I wanted to make a few homemade Christmas gifts to give friends and family. I always make my peppermint bark but this year I've also added granola into my gift-giving routine. Barefoot Contessa takes the credit for this recipe but countless reviewer helped modify the cooking process. The result is fantastic it's yummy over yogurt or ice cream and bonus - it makes your house smell amazing while you're making it!
Cherry Almond Granola
4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups sweetened, shredded coconut
2 cups sliced almonds
1 1/2 cups dried cherries, chopped (dried cranberries or blueberries would be good too)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup honey
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Toss the oats 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 the oats and nuts are coated with the liquids. Pour onto a sheet pan. Bake, stirring every five minutes with a spatula, until the mixture turns a nice, even golden brown, about 20 minutes. Then add in coconut and dried cherries. Stir and continue to bake another 5 - 7 minutes until coconut is golden brown.
Remove the granola from the oven and allow to cool, stirring occasionally. Store the cooled granola in an airtight container.