I enrolled my youngest (9yrs. next week) to help out. Yes, it's a bit more work, but he gets a kick out of stirring and combining ingredients.
|Ready for assembly and a little measuring|
To make my life a little easier and the Weight Watchers points more accurate, I measured out most of the ingredients before he came to the kitchen. This method is not a "let-kids-be-messy-in-the-kitchen" purist approach, but it's a compromise that works for me.
And, of course, I insist that all cooks help with clean up. He dutifully obliged (sort of).
Makes 30 servings
1 serving = 1/4 cup (1 oz)
WW Points+ Value: 4
3 cups old-fashion rolled oats, uncooked
1 cup plain puffed rice cereal OR plain Cheerios
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup coconut flakes, sweetened or not
1/4 cup unpacked brown sugar
3 TBS cocoa powder
3 oz. baking chocolate or chocolate chips (dark, semi-sweet, milk, or combo)
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 TBS coffee (or dissolve 1 tsp instant coffee in 2 TBS hot water)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 275 and line a jelly roll pan (cookie sheet with sides) with parchment paper or foil. No spray needed.
In a small saucepan, combine baking chocolate (rough chopped)/choc. chips, honey, oil, & coffee. Heat on med-low, stirring occasionally, until chocolate melts and all is well combined. Remove from heat and add in vanilla, stirring well.
Pour wet ingredients over oat mixture. Stir well. Don't give up! It will all eventually get coated-I promise! Once all of the dry ingredients are wet, pour the mixture out onto your cookie sheet. Level it out into a smooth, even layer.
Place cookie sheet on center rack in preheated oven. Bake for 15 minutes, then pull out cookie sheet and stir granola slightly to distribute around for even cooking. (What you are trying to accomplish here is for all of the granola to bake, ie "dry out", at the same rate. By stirring every so often, you prevent uneven cooking.)
After the first stir, put granola back into the oven for another 15 minutes. Remove to stir again. Repeat this cycle 2 more times for a total of 60 minutes cooking time. *You do need to watch that last cycle because, depending on your oven, it may not need to go that long. If it's starting to look mostly dry, take it out.
Once the granola is done cooking, take it out of the oven and let it cool ON THE COOKIE SHEET. Don't worry if it is still a little soggy after an hour of cooking. It will crisp up as it cools.
This recipe makes about 2 Qt. Store in an airtight container (mason jar, ziploc bag, tupperware, etc.) in your pantry for up to 1 month...but it won't last that long!