The Key to Perfectly Baked Granola Might Surprise You

Valerie shares her super easy trick in her Food Network Kitchen class.

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My friend Yvonne makes amazing granola, of which my 14-year-old daughter, Dahlia, is a big fan. At Dahlia’s urging, I’ve been working up the courage to make some myself (Yvonne’s kitchen handiwork is hard to match). So, I tuned in to watch Valerie Bertinelli share her tips and tricks (while makingHoney and Hazelnut Granola) in a live class on the new Food Network Kitchen app.

Valerie says you can play it fairly loose when making granola. “Have fun with the ingredients and the amounts,” she says. She’s firm about one thing, though: Always line your baking pan with parchment paper. Parchment paper, I now know, is a granola-making game-changer.

“You definitely want the parchment, and I’ll tell you why,” Valerie said as she scooped the yummy looking mix of quick-cooking oats, nuts, fruits, honey and other ingredients onto her lined baking sheet. “It’s not just to keep it from sticking to the bottom; it also gives it a little bit of a barrier so your granola doesn’t burn."

Valerie notes that parchment paper is key in helping the granola cook evenly (and not brown too much around the edges). You’ll still want to mix the granola up a bit as it cooks but the “parchment paper will actually help it not burn.” (The trick has its limits, of course. If you get distracted and leave your granola in the oven too long, it will still overcook.)

An added bonus to cooking with parchment paper? When the granola is finished and you want to transfer it from the pan to the bowl, all you have to do is roll the parchment paper into a tube and pour it out like Valerie does. No fuss, no muss especially great for a bumble-fingered cook like me.

Armed with this trick, I’m ready to give granola a try. But first, I’m running out to the store to snag some parchment paper!

Do you want to whip up a batch of Honey and Hazelnut Granola with Valerie too? Or, cook along with her other recipes? You can find recorded versions of her live videos on the all-new Food Network Kitchen app.

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