As far as baking projects go, throwing together a batch of granola is one of the most unfussy. It never sticks to the pan or spreads everywhere or deflates mysteriously . . . not that I’d know anything about those sorts of oh-so-disappointing baking failures. Rest assured, granola will never let you down. All you need are some rolled oats, your sweetener and fat of choice, and one or more of your favorite nut or fruit add-ins. A quick mix of the ingredients, followed by a slow toasting in a low oven is all it takes. Just remember that if you’re adding dried fruit, it’s best to mix it in after the granola has cooked and cooled, since its high sugar content would cause it to burn in the oven.
The trick to a fool-proof granola is in the low-temperature baking — I never bake granola above 300ºF. It’s simply too easy to burn it if you crank up the temperature any higher, and a little extra time in the oven just makes things even crispier and intensifies the toasty flavor. Be patient with your granola, stirring it every ten minutes to ensure even toasting and to monitor its degree of doneness.
Once I came up with this recipe for Double Coconut Granola, I pretty much abandoned all other variations. It is just sweet enough from clover honey, and the scent is pure coconut, thanks to both virgin coconut oil and toasty shreds of unsweetened coconut. The generous teaspoon of salt really intensifies the flavor and takes this granola from ordinary to I-can’t-stop-eating-this delicious.
- 6 cups rolled oats
- 1⅔ cups unsweetened shredded coconut
- ½ cups clover honey
- ⅓ cup virgin coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Heat oven to 300ºF.
- In a large bowl, combine oats and shredded coconut.
- In a small saucepan, cook honey, coconut oil, vanilla, and salt over medium heat until the mixture just begins to simmer.
- Pour honey/oil mixture over oats and coconut flakes, and stir with a wooden spoon until well combined.
- Spread out granola on a baking sheet. Place in oven, bake for 10 minutes, then stir granola. Repeat until granola is well-toasted — this took me four stirs, or 40 minutes total cooking time.
- Cool on baking sheet, stirring occasionally. When cooled, store in airtight containers for up to 2 weeks. Can refrigerate or freeze for longer shelf life.