Make Ahead

Simple Gifts Granola

November  2, 2011
2 Ratings
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 45 minutes
  • Makes About 6 cups
Author Notes

I wanted to make something to bring to sdebrango who hosted our FOOD52 cookbook party so I posted a question on the hotline about what to bring when you're a guest and have limited time, and granola was one of the suggestions. Coincidentally, The New York Times Sunday Magazine had a recipe for granola from the Eleven Madison Park cookbook. I set out to make that one but couldn't find shelled pistachios (and I couldn't convince my husband to shell them and not eat them) or coconut chips, and I didn't have enough maple syrup, and I wanted to add some spice, so before you know it, i had changed the recipe around quite a bit. I was also inspired by chezsuzanne's granola with dried fruit, but since we're all nut fans around here, I decided to use nuts as well. What I really like about this granola is that it's not super-sweet, and there's a hint of salt, which in my view makes it great for snacking.

I'm making it next week to serve my nieces and nephews who are staying with us for Thanksgiving--their favorite breakfast is vanilla yogurt with granola. I think they'll really like this. —drbabs

Test Kitchen Notes

Addictive, elegant, incredible—I’m unable to define this granola with just a single adjective. It is hard to comprehend that such a delicious snack is made purely of healthy ingredients. The crunchy rolled oats, pumpkin seeds and nuts take center stage; the combination of cinnamon, clove and allspice is mild, establishing their characteristic flavors gradually. The surprise element in is the amazing combination of salty and sweet. Four different natural sweeteners give an additional depth to the flavor profile, and yet, the sweetness level is just right, balanced perfectly by the right amount of salt. One note: The suggested temperature of 275°F tended to slightly scorch the granola. A second batch toasted at 225°F for 40 (stirred at 10 minute intervals and cooled for an additional 15 minutes in the ‘shut off’ oven) worked out perfectly. —Panfusine

What You'll Need
  • 3 cups rolled oats (I like Bob's Red Mill Extra Thick Rolled Oats.)
  • 1 cup roughly chopped walnuts (or a mixture of walnuts and pecans)
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (I use Diamond Crystal. If you use another brand or table salt, use 1/2 tablespoon.
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon clove
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • ~2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • ~2 tablespoons honey
  • ~1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup dried sour cherries
  1. Heat oven to 275. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, salt and spices.
  2. Place the sugar, syrup, honey, molasses and olive oil into a small saucepan and warm over low heat until the sugar has just dissolved. Fold liquids into the mixture of oats, stirring well so that the dry ingredients are thoroughly coated.
  3. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil, and spread granola over it. Bake until dry and golden, 45-50 minutes, stirring granola about every 15 or 20 minutes. Remove granola from oven, and let it cool. Mix in the dried sour cherries, and store in an airtight container.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Taylor Stanton
    Taylor Stanton
  • Cecile
  • drbabs
  • aargersi
  • ashleychasesdinner

17 Reviews

allekas April 12, 2020
Excellent base recipe. I had to modify it based on what I had on hand (COVID-19) and it still turned out well - not too sweet, balanced saltiness, surprisingly mature spice profile that knocks it well above generic store-bought granola.

No pumpkin seeds; didn't have them
Raisins insteady of cherries; same story but sour cherries are now on my grocery list
I accidentially tripled the cloves (3/4 tsp) so then doubled every other spice. There were also ~5 peppercorns in the spice grinder b/c I was sloppy and I think I'll leave/up them next time.
Only 1 tsp pink sea salt - worked great
2 1/2 TB each brown sugar, honey, maple syrup produced the right sweetness for my family

Thanks for the great recipe!
drbabs April 12, 2020
Thanks for commenting. I'm so glad you were able to make it with what you had on hand, and I'm happy that you liked it.
Taylor S. February 2, 2018
DANG delicious!
Cecile July 13, 2016
Our go-to granola recipe after trying a few others. I cut down on the sweetness by halving the brown sugar, molasses, syrup and honey. Sometimes I also borrow from other recipes by adding a whipped egg white or some red pepper.
Sara F. December 12, 2014
This is the first granola recipe I've used in ages where the granola clumps perfectly. But I found it a little bit too sweet. Any ideas on how to cut down on the sweetness without losing the clusters that I love so much?
Tilly June 13, 2012
I made this granola recently and gave it out as party favours in small mason jars. The first batch, though I used the exact amount of salt required, turned out too salty so I cut the salt used in half for my second batch and it turned out perfectly. It was not only delicious but a great hit!

I think next time I'd leave the molasses out and slightly increase the amount of honey/maple syrup used in this recipe.
drbabs June 13, 2012
I'm so glad you liked it. You know, there's a definite difference in saltiness among brands of kosher salt. I use Diamond Crystal, and it's not very salty tasting. I'll make sure to note this in the recipe for the next time. Thanks for the feedback.
drbabs December 29, 2011
Oh, wow, I'm just now seeing these comments. Thank you, panfusine, for your great review, and thanks all for your comments. aargersi, I'm glad you like it! Happy New Year, everyone!
aargersi December 28, 2011
I am eating this right now, straight out of the tub - it is DELICIOUS! Like healthy crack - instantly addictive!!
ashleychasesdinner November 16, 2011
Yum Yum drbabs! Only question this or that wonderful chocolate coffee cake? I guess both!
drbabs November 3, 2011
Oh, wow, thanks for all your sweet comments!
hardlikearmour November 2, 2011
Love it! What a great treat to bring to the party.
mrslarkin November 2, 2011
It sounds fantastic, drbabs. Love the name, too!!
lapadia November 2, 2011
Yum, sounds delicious, drbabs! Sorry I missed the party...ha :)
Bevi November 2, 2011
I will host a party for you when you come east and stay in Vermont!
lapadia November 2, 2011
I put that on my "to do" list, Bevi!!! :)
Bevi November 2, 2011
I saw the fruits of your labor and the granola was beautiful indeed!