Crackle (Granola Clusters)
Crackle, aka granola clusters, is probably one of the best recipes I've ever created! It was nicknamed “crackle” by my father-in-law because of its crunchy texture and addictive nature. The key here is very addictive nature! Seriously, one bite and you will be hooked. It is the perfect balance of sweetness, a little saltiness, and toasty flavors of pecans, almonds, and coconut. The large chunks are also highly appealing, making it perfect to snack on plain, with coffee, or crumbled on top of yogurt. I love using the leftover crumbs as topping for oatmeal, too. I find that one batch never lasts as long as I think it should; it's no surprise considering how delicious it is!
Rob certainly agrees, and I have to brag about my father-in-law for a bit. He is hands-down one of the most skilled men I have ever met – house projects, milling and woodworking, landscaping, you name it. If you need an expert who will do pristine work, Rob is your guy! “Measure twice, cut once!” That’s his motto, and it’s a great one that never fails.
We are so fortunate for his willingness to always lend a helping hand. One of the most notable projects he worked on for us earlier this year was this gorgeous reading nook. It is made with hard maple boards that he milled himself! I am no woodworking expert, but I do know that this project was multi-faceted and very laborious. Rob worked off a Pinterest image I found and designed a new version to perfectly fit our space. He designed and executed the entire project (the only exception was the cushion). Since pictures are worth a thousand words, I thought I’d showcase the project with some images instead of trying to explain it.
Two of the perfect boards that Rob milled:
Frame coming up for the seat:
The hole in the middle is for support and a trap door for storage!
Coming along! Gosh, Mitchell has changed so much!
Book shelves going up on hidden mount brackets:
It's looking SO good:
This wood is truly spectacular, as is Rob's signature branding:
The cushion was made by the company Hearth and Home! I highly recommend them for custom cushions!
I think I owe Rob crackle for life after creating this beautiful feature in our home. He has his own Facebook page coming soon! I cannot wait. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this crackle and let it fuel you through some projects! The recipe and some additional photos are below.
Crackle (Granola Clusters)
3 cups old-fashioned oats
¼ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup sliced almonds
½ cup chopped pecans
½ cup shredded coconut
1/3 vegetable oil or butter, melted
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup honey or maple syrup
½ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
¾ cup sweetened dried cranberries (optional)
Preheat oven to 300° F, and line a 9x13 inch pan with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, flour, almonds, pecans, and coconut. Set aside. In a microwavable bowl, heat the vegetable oil (or butter), brown sugar, honey (or maple syrup) and salt for about 45 seconds, stirring after 15-second intervals, or until the sugar is dissolved. Do not boil. Once smooth, add the vanilla. Pour the sugar mixture over the oat mixture, and stir until all oats are moistened.
If using the dried cranberries: Place half the oat mixture into the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the dried cranberries evenly over the top. Cover the dried cranberries entirely with the remaining oat mixture and flatten slightly so the top is even but do not compact. This prevents the cranberries from becoming very dried out and hard.
If omitting the dried cranberries: Evenly spread the oat mixture into prepared pan. Flatten slightly so the top is even but do not compact.
Bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown. A metal pan will be on the shorter range and a glass pan will likely take closer to 40 minutes. Let cool for about 20-30 minutes in the pan. Once cooled slightly, lift the parchment paper and granola from the pan. Cut or break the granola into large clusters. Let cool completely before placing in an airtight container.
Measure your old-fashioned oats. You cannot use 1 minute oats in this recipe:
Chop the nuts (if needed) and add to oats:
I like to use a blend of butter and oil:
Add brown sugar, honey, and salt. Heat to dissolve sugar:
Add vanilla to the liquid mixture and pour over the oat and nut mixture:
Stir until it looks like this:
Bake to golden perfection!
Break or cut into clusters: