I’m so excited to share my new discovery with you, today! You know those clumps in granola that are a bit hard to come by in homemade varieties? I don’t know if you’re a fan of those like our family is, but this cereal is full of them which is why it’s called Granola “Bark.”
And let me warn you, it’s dangerous. I lost track of the times I walked by and grabbed a clump “just to test” while it was cooling. Man, this stuff is good, and that’s saying something ’cause I seriously love the granola I’ve made for years (one of my first posts here, way back when). In fact , I think I’ve mentioned I even get a bit grumpy when I can’t have my morning granola with walnuts and cranberries.
But having clumps and tasting great are not it’s only attributes, oh no. It’s even easier to make than my other granola (which certainly wasn’t hard):
There’s no cooking the liquid ingredients in a pan first – just mix things up in a bowl. And then – get this – pat the granola out in a cookie sheet lined with parchment and cook it without stirring.
Huh…wha? That goes against everything I’ve every read about making granola. Leave it to Cook’s Illustrated to come up with this technique (here’s their recipe that I’ve adapted to use honey, coconut oil and a few other ingredients)
Pressing the oat mixture into the cookie sheet and not touching it again until after it’s cooled is how the same sugar-oil-oats concoction becomes granola bark. It’s crispy, chunky, chewy, and delicious – but that’s still not the only reasons to try this granola!
It uses even less sugar than my original granola (3/4 cup of sweetener to 5 cups of oats and additions, a less-sugar ratio than many other recipes out there). Just gets better and better, doesn’t it?
A note about the nuts: Nuts are almost essential to the flavor of this granola. Both chopped almonds and walnuts are good and though you could leave them out if you have an allergy, they really do make the granola. Once the nuts have been toasted with the oats they are SO good, and are probably one of the reasons I want to keep taking taste tests whenever I make it.
Maple-Honey Granola Bark
- 1/3 c. maple syrup
- 1/3 c. honey
- 1 Tb. vanilla
- 1/2 c. coconut oil, melted
- 5 c. rolled oats (not quick)
- 1 c. chopped almonds or walnuts
- 1/2 c. sunflower seeds
- 1/2 c. flax meal (or 1/4 c. flax + 1/4 c. wheat/oat bran)
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. salt (omit if using salted sunflower seeds)
- optional: 1-2 c. dried fruit mixed in after cooling (we usually add our fruit to each bowl when eating)
- Heat oven to 325 degrees and line a large rimmed baking sheet with silicone or parchment.
- Mix the first four ingredients in a large bowl, then add the remaining ingredients (except for optional fruit) and mix everything really well.
- Press the mixture evenly onto the prepared baking sheet, using the back of the spoon, a spatula, or your hand wetted with water.
- Bake, rotating the pan halfway through, for about 35 minutes and do not stir. It will be golden brown all over and more on the edges.
- Remove to a cooling rack for 1 hour before breaking the granola into chunks and adding the optional fruit.
Makes about 7 cups