In elementary school, I read a book called Everything on a Waffle by Polly Horvath in which a young girl in a whaling town has to adjust living with her uncle after her parents are lost at sea. However, what I remember most distinctly from the novel is one chapter where a woman is in the process of selling her house, and in order to make her home smell more inviting, she bakes large quantities of cinnamon in her oven after reading that toasted spices will make her home smell wonderful. Now, I don’t think that a large pan of thoroughly toasted cinnamon sending an acrid bitterness through an open house would be all that comforting, but a small skillet of hot maple syrup and cinnamon that lightly coats a tray of rolled oats and pecans before being baked into granola? Now that would be a surefire way to get a few offers in just one weekend.
The minute the cinnamon blooms into hot maple syrup, the gentle spices in the mixture perfumes the air with the undeniable smell of comfort. After a quick bake in the oven, the oats crisp up and the pecans are toasted until their slightly bitter edge is tempered by the complex sweetness of maple syrup. Unlike commercial granolas that use evaporated cane juice for moisture and flavor, grade B maple syrup has a robust flavor that can stand up to hearty spices, nuts, and grains and is perfectly primed for healthful breakfasts. This granola couldn’t be easier to put together and is much more enticing than a jar of burnt cinnamon, whether or not you’re trying to sell your home.
Cinnamon Pecan Granola
Makes about 6 cups
4 cups rolled oats
2 cups raw pecans, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup maple syrup
½ cup canola oil
1/8 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and preheat the oven to 350F. In a large bowl, combine the oats and the pecans.
- In a small skillet over medium heat, bring the maple syrup, canola oil, and salt to a boil, then add the cinnamon and stir until well combined. Pour on the oat mixture and toss until every oat and pecan is coated. Pour the granola onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown, stirring the granola at the halfway point. Let cool on the baking sheet before transferring to an airtight container.