This is a fabulous homemade granola recipe that I got off of the Food Network Channel (Ina Garten's recipe) last year and made more up this year to give as gifts to friends and neighbors. It is a healthy alternative to cookies and candy - of which I love and will pay for later! The cost to put these together is relatively inexpensive as well:
.10 per glass jar - a garage sale find (just clean them really good).
.25 ornament - I bought 2 dozen at Marshall's for 6.00
1 Fat Quarter (for fabric tops) - .99 at Joann's (makes 4 tops) = .25 per jar
.20 - Ribbon or cut up scrap fabric to make a bow
Granola - approx 2.50 per jar (depending on cost of ingredients)
.15 hang tag
total: 3.50 per jar
4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (don't use the quick oats)
2 cups sweetened, shredded coconut
2 cups sliced almonds (note: I used 1 1/2 cups and you can subsitute walnuts or pecans)
1 1/2 cups dried cherries - chopped (I leave mine whole)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup good honey
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Toss the oats, coconut and almonds together in a large bowl. Pour the vegetable oil and honey over the oat mixture. Add the cinnamon and stir with a wooden spoon until all of the oat mixture is completed covered with the oil/honey. Don't leave any dry. Pour onto a LARGE baking sheet that has a RIM on it. Put the pan on the second to bottom rack inside your oven. Bake and stir with a spatula about every 3 minutes. Don't let it burn along the edges. Bake approximately 20-25 minutes - until a golden brown. Remove the granola from the oven and allow it to cool on the baking sheet. Give it a little stir now and then as it cools. The mixture will dry out as it sits there cooling off. Now I add my fruit at the very end to the cooked mixture. If you bake the fruit it becomes hard and can burn. You can even put your fruit in the last two minutes of cooking time if you like and it won't burn.
Note: instead of cherries, you can use raisins, craisins, cranberries, dried apricots or any other dried fruit you have on hand. You can also reduce the amount from 1 1/2 cups to just 1 cup.
If you don't have a large baking sheet you can use two regular size cookie sheets - just be sure that the sheets have an edge on them otherwise the granola will fall off the sheet and make a mess of your oven.
When measuring the oil and honey use a 1 cup measuring cup. First measure out the oil and then measure out the honey by pouring the honey into the oil. This way the honey won't stick to the measuring cup.
The granola is delicious served on top of vanilla ice cream, yogurt or served with milk.