I'm kind of clumsy. Actually really clumsy. Like trip over shoelaces while running, fall down the stairs at church, set off the smoke detector when cooking, clumsy. At work it's become an inside joke to say you've pulled a Julia if you manage to stick your fingers into the side of a cake and I literally lose my spatula a good five times a day. My co-workers can attest. Endearing? Maybe. Annoying? Yes. So I guess it should be of no surprise that I dropped my brand new jar of honey, spilling the precious liquid into a sweet golden puddle. It all started with my joy of finding a big bottle of honey at my favorite grocery store for the low price of $6.99 from $10.99. Granted $6.99 is still pretty high so my inward battle began. Well, I thought, I do use honey a lot. Besides what a deal, I mean it's 48 ounces. Let's see, the top is a screw on cap as opposed to the snap down lid. Hey, that should keep our pesky sugar ants out. Sold! Happily I placed it in my grocery cart with thoughts of honey dripping treats.
Once home I decided to put my honey to good use on a granola bar recipe. I've been wanting to try out granola bars for a while and finally set aside the time to make them for my friend Michael, one of my go-to taste testers. I went through some combinations in my head and finally settled on apple and cinnamon due to his love affair for anything apple but funnily enough, apples themselves. Everything is going smoothly until I get to the honey. Unscrewing the lid, I peel off the safety paper, pick up the giant jug and carefully pour a stream of sweet goodness into a well oiled one cup measurer. Beautiful, I thought, as the sunlight reflected off the fair hue. I grabbed the lid and securely fasten the top. Ah ha! Take that sugar ants! Just try getting into my honey now, I devilishly thought. And then, as if God had heard my defiance, the honey jar slips through my butter finger hands and lands with a loud thud on the floor, immediately oozing out sticky goo. Noooo! I cried, frantically finding something to scoop up what could be salvaged. From that point on the recipe was doomed to fail (that's for Micheal too). Actually it really wasn't that bad. I saved most of my honey and although my intent was to make granola bars, that didn't work out either and I ended up with a cinnamon sigh worthy batch of granola. Perfect for passing out to all my friends.
Apple Cinnamon Granola
3 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
1/4 cup flax seeds
1/2 cup sesame seeds
2 cups puffed rice
2 cups dried apples (can use any dried fruit if you wish)
1 cup honey
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsp. vanilla
Turn the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the first four ingredients and put on baking sheet. Let toast in the oven for 20-25 minutes, turning to make sure nothing burns.
Meanwhile heat the honey, salt, butter, and brown sugar together in a sauce pan until all is mixed throughly. Take off heat and add vanilla and cinnamon.
Once first mixture has been toasted, all the rice cereal and dried fruit, then pouring the honey mixture on top. Mix well and place back in oven for another15-20 minutes, once again stirring occasionally so not to burn. Take out and let sit. If you like your granola to be in chunks, let it cool almost completely and break apart. If you like it to be more cereal like, stir while cooling.