I've made many, many granola recipes in my life, but never have I thought to put chocolate in it. Why, I have no idea. But when I set out to make my weekly batch of homemade granola this morning, I pondered the idea of chocolate pieces mixed in with my oats and nuts. I looked through my cookbooks to see if I had ever skipped over a recipe like this, but to no avail, so I went online. I found lots of recipes, but considered only a couple, and combined them with my own tasty spin.
This is a decadent batch of granola. Truly worthy of any chocolate lover. Can't handle chocolate in the morning? This makes a great mid-day snack or dessert too.
What I love about granola is the infinite amount of possibilities it has for change. You can change out the nuts, take or leave the cocoa, add spices; whatever you like, it's sure to be good. At the last minute I decided to add a big handful of dried cherries for an added tartness that paired nicely with the chocolate. So far I've just had a bowl with some soy milk, but I'm sure yogurt would be nice. For a truly over the top experience, sprinkle some over creamy vanilla ice cream.
Also, if your looking for the kind of granola with lots of big clusters, this is not that kind of granola. It's more like a cereal, but I'll take or leave clusters any day, I'm not that picky.
Cocoa Chocolate Granola
makes approx. 5 cups
3 cups rolled oats
2 tablespoons cocoa
1/2 cup raw almonds, chopped
1/2 cup hazelnuts, chopped
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
2 tablespoons demerara sugar
pinch of salt
6 tablespoons honey or agave
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup finely chopped bittersweet chocolate
1/4 cup dried cherries, chopped
Preheat oven to 300˚F.
In a large bowl combine the oats, cocoa, almonds, hazelnuts, coconut, sugar and salt. Stir well to blend.
In a small saucepan, over low heat, combine the honey and oil, whisking occasionally, until the honey is a pourable consistency. Pour over the oat mixture, and stir well to combine.
Spread the mixture evenly on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for about 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown. Half way through the baking time, give the mixture a good stir to help it cook evenly. When it's ready remove from the oven and let cool, stirring occasionally to prevent it from cooling into a solid sheet, let cool completely.
When cool, add the chocolate and dried cherries, stir to combine. Store in an airtight container.