If you’ve ever had homemade granola, you know how difficult it is to go back to the overly sweet store-bought stuff. This recipe for Crunchy Granola from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking Chez Moi is no exception. Its oats, nuts, seeds and dried fruit have the perfect level of sweetness in every bite.
It is not only a perfect treat for anytime during the day, but also a thoughtful gift, especially during the holidays.
The ingredients include old-fashioned oats, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, slivered almonds, honey, brown sugar, unsalted butter, vanilla extract, fine sea salt, shredded coconut and Craisins.
I made the “syrup” by heating the honey, brown sugar and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until the butter was melted and the mixture came to a boil. During this time, I stirred the mixture frequently.
Into a 325° F oven the granola went for 60 minutes. After the first 20 minutes, I removed the pans from the oven and turned everything over with a large spoon. Back in the oven for another 20 minutes. This time, after removing the pans from the oven, I sprinkled on the coconut before turning everything over.
5 cups (554 grams) old-fashioned oats
1½ cups (217 grams) dry roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds
1 cup (160 grams) dry roasted, unsalted pumpkin seeds
1½ cups (180 grams) slivered blanched almonds
¾ cup (180 grams) honey
½ cup (100 grams) packed light brown sugar
½ stick (4 Tablespoons, 2 ounces, 57 grams) unsalted butter cut into 4 chunks
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut (120 grams)
1 cup (about 150 grams) Craisins
Preheat oven to 325° F. Have two 9 x 13-inch Pyrex baking pans at hand.
Toss the oats, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and slivered almonds in a large bowl; mix everything together until well combined. Set aside.
Pour the honey into a small saucepan. Add the brown sugar (run it between your fingers so that it’s free of lumps) and butter. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Lower the heat and simmer – stirring often, until both the brown sugar and butter are melted. Remove from heat; stir in the vanilla and salt. Allow to cool for five minutes. Pour the warm liquid over the oat/seed/nut mixture. Stir mixture with a big wooden spoon or silicon spatula until everything is evenly moistened. You’ll think that there isn’t enough liquid to coat all of the dry ingredients, but keep stirring, and every little flake of oat and nut will be coated with the honey mixture. Divide between the two Pyrex pans.
The total baking time for the granola is 45 to 60 minutes, with lots of turning and scraping. After 20 minutes in the preheated 325° F oven, use a big spoon to turn everything over, making sure to scrape up everything that’s stuck to the pans. Do this again after another 20 minutes, but this time sprinkle an equal amount of the coconut over the granola in each pan and stir it in. Bake, scraping and turning for another 5 to 20 minutes. You want the oats and nuts to be burnished golden brown, and while the granola will be soft and sticky, you should be able to see each individual flake of oat or piece of nut. If you think it needs to be a tiny bit browner, bake it for a few minutes more.
Scrape the granola into a big bowl and stir in the dried fruit. When the granola has come to room temperature, use you hands to break up the many clumps that will have formed. Yield: About 10 cups.
Note: If you keep the granola dry, it will stay fresh and crispy for 2 to 3 weeks at room temperature. Don’t refrigerate or freeze it; the honey will cause it to go soggy.