I call this December granola because it includes so many of the flavors I associate with holiday baking – tart cranberries, toasted pecans, sweet maple syrup and citrusy orange zest. Granola is great for the holiday season because you can make large batches of it in advance for snacking or gift-giving (it’s so pretty in a quart mason jar tied with a bow) and is the quintessential easy breakfast. It’s also great in a brunch buffet spread and very easy to make.
The fresh cranberries in this granola are very tart so if you don’t enjoy the flavor you may want to add a little extra maple syrup when serving. And yes, you’re reading the ingredient list correctly – I eat my granola with heavy cream! I started enjoying it that way when I once was out of milk and it’s stuck ever since. You can of course serve granola with any type of milk, yogurt, kefir or even ice cream.
I bake granola at a relatively low temperature, 300 F, to keep it from toasting too quickly. Stir halfway and rotate the sheets to encourage even cooking. You want the granola to get nice color but not burn, or else it will taste bitter.
This granola will last for weeks when stored in the freezer. Put away a big batch to get you through the holidays!
makes about 7 cups
4 cups rolled oats, not instant oats
2 cups fresh cranberries
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup maple syrup, plus extra for serving
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
zest and juice of 1 small navel orange (about 1/3 cup)
heavy cream, for serving
Preheat oven to 300 F. Line two rimmed baking or half sheet pans with parchment paper.
Toss oats, cranberries and pecans in a large bowl. In a small bowl combine maple syrup, olive oil, orange juice and zest, then add to bowl with oats and toss until combined. Divide mixture over prepared sheet pans and spread in an even layer. Bake until granola is nicely toasted and golden (but not too dark!), about 25 to 35 minutes stirring granola and roasting baking sheet 180 degrees half way through cooking.
Let cool completely on the baking sheets before storing in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
See more recipes from my Hosting the Holidays Crate.