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Author Notes: My best friend loves granola, and her boyfriend is a peanut butter fiend, so I decided early in the holiday season that their Christmas gift would include peanut butter granola. Most of my attempts yielded granola that had a nice crunch, but very little peanut butter flavor; the more peanut butter I added, the less crunchy the granola. After tweaking and trying and cussing and buzzing through more oats than anyone should, I finally got a result that I'd be glad to share. The texture is tender but crunchy; it's nicely sweet, but less sweet than you'd expect. The recipe also works well by subbing almond butter and chopped almonds for the peanut products. —campagnes
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 cup sunflower seed kernels (if salted, omit the salt in the recipe)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup chopped peanuts
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/4 cup peanut or vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup honey (I sub maple syrup for my vegan friends)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup dried fruit, optional (suggestions: raisins, dates, figs, pears, snipped into small pieces if necessary)
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Combine oats, seeds, nuts, and cinnamon in a large bowl.
- In a separate bowl, combine the peanut butter, oil, brown sugar, honey or syrup, vanilla, and salt (if using). Pour mixture over granola and stir until oats and seeds are fully coated.
- Spread gently in an ungreased 9x13 pan. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until granola is toasted, stirring gently every 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely in pan.
- Stir in fruit, if using, and store in an airtight container in a cool place for up to a month.