You had a baby! Here’s some granola!

I’m not going to say that, exactly, but I did make some granola for my friend Jennifer. She had a baby last month and my copy of “The Good Neighbor Cookbook” says granola is a quick snack sleep-deprived moms can grab when the baby is fussing to keep them functioning during late-night feedings.

Cookies can be grabbed on the go too, but health experts keep telling us we can’t live on cookies alone, so I made the granola.

Was it a success?

Yes and no.

Success: I think it tastes good.

Not a success: It was not so easy to cut into bars. In fact, I may need to crumble it all up and tell Jennifer it’s to put on top of yogurt.

OK, so this food gift is no longer pretty or convenient. Thank goodness it’s the thought that counts.

(It doesn’t hurt that I made her a chocolate and caramel cake, too.)

CRANBERRY GRANOLA BARS

  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1/4 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a 9-by-13 baking pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two sides.

Spread the oats, almonds, coconut, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake, stirring once, until lightly golden, about 12 to 15 minutes.

Decrease the oven temperature to 300 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the syrup, sugar, oil and salt, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Add the toasted oat mixture and cranberries and stir to coat. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan, firmly pressing down on an even layer with a rubber spatula.

Bake in the oven until golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes.

Let cool completely on a wire rack, at least two hours. Grabbing the ends of the parchment, lift out the granola and slice into bars. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Recipe courtesy of The Good Neighbor Cookbook

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