If I hadn't come across Joy the Baker, I believe my baking adventures would be short-lived. I was losing inspiration to keep going as I seemed to bake the same recipes repeatedly. Although playing with flour, butter, sugar and eggs has its therapeutic soothing effects, it was becoming somewhat burdensome.
Eating cakes, pastries, brownies, donuts, and cookies is not a sustainable long-term diet (unless you can monitor yourself closely like the Twinkie Diet). I can't eat too much anymore. It's definitely true that your metabolism slows down a lot when you hit the 20s. So I set out in search of a different kind of recipe, and that's when I stumbled across Joy the Baker's 10 Real-Talk Blog Tips Part Two.
To 2013, may this year be full of sweet and beautiful things to share with you.
Cocoa Almond Granola
Adapted from Joy the Baker
Makes 8 cups granola
4 cups rolled oats
1 cup raw whole almonds
1 cup shredded coconut (I used desiccated coconut because that was all I had on hand)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/3 vegetable oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius and prepare a rack for the top and middle. Line 1 large or 2 small baking trays with baking paper.2. In a large bowl, toss together oats, almonds, cinnamon, cocoa powder, and salt. Set aside.
3. In saucepan, combine sugar, honey, oil and butter. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves and mixture begins to bubble. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
4. Pour the warm mixture over the oat mixture and toss with wooden spoon until oats and almonds are moistened. Spoon mixture onto baking tray and place in oven.
5. Bake granola for 30 minutes, removing from oven to toss 2 to 3 times during baking. Granola is done when toasted on the edges and fragrant.6. Remove from oven and cool completely. Store in airtight container, at room temperature. Last up to 2 weeks.