As of yesterday, the Carrot Cake Granola I stashed in the freezer last week has a new friend --- Nutty Chocolate Granola! I am so happy with how it turned out, and not sure why I resisted making a cocoa powder granola for so long. It's a great snack or (depending on how much chocolate you add) dessert.
My version of chocolate granola is based on one from Bobby Flay His granola calls for coconut and coconut extract so it's Coconut Chocolate Granola. My version doesn't not have coconut, calls for maple syrup instead of honey, has double the nuts, three kinds of chocolate and some M&Ms. I also bake the granola at 250 so there's no chance of burning. For the cocoa powder, the kind from Aldi works just fine. Use whatever you have, but definitely give the recipe a try.
No recipe can be personalized more than granola, so make it your own and have fun changing up the nuts and candies. My next batch is going to have mini peanut butter cups, peanuts and dried banana chips, and then one of these days I'll almond extract and dried cherries and do a Black Forest version. On Cinco de Mayo I'll add cinnamon and call it Mexican, and on Halloween anything goes.
Nutty Chocolate Granola
- 5 tablespoons coconut oil
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup granulated cane sugar
- Pinch of salt
- ⅓ cup cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 ½ cups old fashioned oats
- 1 cup of mixed raw nuts I use pecans, cashews, almonds, Brazil nuts
- ⅔ cup chopped chocolate I use milk, dark and white
- ½ cup dried cherries or M&Ms optional
- Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Grease a large rimmed baking sheet with one tablespoon of the coconut oil.
- Heat the remaining ¼ cup coconut oil over medium heat in a large (3 quart) saucepan.
- Remove from heat and stir in the sugar and maple syrup.
- Return to heat and cook, stirring constantly for about a minute or until it just begins to bubble around edges and sugar starts to dissolve. Remove from heat and add the cocoa powder and salt, then stir until smooth.
- Add the oats and nuts to the saucepan and stir until coated with chocolate mixture.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared sheet pan and press into an even layer. Bake for 45 minutes. Turn off the oven and let sit in the warm oven for 15 minutes longer. Add the chocolate to the warm granola. Allow it to cool for 15 more minutes in the off oven.
- Remove to a baking rack and let cool completely. Break into pieces and add M&Ms, dried fruit or whatever you like.
- Microwave version: Heat coconut oil in microwave-safe bowl just until melted (about 20 seconds). Add sugar and maple syrup and stir well, then microwave for 30 seconds or until mixture boils. Stir well to dissolve the sugar, then add cocoa powder, salt and vanilla and stir until smooth. Mix with the oats and nuts.
- Proceed with step 6 and on.