Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Very Berry Granola and Muddy Buddies

OK, I know it's been ages since I've blogged.
I had a wonderful trip to NYC over the weekend but sadly, I think I may have accidentally
deleted most of the pictures. There is a small chance that I did manage to upload the photos to Andrew's sister's (our gracious hostess) computer, so there may be catch up later this week.

So onto the present.

As a last minute decision, I decided to make some holiday treats as Christmas gifts for my coworkers. I'm usually not around for Christmas, as I usually spend a couple of weeks visiting my parents in Japan around this time. So it was strange to be in the office so close to holidays and not have anything to offer people.

Based on the fact that I've been on baking overload lately, I wanted something quick, relatively easy and something that could be packaged attractively.

I decided on homemade Berry Granola and Muddy Buddies.

I adapted a recipe from Martha Stewart to use for the granola:

Ingredients (I doubled this recipe)
2 cups of old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup of sweetened shredded coconut (I upped this by an extra 1/2 cup because I LOVE coconut)
1/2 cup sliced almonds
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (I doubled this and the honey, so with the double batch, I had 8 tablespoons of each total)
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup dried blueberries (Replaced this with a cup of mixed berries (strawberries, blueberries and cherries) from Trader Joes and added a half cup of cranberries)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss oats, coconut and almonds (since I doubled the batch, I had to split the mixture into half for baking):

In a small bowl, stir together oil and honey. Pour over oat mixture and toss

Bake, tossing occasionally, until lightly toasted, 16 to 20 minutes (I mixed it every five minutes and baked it for 15 minutes total).

Place mixture in a large bowl and stir in blueberries. (I just poured the berries on top of the pan so the granola could remain on the bowl to cool):
After it cooled, I stored it in an airtight container (plastic tupperware) overnight.

Next, it was onto the Muddy Buddies.

9 cups of Chex cereal (I went with Corn and used the whole box)
1 cup of semisweet chocolate chips (I upped this to 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup of peanut butter (I upped this to 3/4 cup and used creamy peanut butter)
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar

In a large bowl, measure cereal (I skipped this step).
Microwave chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter in a microwaveable bowl on high for 1 minute, stir. Microwave for another 30 seconds or until mixture can be stirred smooth. Stir in vanilla. Pour mixture over cereal until evenly coated (I reversed this by pouring the cereal on top of the mixture):

Now for the fun part, pour the cereal into a two gallon resealable bag with the powdered sugar, seal, and shake until coated. (I had to split the batch into two parts since I only had one gallon bags):

Spread on waxed paper to cool:

In the morning, I packed the granola into Ziploc bags and placed them into cute Christmas bags I had picked up in Japan, along with a helpful hint from Martha Stewart. The hint (which I printed on individual tags) gave suggestions on what to eat granola with (since I was afraid not everyone was familiar with granola):

The Muddy Buddies were simply put into clear plastic bags and tied with raffia and everything was ready to go to for the office.

No comments: