- 1 1/2 cup brown sugar (usually I use about half honey and half brown sugar)
- 1/2 cup water
- 4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 8 cups rolled oats
- 2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, or slivered almonds
- Cinnamon to taste (I use a lot; a couple of tablespoons)
- Ginger (I only ever have ground ginger, but it would be good with minced candied ginger)--not enough to taste "gingery" but enough to add a little something special; maybe a teaspoon or two.
- Dried fruit--I use craisins, but anything would be good.
Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.
Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper (or aluminum foil) and reserve.
Combine brown sugar and water in a 4-cup microwave proof glass measuring cup or bowl. Place in microwave on high for 5 minutes and cook until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from microwave, add vanilla extract and salt.
In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, nuts, spices, and brown sugar syrup mixture. Stir until thoroughly mixed. Spread the granola onto cookie sheets and bake 45 minutes to 1 hour or until golden and crunchy.
When the mixture comes out of the oven, it is still very pliable. You may choose to add in dried fruit as a finishing touch at this time (sprinkling it over the top is fine). If you would like clumps rather than individual toasted oats, let it sit undisturbed until cooled, at which point you can break it apart. When granola has cooled completely, store in an airtight container.