October 10, 2012

chocolate granola


I have been meaning to share this recipe with you all summer.  Yes, since summer.  At this point, I cannot remember the first time I made it.  I don't even remember how I came to find this recipe, except to say that when I did I couldn't get it out of my mind, and along with Pioneer Woman's iced coffee, will probably hold the record for quickest turn-around time from inspiration to execution.

I ate this granola almost every day this summer, except on the weekends, or when I'd run out.  And that is how my adaptation came about, because I learned pretty quickly, as in after the first batch, that I'd need to make more than one recipe at a time.  But I only have one rimmed baking sheet, an issue which does need to be resolved whether my husband thinks so or not, and so I now make one-and-a-half recipes each time.  That one-and-a-half recipes has become my recipe, and that's what I'm sharing with you here.  In fact, I'm making some today...

Chocolate Granola
Adapted from Molly Wizenburg's, French Chocolate Granola

I've made some adjustments for my own tastes, and for other reasons too.  Like using sliced almonds instead of chopped, as well as increasing the amount.  I buy sliced almonds at Costco and keep them in my refrigerator to add to cereals or oatmeal, so that is a natural switch for me.  Also, I've cut back the sweetness a bit - 8 tablespoons of honey instead of 9 - simply because it is easier to measure; 8 Tbsp is a half-cup, easy.  And it turns out I didn't miss that extra tablespoon anyhow.  I cut back the sugar too, and left out the coconut.  I do like coconut, but I don't like it enough to add it here.

For the chocolate, I use what Molly recommends, which is the Pound Plus bar from Trader Joe's that comes in a light brown wrapper.  If you don't have a Trader Joe's, you'll want to find a similar dark chocolate to use in its place.  The one I'm using has 54% cocoa solids.

4 1/2 cups rolled oat
1 cup raw sliced almonds
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
pinch of salt
8 Tbsp honey
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
3/4 cup finely chopped bittersweet dark chocolate

Preheat the oven to 300°F.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, almonds, sugar, salt and stir to blend.

In a small saucepan, combine the honey and oil.  Slowly warm over low heat, stirring gently until the honey has loosened.  Its viscosity will change as it is heated and will make it easier to combine with the oat mixture.  Pour this mixture over the dry ingredients, and stir well to combine.

Pour the oats onto a rimmed baking sheet and spread out in an even layer (I line my baking sheet with foil and parchment for easy clean-up).  And now, here is where the instructions get a bit, personal?  I happen to like my granola very toasty.  I found this out one day when I accidentally baked my granola a little longer than I had intended.  Thing was, I ended up liking it more that way and have been making it that way ever since.

To start you'll want to bake the granola for 20 minutes.  Then take it out and stir well, folding it actually, making sure that the granola on top makes it to the bottom and that the stuff on the bottom comes to the top.  Then continue to bake in 10 minute increments taking it out and stirring it each time.  When it has reached your desired doneness remove from the oven and leave it in the pan to cool completely.  I cook mine for about an hour total.  Stir it as it cools, or it will cool into one large solid mass of granola.  Not really what we're looking for here.

When the granola has cooled completely you can transfer it to the storage container of your choice (I use a  large zipper-lock bag).  Add the chocolate, close the bag or container, and gently turn the mixture to distribute the chocolate evenly throughout.

It is recommended to serve with plain milk in the opinion that yogurt or soy milk overwhelm the flavor of the chocolate.  I say, eat it however you'd like.  I happen to eat mine with yogurt and love it that way.  I don't find the flavor of the yogurt overwhelming, and quite enjoy the contrast of the tang from the yogurt with the little bursts of sweetness from the chocolate.  In fact, it's pretty much my favorite thing about this breakfast.



  1. I love this recipe; the first time I had it was when my neighbor gave me a batch. My sister and I had some, and we've both been addicted to it since. Sometimes I add some white chocolate chunks to it as well. Either way, it's great with yogurt. What's your favorite brand of chocolate?

    1. So, it is chocolate granola that pulls you out of hiding? =)

      I've only tried one chocolate in this recipe, and it is the one that Molly recommends, the Pound Plus Dark Chocolate from Trader Joe's. They have a few different pound plus bars. I keep both the 72% dark chocolate (comes in a red package) and the 54% dark chocolate in my pantry for baking. The 54% comes in a light brown package and you have to read the back to see that it is 54%; it is not labeled as such. It is sweet, but not too sweet. It is not a milk chocolate and most definitely has that hint of bitterness that you'd expect from dark chocolate. Since I like it so much in this recipe, I've never bothered to try anything else.

      As with all things, I pretty much hope we always live close to a Trader Joe's. I'm not sure what we will eat or how we will survive if we don't.

      I've been thinking of you; hope you are well. =)

    2. :-) Chocolate anything will pull me out of hiding :-) Even when I seem to be in hiding though, I think of you and your beautiful family often.

      I hear you on Trader Joe's. I've only recently started shopping there regularly (well, since one opened up in our neck of the woods) and I don't know what I ever did without them. I've bought their Pound Plus chocolates, but never tried them in baking (hee hee); if I want to "keep" some on the pantry, I'll probably have to change the wrapper and label to "Baker's Chocolate - FOR BAKING ONLY!!!!" Otherwise, a certain dark chocolate fiend will abscond with it.

  2. I need to make this soon. really soon. I was making a pumpkin spice granola a lot last year. it was so delish and really low in fat (no oil in that recipe or butter!) and I liked the addition of rice krispies to it.
    that said, I'll definitely give this a go this week. I needed a reason to go to TJ's and since my oldest is turning TEN... I'll make this as a little treat for him.


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