Crunchy Granola Clusters
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter
6 cups rolled oats (not quick oats)
1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup Maple Syrup (or molasses)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup crispy rice cereal, such as Rice Krispies
1 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
1/2 cup shelled pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup roughly chopped almonds
1/4 cup flax seeds
For the brown butter:
Add the butter to a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat. Cook, swirling the saucepan t to keep the butter moving around, until it melts and bubbles up, 3 to 4 minutes. When the butter is a medium golden brown, remove the skillet from the heat (it will continue browning in the skillet over the next 30 seconds or so!). Set aside.
For the toasted oats: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a bowl, toss the oats with the oil, and salt. Spread the mixture out on the prepared baking sheets and bake, shaking the pans twice during the cooking time and making sure the oats don't burn, until toasted, about 12 minutes. Set aside to cool a bit. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
For the clusters: In a medium saucepan, combine the brown sugar, honey and maple syrup. Stir the mixture until combined, then heat over medium heat, stirring, until barely bubbling. Stir in the vanilla extract. Add the brown butter to the pan and stir.
Toss together the toasted oats, rice cereal, wheat germ, cranberries, pecans, pumpkin seeds, almonds and flax seeds in a large bowl. Pour the sugar mixture over the oat mixture, stirring as you pour. Toss to combine; it will be sticky!
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and thoroughly spray with non stick cooking spray. (make sure you spray the edges of the pan too. Pour the mixture out onto the baking sheet, spread out and pat down with a rubber spatula so it’s pressed down into the pan and bake until golden, about 20-30 minutes. Let cool then I use a knife or off set spatula to lift a corner up and I break with my hands into clusters, you can make them as big or as small as you like.
Store in a zip lock baggie or two (i use two gallon size) ENJOY!