25 homemade holiday gift recipes: Cherry-almond-coconut granola

Homemade granola, 1 of 25 homemade holiday gift ideas from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen

This granola is not as sweet as you might be used to. It would be nice sprinkled over vanilla ice cream for dessert or over Greek yogurt for an afternoon snack. The granola mix makes a terrific gift, packaged in cute little gift bags or storage jars.

Homemade granola is just one way to get crafty this holiday season with homemade gifts from the kitchen. We've compiled 25 great ideas, ranging from quick and simple gifts (perfect if you're working with kids) to more intricate projects that call for a little extra time and patience.

Some gifts will last for weeks, perhaps more. Others are best eaten within a day or two.

Not only are homemade gifts a great way to save money during the holiday season, they're a thoughtful and creative way to show how much you care.


Total time: About 1 hour | Makes about 6 cups

Note: This granola is not as sweet as you might be used to. It would be nice sprinkled over vanilla ice cream for dessert, or over Greek yogurt for an afternoon snack.

    1 cup shredded or shaved unsweetened coconut
    1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
    1/4 cup honey
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
    1 cup slivered or sliced almonds, your choice
    1/4 cup sesame seeds
    2 tablespoons brown sugar
    About 1 cup dried cherries (a 5- to 6-ounce bag)

1. Heat the oven to 275 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Sprinkle the coconut in a single layer on the parchment paper and toast just until some of the edges of the coconut begin to color but the coconut is still mostly white, 3 to 7 minutes (timing will vary depending on how finely the coconut is shredded). Remove and set aside to cool (leave the parchment paper on the baking sheet).

2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large pot over low heat. Stir in the honey, vanilla and salt, then stir in the oats, almonds and sesame seeds. Add the brown sugar and stir gently until everything is completely combined. Transfer the granola to the parchment-lined baking sheet, breaking up any clumps so the granola is spread out in a single layer.

3. Toast the granola, stirring every 15 to 20 minutes, until the mixture is golden brown, about 40 to 60 minutes. Remove the tray and set aside to cool, then transfer the granola to a large bowl. Add the toasted coconut and cherries, stirring well to combine.

Each one-fourth cup: 158 calories; 4 grams protein; 19 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams fiber; 8 grams fat; 4 grams saturated fat; 5 mg. cholesterol; 51 mg. sodium.

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