it that I actually sat down and put organized thoughts on paper several times a week again? So let’s see if I can scratch my way through this.
I suppose that if we’re catching up on things I should tell you the news that we found out we’re having a girl. To which Gerrit’s immediate reaction (out loud during the ultrasound) was “I was right!” Because even though I am so beyond thrilled that we are going to have a daughter (and girl baby clothes are way more fun to buy than boy baby clothes), I just had this feeling that it was going to be a boy (perhaps because I kind of secretly wanted it to be a girl?). Gerrit has been sure the whole time though, and he was right.
Of course knowing this has made the preparations all the more real. We have stacks of clothes in the extra room, the nursery is painted, and the crib is assembled. And I, feeling like I have been falling so behind on life in the recent months, have been trying to catch up on everything I haven’t been doing (and everything I haven’t been cooking).
I made granola for us for the first time in months the other week when I saw David Lebovitz’s recipe post for peanut butter chocolate chip granola and knew immediately that this was the granola that I have been waiting for. Usually I make my basic granola recipe, which I love because it is so easy. I’ve tried to get some peanut butter flavor into it in the past, but never successfully. But here the flavors are exactly what I want for a peanut butter and chocolate granola. (I just licked the peanut butter/maple syrup/brown sugar combination straight from the bowl.) I had to play around with the recipe some: adding chocolate chips in later because they were melting entirely too much, adding some oil in because it also had come out too clumpy. And what resulted was a granola I’m sure we will return to routinely (because I’m not sure Gerrit is going to let me go back to the basic granola now that we’ve had this).
This granola is a bit more complicated than the basic granola that I often make, but it is such a nice treat. Although the original recipe says to stir the chocolate chips into the dry ingredients, I think stirring them in at the end is the best way to go to prevent any unnecessary melting. I also adjusted the wet ingredients so that you have a granola that clumps a bit less. For the maple syrup and honey, you can use all maple syrup, all honey, or a combination of the two. This recipe makes a huge amount (more than enough to last two people for a full week), but half it if you don’t need as much.
- 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 cup maple syrup (and/or honey)
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 cups old fashioned oats
- 2 cups lightly salted roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup sunflower seeds
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- In a medium-sized saucepan whisk together the peanut butter, maple syrup, brown sugar, oil, and water. Heat over medium-low heat, just until the the brown sugar and peanut butter have melted and the mixture is smooth. Then stir in the vanilla and set mixture aside to cool.
- In a large bowl, stir together the oats, peanuts, sunflower seeds, cinnamon, and salt.
- Once the wet ingredients have cooled, stir them into the dry ingredients. Then stir in the chocolate chips.
- Spread the mixture out on the prepared sheet pan. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring the mixture once or twice as it’s baking. Let cool and then store in an airtight container or zip top bag.
adapted from David Lebovitz