Chewy Maple Granola

On my last visit to DC, I discovered Hippie Crack from Baked and Wired and fell in love.  Their granola stayed chunky, a little chewy, but still had some crunch.  I’ve been trying to make a similar version. The maple syrup, honey, and molasses in this recipe help the oats stick together in chunky, chewy clusters.  The cinnamon and nutmeg taste and smell like fall without being overpowering. Oh…and don’t forget the brown sugar that almost caramelizes!  This is the kind of granola that if you pinch it, it sticks together and I LOVE it!

This recipe is very versatile.  Use the dried fruits and nuts of your choosing.

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Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line your baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper.

In a large bowl, add the maple syrup, honey, coconut oil…

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brown sugar…

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cinnamon, molasses, vanilla, nutmeg, and a pinch of salt. (The salt forgot to show up for the picture…oops.)

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Whisk together.  Then, add the oats, almonds, cashews

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and coconut.

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Toss to evenly coat.

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Pour the mixture onto your lined baking sheet.  Smooth with a spatula, but don’t press too firmly.

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Bake for 20-25 minutes.  It’s done when the edges start to caramelize.

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Take the dried fruits of your choosing…

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and measure 2 cups.

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Sprinkle over the baked granola while it’s warm; just out of the oven.  DO NOT STIR.  Add the optional chocolate chips now if you want.

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Allow to cool for at least 1 hour.  The longer it’s exposed to air, the crunchier it will become.  I put mine into tupperware after 1 hour so it would stay chewy.  Just look at that granola cluster!!!

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup honey/agave/brown rice syrup (I used honey)

1/4 cup liquid-state coconut oil (canola or vegetable oil may be substituted)

1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

2 tablespoons cinnamon (reduce to 1 tablespoon if sensitive to cinnamon, or to taste)

1 tablespoon molasses (not blackstrap, too pungent)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

pinch salt, optional and to taste

2 1/2 cups old-fashioned whole-rolled oats (not quick-cook or instant; use certified GF if necessary)

1/2 cup almonds (I used sliced)

1/2 cup unsalted cashews (use any combination of nuts equal to 1 cup)

1 cup shredded sweetened coconut

2 cups dried fruit (I used dried apricots (cut into strips), pineapple, and cranberries; use your favorite dried fruit)

Optional: 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350F, line a baking sheet with a Silpat or line with parchment paper. This granola is messy, sticky, and I recommend either a Silpat or parchment rather than just spraying a baking sheet with cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together first 9 ingredients, through optional salt.

Add oats, nuts, and coconut and toss to coat evenly.

Turn mixture out onto prepared baking sheet, keeping mixture lightly piled. Smoothing lightly with a spatula is okay, but don’t pack down too much. You want air to be able to flow without it being tightly packed.

Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until the sauce that pools slightly at the edge of the baking sheet begins to barely caramelize. Watch your granola closely to make sure it’s not burning since ingredients and ovens vary. Remove baking sheet from oven and don’t stir.

Evenly sprinkle with dried fruit and chocolate chips.

Do not stir granola and allow it to cool, for at least 1 hour. The longer it’s exposed to air, the crispier and crunchier it becomes.

Break granola apart and store in airtight containers with lids or in Ziplocks. Granola will keep airtight for at least 2 weeks.

Enjoy!

I packaged mine up for some host gifts:)

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6 thoughts on “Chewy Maple Granola

  1. Pingback: Friends & Sushi & Bubbles…Oh My! | Jen Chooses Joy

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