Granola: easy to make, easy to eat far too much of.
I hadn’t grabbed a bowl of granola in months before my Air BnB stay in The Hague. My host set up a lovely and simple breakfast buffet for us which included yogurt, milks, fruit, oats, and the star of the hour: granola. I believe the variety was some play on cinnamon-raisin, and though simple it served to remind me how much I enjoy easy, cold breakfasts on sleepy weekday mornings.
A blank gray sky and steady rainfall greeted me this Friday, and being so uninspired to leave the house I embarked on an adventure of self-discovery involving a round of what-do-I-have-in-my-cabinets-that-would-taste-good-together. Admittedly, I made two batches of this recipe. The first time, I burnt it and the apartment saw more smoke presumably than the coffeeshops in The Netherlands. Round 2 ended much more gently, with the scent of cocoa instead of burnt popcorn wafting about the apartment. Being a smaller batch, I should have realized that baking time would be a bit less than traditional six-cup yields. All is well in the world, though, as now, I have edible granola.
Also worth noting is that I had to store my granola in a pair of old salsa jars.
Eat it as cereal, in yogurt parfaits, or sprinkled atop smoothie bowls and oatmeals for an extra bit of crunch. This recipe yields give-or-take 2 cups, which is a manageable portion for a single person who desires not to have a massive glass mason jar staring him or her down from the countertop. Too, one might consider wrapping a cup of the coconut-infused yield into a nice package (not a salsa container) for a friend as a spontaneous gift, as it caters to many tastes: vegans, chocoholics, breakfast lovers, you name it. If you burn it, feel free to scoop the morsels up, tie a gingham-patterned cloth around the lid, label it “Coconut-Chocolate Cookie Granola,” and hand it with a smile to someone you like a bit less.
Only teasing. I’m not that mean.
Small Batch Coconut-Chocolate Cookie Granola
2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup walnuts, chopped
1/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
2 T cocoa powder
1/4 c maple syrup
3 T melted coconut oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup mini chocolate and/or peanut butter chips
ASSEMBLY: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a bowl, toss together all ingredients EXCEPT chocolate/peanut butter chips until well-combined. Spread onto prepared baking sheet and bake 15-20 minutes, turning once about halfway through: watch carefully, as oats go from flawless to burnt very quickly. Remove from oven when the granola is a toasty golden-brown color and cool for 3-5 minutes. Sprinkle mini chips over top and let sit for 5 or so minutes longer. Transfer to airtight glass jar and store in a cool, dry place.