by Sheila Connolly
Recently I visited my local supermarket and came upon a not-young couple offering free samples of their locally made granola. They were parked at a card table between the vegetable and fish sections, a rather unlikely place for any food giveaway, much less a breakfast/snack one, but at least they got a lot of foot traffic there. I’m not much of a cereal eater, much less granola, but as a writer who has spent a lot of time sitting in unlikely places doing book signings (or hoping to have anyone at all ask for a signing), I felt compelled to stop and chat. And taste, of course.
It was good stuff, I have to say. The couple operate their Golden Girl Granola business out of Carlisle, MA, their hometown, and started small, working in their kitchen and selling at local farmers’ markets. Now they have a commercial kitchen not far away, but they still hand-stir the granolas, and they make a range of flavors. My husband favored the “Creative Cranberry” while I opted for the “Forest Maple.” We bought one of each.
Our purchase came with a mini-cookbook, so of course I went straight for the desserts (although they did include some savory recipes), specifically cookies. I was going to make their Cranberry Cookies, but my husband ate all of that flavor before I could get around to baking, so I used the Forest Maple instead (which tastes very maple-y, not artificial), and threw in a few dried cranberries. It turned out to be a nice combination. In fact, the cookies are kind of addictive.
Maple (Cranberry) Granola Cookies
1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups granola (whichever flavor you like)
1 cup white chocolate chips
(1 cup dried cranberries)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter two baking sheets.
Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, vanilla and orange zest.
Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Beat the flour mixture into the butter mixture until well blended.
Stir in the granola and white chocolate chips (and cranberries, if you’re using them).
Drop by spoonfuls onto the baking sheets and bake for about 10 minutes, or until golden brown.
Remove from the oven and let cool on the pan for a few minutes (if you try to remove them from the pan too soon, they fall apart). When cool enough to handle, remove the cookies to a rack and finish cooling.
Makes 3 dozen. Watch how quickly they disappear!
An Early Wake, arriving in one month!
My protagonist Maura Donovan does not cook (hard to believe, isn't it?), but I'm thinking of sending her young employee Rose Sweeney to a local cooking school--there are some good ones in the area, and the local products are outstanding (believe me, I've sampled them).
Do you think Rose should learn to cook?