spiced honey nut granola

I’m standing in my kitchen surrounded by the intoxicating aroma of baking granola.  The sweet, spicy smells and the anticipation of the perfect crunchy satisfaction are almost driving my bonkers, and my stomach is growling insistently.

There is almost nothing better than baking a batch of fresh, homemade granola.  It is so incredibly simple to throw together, and the scent of granola in the oven is just plain heaven.  The sweet, nutty, cozy aroma just screams fall!

honey nut granola | Sweet Anna's

Have you ever made homemade granola?  If you haven’t, now’s the time!  Making granola is about the easiest thing you can do in your kitchen.  (And it’s an easy hands-on project for the kids too, if that’s your sort of thing!)

With less than 5 minutes of prep, and into the oven, sometimes I think I could make granola every day.  We snack on it by the handful and enjoy it on our morning bowls of yogurt.

honey nut granola | Sweet Anna's

Of course, I rarely seem to be able to make the same recipe twice (there are just too many fun variations of granola to enjoy!) but this spiced, nutty version is definitely one of my favorites.

And really, what’s better than a quick bowl of homemade granola and yogurt on a busy fall morning?!

spiced honey nut granola

Yield: makes about 8 cups of granola

Ingredients

  • 5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar*
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin coconut oil
  • 2 cups sliced almonds, or other chopped nuts

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325ºF.

In a large bowl, stir together the oats, brown sugar, spices and salt.

(I like my granola pretty mild since we usually eat it with yogurt and jam. If you want a sweeter granola, increase the brown sugar to 1/2 cup!)

In a small bowl, melt together the coconut oil and the honey in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until just melted (you can also do this in a small pan on the stove).

Stir the honey mixture into the oat mixture until well coated. Spread evenly onto a large, rimmed baking sheet.

Bake for 15 minutes, remove from the oven and stir in the nuts, and then bake another 15-20 minutes, until the granola is golden.

Remove from the oven and cool completely, stirring occasionally as it cools to prevent big clumps (unless you like big clumps, then by all means, leave it be!)

http://sweetannas.com/2014/10/spiced-honey-nut-granola.html

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What’s your favorite way to eat granola?  On yogurt?  With milk?  Just plain??

cinnamon chip pumpkin blondies

Pumpkin already?!  Well, it’s raining and cool here today.  My kids start school in a week and a bit, and yours are probably close to it if not there already.

It doesn’t get much more fall-ish than this!

Cinnamon Chip Pumpkin Blondies | Sweet Anna's

So, to celebrate the beginning of fall (my favoritest season!) and the excitement of back-to-school (yay!), and the return of my all-time-favorite-cinnamon-baking-chips… here is an easy, delicious, fall-filled treat that will make your house smell amazing and your tummies happy.

If you’re looking for something different than your usual pumpkin bars/breads and you’re as ready for fall as I am, make these pumpkin blondies soon!

They are sweet, dense, flavorful, everything you love in a great brownie, but loaded with pumpkin and spices instead.  Delicious!

cinnamon chip pumpkin blondies

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, melted & slightly cooled
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups pure pumpkin purée (one 15oz can)
  • 1 2/3 cup cinnamon chips (one 10oz bag), divided (1 1/3 cup + 1/3 cup)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350ºF and lightly grease a 9x13" glass baking dish.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, spices and salt.

In a large bowl, whisk together the melted & cooled butter and the sugars until very smooth (and not warm at all). Whisk in the egg, vanilla & pumpkin until smooth.

Gently whisk in the flour mixture and then fold in the 1 1/3 cup cinnamon chips.

Spread the batter into the greased 9x13" baking dish and sprinkle the remaining 1/3 cup cinnamon chips over the top of the batter.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean.

Let cool completely before cutting and store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 weeks if you'd like!

http://sweetannas.com/2014/08/cinnamon-chip-pumpkin-blondies.html

recipe adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

toasted coconut maple granola

It’s fall!  It’s fall!!

Wait, it’s not fall yet, is it?

Well, it sure is starting to feel like fall around here, and to celebrate…  homemade coconut maple granola filled my kitchen with delicious smells this morning!

Toasted Coconut Maple Granola | Sweet Anna's

It’s cloudy outside and I’m ready for boots and sweaters and scarves, and all things pumpkin…  mmm, I love fall!

Have you ever made homemade granola before?  Because the store-bought stuff really just doesn’t even compare.

I like my granola simple, lots of oats, some coconut, maybe some nuts, but if you like yours full of other things, feel free to substitute out some of the oats for whatever you’d like!

Whatever you do, get busy making some granola.  At this end of the summer season, there really is nothing better than a big bowl of fresh blueberries or peaches topped with plain yogurt and a generous sprinkling of homemade granola.

[Read more...]

double dark chocolate banana bread

Because you can never have too many recipes for Banana Bread.  Especially when said banana bread is laced with luscious dark chocolate and studded with chocolate chips.

Double Dark Chocolate Banana Bread | Sweet Anna's

Now don’t worry, this is not just another chocolate cake.

This is a very dense, moist dairy-free banana bread that is loaded with dark chocolate, but still tastes like banana bread.

Kind of like the love child of banana bread and a perfect chocolate muffin.

Actually, these would make really great muffins.

[Read more...]

banana almond poppy seed muffins

Yep, you read that right.  Banana Almond Poppy Seed Muffins.  I am that indecisive.

I had a bunch of bananas to use up, and thought muffins sounded fun.  But then, almond poppy seed muffins are really my favorite.

So, I thought…  ”why not combine the two?!  It might be a total flop, but I’m pretty sure at least I will enjoy them anyways!”

Banana Almond Poppy Seed Muffins | Sweet Anna's

Well, guess what?

It was NOT a flop!  I am so excited about these muffins!

I love love LOVE the flavor and crunch of almond poppy seed muffins.  But they can sometimes be quite dry and I love the almost no-fail moistness of banana muffins.  So, put the two together and you get bliss in muffin form!

Serve these warm out of the oven, or make a double batch and freeze them and heat up a few at a time for a special treat.  Either way, save those brown bananas!!

banana almond poppy seed muffins

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

30 minutes

Yield: makes 12 regular muffins (or 24 mini-muffins)

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 3 medium-large very ripe bananas, well mashed (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Grease a 12 ct muffin tin (or a 24-ct mini-muffin tin!); Set aside.

In a medium bowl, mash the bananas well and mix in the melted (and slightly cooled) butter and sugar. Whisk in the egg and almond extract until well blended; Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and poppy seeds.

Dump the banana mixture into the flour mixture and stir gently until just combined. It's ok if there's a few clumps/streaks. (Better to under-mix than over-mix muffins and quick breads!)

Scoop the batter into the greased muffin tins, about 2/3 full. Sprinkle the tops with a bit of the sliced almonds, and then bake for 18-20 minutes (for regular muffins). If you are making mini-muffins, start checking them for doneness at about 12 minutes!

The muffins are done when they are nicely puffed, the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center of one of them comes out almost clean.

Let cool until you can handle them (about 10 minutes) and then remove from the tins and serve! (Or let cool completely on a wire rack and freeze!)

http://sweetannas.com/2014/04/banana-almond-poppy-seed-muffins.html

recipe loosely adapted from allrecipes.com

If you haven’t learned this trick yet, please use a scoop to fill your muffin-tins!  It makes the whole process so quick and tidy!!

(Ali over at Gimme Some Oven has a great post about this!)