Seasonal Fare with Flair: Gift-Giving Out of the Box

If you want to make loved ones feel really cared for, nothing’s better than a homemade treat, carefully prepared and packaged in pretty wrapping!

The granola would make a great gift to pack in mason jars with a ribbon and note. Also the cornbread mix is yummy and makes a super gift. 

Make-it-Yourself Cornbread Mix

Hands-On Time: 5 Mins
Total Time: 15 minutes to 1 hour 5 minutes (depending on baking vessel)
Yield 12 servings

When it comes to whipping up freshly baked muffins and quick breads, we love the convenience of a boxed mix. But we’re not crazy about the hydrogenated fats and preservatives that sometimes hide inside. So we came up with our own super-simple cornbread mix using ingredients you likely have on hand. Whisk together the dry ingredients today, and stash the mixture in the pantry for up to three months. Then bake a fresh batch on Thanksgiving (or any) morning.

• 1½ cups all-purpose flour
• 1½ cups stone-ground cornmeal
• ¼ cup sugar
• 1½ tablespoons baking powder
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt
• ¾ teaspoon baking soda
• 1½ cups milk
• ½ cup vegetable oil
• 3 large eggs

How to Make It

Step 1
Whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Store in a tightly sealed container in a cool, dry place for up to 3 months.

Step 2
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 400°F. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and whisk in milk, oil, and eggs until evenly combined. Pour batter into a lightly greased baking vessel and bake as directed below. Let cool slightly before serving.

Step 3

Cooking Times:
Mini muffin tin (makes 45): 10 to 12 minutes
Standard muffin tin (makes 15): 12 to 15 minutes
10-inch cast-iron skillet: 25 to 30 minutes
8-by-8-inch baking dish: 30 to 35 minutes
8-by-4-inch loaf pan: 55 to 60 minutes (tent with foil if browning too quickly)
Real Simple\November 2017

Easy Granola

This is a super versatile recipe with some substitutions and suggestions below. Make 6 servings.

Preheat oven to 250°F.

• 3 cups rolled oats
• 1 cup slivered almonds
• 1 cup cashews
• 3⁄4 cup shredded sweet coconut
• 1⁄4 cup plus 2 Tbs. dark brown sugar
• 1⁄4 cup plus 2 Tbs. maple syrup (or honey) • 1⁄4 cup vegetable oil
• 3⁄4 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup raisins

In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts, coconut, and brown sugar.

In a separate bowl, combine maple syrup, oil, and salt.

Combine both mixtures and pour onto 2 sheet pans. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to achieve an even color. Remove from oven and transfer into a large bowl. Add raisins and mix until evenly distributed. This stays fresh in a sealed jar or container.

Experiment by adding a little cinnamon and nutmeg; add a tsp. of vanilla; try swapping out the raisins for currants, dried cherries, dried chopped up apricots, or cranberries. Try walnuts, macadamia, or pecans in- stead of cashews and almonds, or a mixture of them.

~ Courtesy of Alton Brown

The following two tabs change content below.
Victoria Hicks

Victoria Hicks

Victoria Hicks is a long-time Co-op food writer and our demo diva for the popular Seasonal Fare with Flair series. Visit the Service Desks in our stores for upcoming dates, times, and locations. Contact her at comment at coopfoodstore dot com.