Hi – me again; back with more dark chocolate. Forgive me, but I’m on a bender. Last week it was flourless peanut butter, Biscoff & dark chocolate cookies. This week it’s dark chocolate, coconut & almond granola, which is at least healthier. Stop laughing! It’s good for you, right? Okay, you be the judge.
NanaBread’s Almond Joy Granola:
4 cups old-fashioned oats (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
2 cups raw whole almonds
3 cups unsweetened coconut, the large flakes
4 tablespoons Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/3 cup agave nectar
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
Start by lining two large baking sheets with parchment or Silpat mats. Spread the oats, almonds and coconut on baking sheets in a thin, even layer and toast at 350F for 10-15 minutes, or until the coconut is golden brown and the oats & nuts are fragrant. Remove from the oven and scrape the oats, almonds & coconut into a large mixing bowl; toss to combine.
In a saucepan, combine the agave nectar, honey, canola oil and butter. Cook over medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the cocoa powder & salt, whisking until smooth. Stir in the vanilla and almond extracts. Pour the hot liquid mixture over the oat mixture and toss until everything is coated. (This smells SO GOOD the entire time you’re making it.)
Spoon the mixture back onto the lined baking sheets and pop them back into the oven (still at 350F) for 15 minutes. Stir or flip the mixture around and bake an additional 15 minutes, for a total baking time of around 30 minutes. It’s done when the edges are toasty and the mixture is only slightly sticky but very fragrant. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Store in airtight containers at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
1. Nut allergies? Go Mounds and omit the almonds & almond extract.
2. Not a chocolate fan? Omit the cocoa and add dried fruit like cranberries or blueberries. Dried apricots & candied ginger would also be a great combination.
3. Grab a straw, because the chocolate almond milk left behind is delicious.
Note: This recipe was adapted from a recipe found on Pinterest which was adapted from the Joy the Baker Cookbook; her version calls for cinnamon & granulated sugar and uses less coconut & nuts. But those are my favorite parts of granola, so I upped the volume of almonds & coconut, substituted agave nectar for the granulated sugar, added almond extract, and doubled the butter. I gotta be me.