I’ve always tended to gravitate towards homemade Christmas gifts, especially when it came to parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and teachers. Giving presents that someone had the means to just go and out and buy for themselves – candles, ornaments, sweaters, ties, socks, whatever – never made a whole lot of sense to me.

Whenever I’m stumped on a gift, this wonderful granola recipe is my go to. My mom adopted this recipe from our White Dog Cafe cookbook (a lovely Philadelphia treasure I recommend if you are in the area) when we started having large masses of company flow through our beach house during the summer months. The granola fondly became known as “Tucket’s Granola” after our golden (white?) retriever who always seems to be hanging around the kitchen praying that scraps will fall on the floor.

Still, this granola is so fantastic that it transcends seasons. When presented nicely, (I’m a fan of Mason jars and ribbons) I’ve come to learn that this treat quickly becomes a holiday favorite. Not only is it hearty and healthy (if you consider extravagant amounts of peanut butter and honey to be healthy as I do), but it is also very aesthetically pleasing. The muted colors of the fruit mixed with the rustic oats look fit for a William-Sonoma catalog. Plus, this recipe can easily be made in bulk, so you can cover all those on your list and then some.

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Tucket

Tucket’s Granola (adapted from The White Dog Cafe)

Makes 8 cups (note: I doubled the recipe in the pictures)

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Total time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

2 cups rolled oats

1 cup wheat germ or wheat bran

1 cup oat bran

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup shredded coconut

1/2 cup of slivered almonds

1 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup honey

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 cup of dried fruit (apricots, cranberries, cherries, blueberries, raisins, etc.)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F

2. Combine all ingredients except for the dried fruit in a large bowl. Mix with your hands.

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3. Lick fingers…and then wash hands.

4. Spread the granola on a single even layer over as many baking sheets as needed. Bake, stirring every 10 minutes, for 30 minutes.

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5. Let the granola cool to room temperature and mix in the dried fruit.

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All the best to you and yours,

Lauren

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