This recipe is the result of a challenge and like many results-of-challenges took some effort but paid back, oh yes!
Some time ago it happened that my brother brought home a bag of granola of a well-known brand, affirming that THAT was the BEST granola EVER!
Me: Excuse me?
Bro: Yes! Look, it has many little clusters, it’s super crunchy, chocolatey and delicious, not like your homemade granola, full of dried fruit . . . Bleh!
Me: what?? are you kidding me? my granola is sooo good, and it has no added sugar and… and… and… (he wasn’t impressed!)
So that’s how I ended up creating this monster of goodness, with yummy chocolate and hazelnuts and no raisins, no seeds.
THE BEST CHOCOLATE & HAZELNUT GRANOLA CLUSTERS
- 3 cups of rolled oat
- 2 tablespoons of brown sugar (optional)
- 1/4 cup of almond flour (see point 1)
- 1/4 cup of oat flour (see point 1)
- 1 cup of raw hazelnuts
- a nice pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup of coconut or olive oil
- 2 tablespoons (full!) of pure peanut butter
- 1/4 cup of maple syrup
- 1 abundant cup of dark chocolate chips (I just chopped up an amazing Swiss chocolate bar, 85% cocoa)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). In a large bowl mix together all the dry ingredients. A little note about the almond/oat flours: you can simply place the 1/4+1/4 cups of almond+oat in a mini food processor and blend until they become a fine powder. Done! The function of the powder is to get combined with the liquids and create a sort of cookie dough that once baked, will give you the crunchy clusters.
- Combine all the wet ingredients. If you use honey or it’s winter, and they are too thick, just melt them over low heat, constantly stirring with a spoon. Pour this mixture over the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
- Pour the granola mixture onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and spread evenly, pressing it down with a spoon to help it stick together.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the granola is golden brown and nicely toasted.
- Remove your granola from the oven and leave it out for about an hour to cool down and dry out completely.
- Now break it into clusters with your hands and mix gently with the chocolate chips.
- Store in an airtight container.
I don’t mind the hazelnut’s skin: if you do prefer peeled hazelnuts instead, you can toast them separately following the same procedure described here and mix them at the end together with the chocolate.
This crunchy, chocolatey, rich granola is fabulous with plain yogurt or unsweetened almond milk. (my recipe here)