Grace Parisi's granola is the standard by which the F&W staff measures all others. Says Grace, "Like any true zealot, I love to turn people on to my one big passion."
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4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Large pinch of ground cinnamon
Large pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
2 pounds thick-cut oats
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 cups walnut halves (11 ounces)
3 cups dried cranberries, cherries or golden raisins (1 pound)
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 375°. Butter a roasting pan. In a mini food processor, pulse the butter, flour, baking soda, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg until crumbly. Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the oats and 3/4 cup of the maple syrup; transfer to the prepared pan. Bake for 50 minutes, stirring occasionally, until crisp. Let cool.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, toss the walnut halves with the remaining 2 tablespoons of maple syrup. Spread the walnuts onto a small rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 20 minutes, tossing occasionally, until golden and caramelized. Transfer the walnuts to a cutting board and let cool.
Chop the walnuts and add them to the granola along with the dried fruit. Divide among eight gift bags and seal tightly.
The granola can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
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