Sunday, November 6, 2011

Edible Gifts Part 1: Homemade Peanut Butter Granola

With Halloween fully in our past 'tis officially the holiday season! As you might imagine, I love myself a good holiday. Time with family, holiday parties, cocktails, baked goods, giving guides and Christmas movie marathons --- I love it all. For the past couple of years I have said that I was going to scale down the gifts portion of the holiday and keep things simple, thoughtful and inexpensive but somehow every year I end up spending more than I mean to and hitting up in one swoop to quickly and efficiently round out my giving list. This year I'm sure there will still be some of that but I also wanted to try out some more homemade edible gifts. Simple things for the food lovers in my life, co-workers or friends to say "Happy Holidays" without too much fuss. Not everyone I know wants a big box of cookies delivered at their door so I'm trying to be a bit more inventive with these edible gifts but keep them easy and stress free.

Here is the first of what I hope will be several easy edible gift ideas to kick off the season... hopefully this might help with your own gift list. Try it out!!! I found this extremely easy peanut butter granola recipe at Peanut Butter Fingers blog and tried it out for the first time this weekend as a gift for my fellow granola - lovin' friend's birthday. It turned out really tasty and was so easy! After taste-testing it I made a small batch for us to have at home. I have what people might call a "granola addiction" so... we'll see how long our stock lasts but I will definitely use this recipe again for future gifting and I hope you do too!!!

Peanut Butter Granola - Recipe from Peanut Butter Fingers blog
-Makes about 2 and a bit cups of granola -- I made a little extra to fill a liter jar.

2 cups Oats (I used Trader Joe's organic rolled oats)
4 tablespoons creamy Peanut Butter (again T Joe's organic)
4 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 - 2/3 cup raisins (Optional -- I added these to the original recipe and loved it!)

-Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.
-Spray a baking sheet covered with tinfoil with cooking spray
-Put the peanut butter and honey in a big bowl and microwave (or stick in the oven if you don't have a microwave) for about 20 seconds or so (longer in the oven) so that the PB is nice and melty.
-Add in the cinnamon and vanilla extract and mix
-Pour in the oats and mix together so all the oats are coated in the PB mixture
-Spread out the mix onto the baking sheet, breaking up big clumps with a spoon
-Bake for about 8 minutes --- it should be golden brown.
-Take out and let cool for a while until the granola is hardened
-Break up big clumps, toss with raisins and pour into a jar for gifting.

For Gifting:
-Buy a 1 liter jar with lid from Bed Bath and Beyond, Container Store or wherever else. Mine cost $4.99 at BB+B. Fill with Granola and tie a ribbon around it or wrap it in tissue paper.

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