I’m going to play food blogger today.

I spent part of Will’s nap this afternoon making granola. I am absolutely in love with this particular granola recipe by Cook’s Illustrated (does anyone else love America’s Test Kitchen on PBS??) and have been going through it like crazy this summer. I’ve been tinkering with the recipe a bit and wanted to share the goodness with you!

In my opinion this is amazing granola. It’s very easy, does not involve opening the oven to stir every ten minutes, and creates a much “clumpier” granola than most other homemade recipes I’ve come across. I don’t love coconut itself in general, but the coconut oil here gives it a mild nutty flavor (and aroma) that is just divine. But I’ve done very little tinkering overall, so the accolades all go to Cook’s Illustrated!

A long-awaited afternoon snack.

Almond Granola with Dried Fruit (adapted a little from Cook’s Illustrated)

1/3 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar (I might use even less next time)

4 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup coconut oil (in liquid form)

1 tsp cinnamon

5 cups old fashioned rolled oats (not instant)

2 cups raw almonds, chopped coarse (you could also use sliced almonds, but having tried both ways, whole chopped almonds are much better!)

dried fruit of your choice — I use a mix of raisins, dried cranberries, and dried cherries

1. Preheat oven to 325, and line a half sheet pan with parchment paper.

2. Combine maple syrup, sugar, vanilla extract, salt, cinnamon and coconut oil in a large bowl and whisk until smooth.

3. Fold in oats and almonds until thoroughly coated.

4. Transfer oat mixture to baking sheet and spread into a thin, even layer. Using a stiff metal spatula, press the oat mixture into the pan. Bake until golden brown, around 45-50 minutes, turning the pan once halfway.

Mine got a little too brown around the edges, but I like it that way.

Once it’s done, let it cool to room temperature (though it is expected that you will sample the granola — a lot — as it cools, just to make sure it’s OK). Then, break it into pieces and stir in the dried fruit!

Use a fancy camera setting to photograph your granola, then enjoy for breakfast tomorrow with a peach and some plain Greek yogurt. Yum.

Have you cooked anything delicious lately? Do you love granola as much as I do?