If we are friends, at some point in our relationship I have probably given you something to eat. Maybe it was a jar of jam or a batch of cookies, but most likely it was granola. Obviously, I love homemade food gifts, and granola holds a special place in my heart. It’s simple to make, it lasts for weeks, and it feels both healthy and a little bit indulgent. Every year around the holidays, I make a huge batch and divide it up among my family, friends, and coworkers.
This year’s version definitely leans towards the indulgent side. I recently learned that Jacques Torres sells tiny, 4-ounce bags of chocolate-covered Cheerios for $6. You guys! I don’t mean to sound like a curmudgeon, but that’s ridiculous. There are literally only two ingredients: chocolate and Cheerios. When it comes to dessert for breakfast, we can do so, so much better. Like by adding coconut. And crunchy toasted almonds. And espresso powder.
I realize that I just posted a different chocolate recipe like five minutes ago, but whatever, this is my blog and I can do what I want. Also, maybe you are like me and have done approximately 0% of you holiday shopping yet. If that’s the case, grab a huge container of rolled oats and head into the kitchen. Mission accomplished. You can thank me later. I also like wine gifts.
You can substitute honey for the maple syrup (though honey isn’t strictly vegan), or hazelnuts for the almonds. Add up to 1 cup of dried fruit with the chocolate chips, if you prefer. Cranberries or cherries would be especially nice.
Double Chocolate Granola
Makes approximately 6 cups
3 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups slivered almonds
1 cup shredded or flaked unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup canola oil
1/3 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon instant espresso or instant coffee powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup mini chocolate chips (I like the Enjoy Life vegan brand)
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, almonds, and coconut.
In a small bowl, whisk the oil, brown sugar, cocoa, maple syrup, espresso powder, vanilla, and salt. Pour over the oat mixture and stir to combine. Spread in a even layer on the baking sheet and bake, stirring often, until the granola is fragrant and toasted, 20 to 25 minutes. Watch very carefully in the last 5 minutes to make sure it doesn’t burn. Remove from the oven and let cool completely, about 1 hour. Stir in the chocolate chips.