Molasses Granola

by Jenn on July 21, 2009

in Breakfast,Pastas and Grains,Snacks,Vegetarian

Warning – this post is not gluten free!

Granola2
If you haven’t noticed, I like my food to taste as indulgent as possible.  I am definitely one of those people that “lives to eat” rather than “eats to live”.  I think most foodies are.  It is a definite balance though, with pretty strict portion/calorie control and  trying to have a fairly active lifestyle, so that I don’t feel like I ever have to restrict myself from taste or flavor.  Some things I eat are totally healthy.  And others are purely indulgent.  I think I would put this granola in the indulgent category for sure.

Mmm granola.  Have you ever had molasses granola before?  If not, I HIGHLY recommend it.  This was more like eating candy than it was eating granola.  Completely crunchy, and completely sweet, I think breakfast is going to be the highlight of my day for a while :)

I based this recipe off of this cocoa-molasses granola recipe that i found over on Librari[d]an.  I made a gazillion changes (ok, not quite a gazillion, but a few), so am posting my adapted recipe here.

Unfortunately this is not gluten free, because I am too cheap to spend the $$$$ on gluten free oats.  They do exist though.  If you buy gluten free oats, this granola should be celiac friendly.

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Ingredients:
2 cups of oats
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
salt
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
1 tbs. cocoa powder (not unsweetened)
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tbs cinnamon
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 275F.  Mix oats, coconut, almonds, and seeds in a large bowl and then lay out on a large cookie sheet. Sprinkle with a generous helping of salt, and bake about 15 minutes – take out just before it starts browning and return it back to the original bowl.  Set oven to 300F.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients (up to the cinnamon) to a small pan.  I found that by stirring alone, I could not get the oil to incorporate into the rest of the mixture, so applied a little heat (medium) for a few minutes while stirring rather vigorously until the mixture was completely homogenized together.
3. Gradually add the wet ingredient mixture to the dry, until it is well incorporated.  I felt that the granola was fairly well coated with only about 2/3 of the liquid mixture, but decided to add the rest anyways.  It probably would have made for a shorter baking time if I had stopped then, but that’s ok :)
4.  I kept the temperature low for the granola (the original recipe said to bake at 350F), because I was really worried about all the sugar in the mixture burning before the granola was done.  Because I used a lower temperature, I only turned the granola every 15 minutes instead of every 10, and the total baking time was closer to an hour.  I could tell when it was done because our home was really fragrant with the smell of the baking granola, it was so enticing!  The granola had just started to really harden a bit and that’s when I knew to pull it out.
5. I turned the granola one last time, and then let it cool for a good hour.  Removing it from the pan was a trick, I used a fork to get under it and pull it off the metal baking sheet, since it was all caramelized and hardened.  Note – this can make a mess.   I also used my fork to break up the large pieces into smaller ones, so that they would be more manageable when eaten.  This was cool though because my granola has all these yummy clusters in it.  Add your cooled granola to a large bowl, and toss in the dried cranberries.  Make sure the cranberries are evenly mixed with the granola, and store in a container far away from reach so you don’t eat it all at once :)

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Dan July 21, 2009 at 3:23 am

If you had trouble removing it from a baking sheet/pan I’d recommend lining w/parchment paper. Works like a charm every time!

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Jessica July 21, 2009 at 3:52 am

Seriously stunning! This picture belongs on the front of a magazine! This is something way out of my league….but that picture looks so amazing and delicious that it makes me want to try anyways!

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Wendy July 21, 2009 at 4:56 am

yes, I love the pic, too!! I’m excited to try this recipe when my slightly-burned-but-not-burned-enough-to-throw-away batch is finally gone… I’m getting a little tired of little burned honey-flavored pockets of burned pumpkin/flax/sesame seeds. :(

I second the tip about the parchment paper – works *great*! I hate using up my precious parchment paper because it’s kind of expensive, but I found some really cheap and decent stuff at a restaurant supply store.

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stacy July 21, 2009 at 2:50 pm

Thirding the parchment paper! Yum, I might have to try this. The recipe I tried before used honey and maple syrup – delicious, but a little expensive right now.

I just made wheat bread yesterday with molasses instead of honey (I um.. ran out. Oops.) and it smelled so good! Apparently I strongly associate molasses with gingersnaps, though, which was a little distracting.

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zoe July 21, 2009 at 2:51 pm

This picture is beautiful. This would pair great with some yogurt.

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Michelle July 21, 2009 at 7:37 pm

this picture blows my mind, i never knew that granola could be so sexy!!!

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Karine July 22, 2009 at 1:18 am

I love your pic! And your granola sounds amazing. Thanks for sharing!

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Jen @ MaplenCornbread July 22, 2009 at 1:42 am

I LOVE molasses so much!! ive never had granola made with it, I can just imagine HOW good it is! I am saving to make this :)

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dinedish July 22, 2009 at 4:36 am

Have I mentioned how much I love this photo? It looks so professional with that background. Too cool!

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