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
about 6 cups
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 tablespoon kosher salt (I use Diamond Crystal. If you use another brand or table salt, use 1/2 tablespoon.
Heat oven to 275. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, salt and spices.
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.
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.