Friday, 4 December 2015

4th December: Handmade Gifts No.1 - Homemade Granola

Another daily December blog post and this time with a handmade gift idea; Granola. This is Jack's favourite cereal but one he doesn't have too often because it's not exactly healthy with all the sugar in it, tastes good though.

Its nice to have a go at making some gifts if you have the time and this one I love because you can present the granola in a pretty jar and decorate as you like. This recipe is easily adaptable to what you prefer too or whatever you have in the cupboard that's suitable.
You will need:
  • 4 mugs of rolled oats
  • 1 mug of dried fruit (I used half a mug of sultanas and half a mug of dried mixed fruit which included blueberries and cranberries)
  • 1 mug of chopped nuts (I used pecan nuts, brazil nuts and almonds - Jack's favourites)
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 200g butter (more if you want)
  • 2 tablespoons of maple syrup
  • Half a mug of light brown soft sugar
  • Dark chocolate (cut into small chunks)
This recipe is nice and easy and totally adaptable to what you prefer or what your family/friends would prefer if you're gifting it to them. An alternative to maple syrup is honey, you could stir in some nutella rather than chocolate chunks and so on. The above ingredients are rough estimates that I used and this filled the large jar shown in the above photo.
Mix the dried fruit into a bowl with the oats before stirring in the ground cinnamon. Add the chopped nuts and any other dried ingredients you may fancy adding (ground mixed spice is also nice for this recipe if you want to give the granola an extra 'gingerbread' taste).
Melt the butter in a pan and then take off the heat. Add the sugar and maple syrup and mix well. Pour this sticky mixture into the dried ingredients bowl and give it a good mix to make sure everything has been coated well. Melt and add more butter if needed (I did say this recipe isn't healthy!).
Spoon the mixture onto a lined shallow baking tray and make sure the mixture is evenly spread out. I lined my tray with foil but greaseproof paper works too. Bake in the oven at 150 degrees Celsius, not too high anyway or the top will brown too quickly. I baked mine for about 20 minutes and it was perfectly golden.
Remove the tray from the oven and allow the mixture to cool for a while. Once cool, use a wooden spoon to break up the mixture into granola clusters or smaller bite-size clusters - whatever you prefer. Add the chopped chocolate to the tray (make sure the granola is cool enough first) and mix into the granola. The granola can then be spooned into your decorated jar!
The granola keeps well for quite a while, though I've not tested how long that is because its gone pretty quick in our house! Enjoy! I've added this recipe to my recipe page for future reference.
I hope you've all got exciting plans for the first December weekend, I wonder what the weather will bring. I had some bad news last night; my best friend's mum passed away yesterday and it was a total shock. I'm utterly devastated for my best friend and her younger brother and can't begin to imagine how they're feeling. I'm going to see Jess tomorrow to offer my support and lots of hugs, though it's very hard to know what to say to make it better, but hopefully by being there I will be of some help. We've lived next door to each other since we were born until I moved to Newbury and Jess moved to Suffolk to live with her partner, so our friendship is very strong and I was very close to her family. Life can be so unexpected and sad at times.
Em x 


  1. Hello I wondered where you had gone to. I'm so sorry to hear about your friends mum, it's very sad xx

    1. Hi Jo, sorry I changed my blog name so it probably got confusing, hope it doesn't affect who follows me. Thanks for your condolences too, still in shock and very sad for my friend xx