When getting ready for guests, we often whip up a batch of our favorite granola. Its a crowd favorite, easy to make in large batches, and it smells great baking (while you rush around cleaning up the house)! As side benefits, it stores well in the freezer for several months, makes an excellent last minute host gift, and serves as a handy snack.
I've been working on perfecting this granola for a few years. It started with a basic version adapted from Alton Brown, and has evolved from there through years of R&D (i.e. bowls and bowls of granola). Some of my most technical research has consisted of making two similar batches (say one with brown sugar the other with honey)...leaving both out for guests over the weekend, and seeing which disappeared fastest. All this has led the tried and true recipe below. It can be modified to incorporate your favorite nuts, dried fruit, or other goodies after it is baked without changing the base ingredients.
- 4 cups oats, old fashioned rolled
- 1 cup almonds, slivered or chopped
- 1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
- 3/4 cup coconut, shredded & unsweetened preferably
- 1/3 cup brown sugar, dark
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/3 cup oil, canola
- 3/4 teaspoon salt, kosher
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 250.
- Mix dry ingredients (oats, nuts, coconut, and brown sugar) until fully incorporated.
- Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour in maple syrup, oil, and salt.
- Mix thoroughly and pour onto 2 sheet pans (clean up is much easier if you put down silicone baking sheets or parchment).
- Press mixture down firmly so that it forms a fairly solid even mass, this will help it to clump later.
- Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, rotate baking sheets half way through the bake time to ensure even browning. Note: I do not stir mine while it is baking in order to maximize the clumping.
- Remove from oven when your grains look golden brown (may be slightly more or less time then indicated depending on your oven).
- Transfer to a large bowl and add vanilla extract and extra salt to taste if you like your granola on the salty-sweet side.
- Cool 10 minutes, pour into bowl, eat