Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Chocolate Granola

I've recently been on a granola kick.  I love it as cereal with milk, mixed with yogurt parfaits, with fresh fruit - or just by itself!  But instead of buying a box of granola at the store, I figured I'd use some of the ingredients I had on hand at home and make my own.   Because I have a sweet tooth...I went with chocolate granola.  But one of the great things about granola is that you can literally put pretty much anything in it and make all different varieties!   

Chocolate Granola 

4 cups rolled oats
1 cup dried cranberries, chopped (or substitute with any dried fruits)
½ cup coconut
1 cup whole almonds, chopped
3 Tbl cocoa powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
1 ¼ cups brown sugar
½ cup water
2 Tbs butter
½ cup honey
1 ½ tsps vanilla extract
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 ounce dark baking chocolate, chopped

Preheat oven to 350°F and line baking trays with parchment paper.
Place the oats, dried cranberries, almonds, coconut, cocoa, cinnamon and salt in a large mixing bowl and toss until combined.

In a pot over medium heat, heat the sugar, water and butter until sugar has dissolved and butter has melted. Add the honey and vanilla and stir to combined.

Remove from heat and add the chocolate and stir until melted and everything is combined.
Pour the chocolate mixture into the oats and with a wooden spoon, mix until everything is coated and combined.

Spread the clusters of granola on the trays in a single layer. Or if you wish, break up the clusters if you prefer a ‘looser’ granola. 

Bake each tray separately for 15-20 minutes until it’s dried out (granola will get more crunchy as it cools). Make sure to turn the granola and move it around halfway through the baking time to make sure it bakes evenly and doesn’t burn.  I opted for the lower time because 20 minutes made some of it burn. 

Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before storing it in an airtight container.
Serve it with fresh fruit, baked fruits, yogurt, as a cereal with milk, on ice cream or as crumble on your favorite dessert.

Source: adapted from Citrus and Candy

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