I know you saw the title of this post and thought to yourself: "Not another granola recipe!"
Just hear me out. There's a reason behind this post (besides the ridiculous amount of overindulging that happened during the holidays).
I have been looking for a baking method that yields clusters of granola as opposed to a loose mix. I tried stirring a lot as the granola bakes, and I tried stirring a little, but none of my methods made truly clumped granola. It was always tasty, but never as clustered as I wanted.
Then, I tried using a smaller rimmed cookie sheet (a quarter sheet pan to be exact), and I patted out and pressed the granola into a thick, dense, even layer from rim to rim. I baked it for 40 minutes straight without stirring. Then I cooled it completely in the pan on a wire rack.
That's it, that's all.
That's all I had to do to get clusters of granola.
I did nothing, basically.
I just patted it tight and baked it for a long time without touching it.
I can finally make perfectly clustered granola, and so I am back on a granola kick. I'm pretty sure daily granola and yogurt is a healthier habit than daily fruitcake (I wish I were exaggerating about the daily fruitcake, but I'm not).
And that is why I had to blog about granola, yet again.
Special thanks to Cooks Illustrated for the baking method.
Granola clustersPublished: January 7th, 2013, Cook time: 40 minutes
- 4 cups oats
- 1 cup nuts (I used pistachios and sliced almonds)
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup melted coconut oil (or your favorite oil)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a rimmed quarter sheet pan with parchment and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine the oats and the nuts.
- In a 1 cup measuring cup, combine the coconut oil (melted) with the maple syrup, salt, and vanilla, and then pour it over the oat mixture.
- Stir the oat mixture to evenly coat all the dry ingredients then pour it out into the prepared sheet pan.
- Spread the mixture from rim to rim and compact it/press it flat with a flat-bottomed glass.
- Bake for about 40 minutes or until the edges begin to brown.
- Cool the granola completely, then break up the granola slab into clusters and transfer to a large container to store.