Fall Spice Olive Oil Granola
You know what I love about going on vacation? Exploring all the best restaurants around town (in my case, NYC). You know what I hate about going on vacation? The aftermath of all the dining around town (a.k.a. vacation 15, you know like freshman 15 only in a shorter period of time--damn you Dominique Ansel!!!). And so, while I know everyone is gearing up for Halloween and bringing out their favorite candy recipes, I can't help but share a spin on my favorite granola.
Have you ever been to Blue Bottle? Wait, is that a silly question? Here's a better one. Have you ever tried the granola from Blue Bottle? If you haven't, it's fantastic, and I highly recommend you splurge a little and try it out. Then, when you're hooked, you can pick up their cookbook and make a big batch and avoid both the crazy line that comes with every Blue Bottle, ever, and the hefty price tag that goes with ordering an almond milk latte, granola (with warm almond milk, yum), and the inevitable purchase of the take home treat.
Consider making this Fall Spice Olive Oil Granola today, storing it in a couple jars, and bringing one to your office, keeping one in your bag (to snack on in traffic), and keeping another by your candy jar. Trust me, this is gonna be a tough week because the internet will be filled with candy recipes, the store shelves exploding with Kit Kats, Chupa Chups, and the like, and if you live in a neighborhood with trick-or-treaters (like me, yayyyy), you too will be stocking up on the candies. Make the smart snack decision, and reach for a handful of this delicious granola versus a bowl full of candies.
A note on this recipe, and pretty much every granola recipe out there, IT'S EASY. I promise you, if you're anything like me, you'll never want to buy granola again because it is a hundred times better when made fresh in your own kitchen. The hardest part about making this granola is cutting up the dried persimmons. And here's a tip on that, use your kitchen shears. All of a sudden, those dried persimmon wheels are cut up into bite size pieces in a minute, with zero fears of accidentally slicing something other than the persimmons---ouuccch!
P.S. Happy Halloween Week!! Hope you all have your costumes ready to go for Friday (and can we talk about how Halloween always seems to fall on a weekday except for this year!?).
Fall Spice Olive Oil Granola
Makes 12-15 servings, depending on portion size
- 1/2 c. maple syrup (my neighbor suggests you make sure it's from Vermont)
- 1/2 c. packed light brown sugar
- 3 Tbsp. water
- 4 c. rolled oats
- 1/2 c. raw pepitas
- 1 c. walnuts, coarsely chopped
- 1 c. pecans, coarsely chopped
- 2 tsp. pumpkin spice
- 1/2 tsp. good quality flake salt (like Jacobsen)
- 1/3 c. good olive oil (I used Prato Lungo)
- 2 tsp. vanilla bean paste
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 c. dried cranberries
- 1/2 c. dried persimmons, chopped into pea sized pieces
- Small saucepan
- Silicone spoonula
- Mixing bowls
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Glass measuring cup
- 13" x 18" rimmed baking sheet
- Large metal spatula
- Jars (for storage)
- Preheat oven to 250°F.
- In small saucepan, combine maple syrup, brown sugar, and water and cook over medium-high heat. Stir constantly with silicone spoonula and heat until the sugar has completely dissolved and mixture just comes to a boil.
- Set aside and let mixture cool to room temperature.
- In large mixing bowl, combine oats, pepitas, walnuts, pecans, pumpkin spice, and salt, mixing well.
- Add oil, vanilla bean paste, vanilla extract to the maple-sugar mixture and give it a quick stir. Pour mixture over oat mixture and stir with spoonula (or combine using hands if preferred) until oat mixture is completely and evenly coated with maple-sugar mixture.
- Transfer to rimmed 13" x 18" baking sheet and pat down in an even layer (using spoonula or hands if preferred).
- Bake for 75 minutes.
- Quickly remove sheet from oven, flip granola with large metal spatula, being careful to keep it in as large of chunks as possible.
- Return sheet to oven and bake for an additional 30 minutes or until granola is completely dry.
- Remove from oven and gently toss in dried cranberries and dried persimmons (use spatula if too hot to handle).
- Let cool on sheet.
- Serve and enjoy (or store in jars)!
Note: Granola will keep for up to 2 weeks if stored properly.