Friday, March 22, 2013

Granola "Bird Nest" Cups

Spring is officially here!  I'm loving the sight of all the cherry blossoms in bloom that line our street.  So pretty.  Going along with my "brunch" theme this week I have these Granola "Bird Nest" cups-- not exactly Easter, but it's totally "spring-ish".  I first saw the idea at mommiecooks.com and adapted the recipe according to my taste.  --Really, I think you could probably use almost any granola recipe for these. You can make the "nests" ahead of time, but just note, that like real bird nests, these are kind of fragile- so handle with care.  Fill with yogurt and top with fruit just before serving. I chose grapes for the photo because they look like little eggs..in their nest.. :) {so cute} but you could do blueberries or any type of fruit.



Granola "Bird Nest" Cups
From Egg Free Bakery, adapted from Mommiecooks.com

4 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups old fashioned oats (not quick cook)
2 Tbsp milled flax seed

Combine butter, syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until butter is melted.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.  Set aside.  In a bowl, combine the oats and flax seed.  Pour syrup over oats mixture and mix until well combined.  Set aside.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Generously grease a regular sized muffin tin with cooking spray.  Scoop about 1/4 cup - 1/3 cup granola mixture into each muffin tin and press down with the back of spoon or measuring cup to pack the granola down.  Bake 15-17 minutes.  Remove from oven and using a 1/8 cup measuring cup, immediately press down center of each granola cup to form the nest. *see photo below*  (This step can also be done before cooking, but I found I still needed to shape it again after it baked.  You can also do this step before cooking with your fingers, pushing a hole in the center of each muffin cup, but I like the results of using the measuring cup).  Let cool COMPLETELY before removing.  And as I mentioned earlier, these are fragile so remove them gently.  (Don't freak out if a piece or two falls off.)  I used a knife to gently pop each nest out, but please wait until they've all the way cooled!  They won't hold together as well if you try to remove them too soon. Store in an air tight container. When ready to eat,  fill each with the yogurt of your choice. Top with fresh fruit and serve immediately.  Yield 10-12 cups (If you use the 1/3 cup measure you won't get as many)


*Here is a visual for all you visual learners, like me, of how I shaped my nests.

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