Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Ultimate Chocolate Granola

I usually stick with variations of my go-to granola recipe -- it's quick, easy, and makes for a healthy breakfast with yogurt and fruit.  But sometimes it's fun to get a little fancy, as with this chocolate granola.  The granola gets serious chocolate flavor from both cocoa powder and chocolate chips.  It's also got some serious salty-sweet magic going on with sprinkles of both turbinado sugar and flaky salt to finish.  Of course this granola is good with yogurt, but I'm not going to lie -- I could not stop eating it every time I walked past the container!

Ultimate Chocolate Granola (adapted from Pinch of Yum, original recipe here)
Makes about eight 1/3-cup servings

Spray oil
1-1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup cashews
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup turbinado sugar, divided
Generous pinch of salt
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
3 T maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Coarse salt, to finish (i.e. flaky sea salt or kosher salt)

1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees and line a large baking sheet with foil.  Spray lightly with oil.
2. Mix together the oats, cashews, coconut flakes, and turbinado sugar in a large bowl.  Reserve about a tablespoon of the turbinado sugar in a small bowl, and add the rest to the oat mixture along with a generous pinch of salt.  
3. Pour in the coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.  Stir well so that everything is combined.  Spread onto the baking sheet in an even layer.
4. Bake 50 minutes.  Don't shake or stir the pan unless the granola seems to be over-browning.  
5. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the granola and return to the oven for 5 minutes.  Remove from the oven, and sprinkle over the reserved turbinado sugar along with a generous sprinkle of coarse salt. 
6. Let cool for at least an hour or two before gently transferring to a storage container.

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