Well, I probably exaggerate but it sure is good. I have been making a Vanilla Almond Granola from Sally’s Baking Addiction for a while. It is fantastic! Recently I discovered her recipe for Maple Pecan Pie Granola. It too is fantastic! I love the crunchiness of the second – and the pecans, of course – but it was quite a bit sweeter than I really want for every day. So I made a sort of mash between the two recipes, and it’s now my favorite.
Serve 1/4 to 1/3 cup of this delicious granola on top of plain yogurt, with fruit or by itself.
2-1/2 to 3 cups of old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup of packed brown sugar (dark, light, your preference)
1 to 1-1/4 cups of chopped pecans
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice (optional)
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil
1-1/2 tablespoons of vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Line an 18×13 inch sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone mat. I find the silicone mat makes life easier because it stays in place better when you stir the granola during the baking process.
In a large bowl, stir together the oats, brown sugar, chopped pecans, cinnamon/pumpkin spice, and salt. I use three cups of oats, but if you like it a little clumpier, use the smaller amount. This isn’t going to make a very clumpy granola even with the lesser amount of oats.
In the microwave heat the 1/2 cup of maple syrup in a one-cup glass measure for one minute. Add the 1/4 cup of coconut oil and give it a good stir. If the coconut oil is still partially solid after a good stir, stick it in the microwave for 15 or 30 seconds, and then give it another good stir until it’s well mixed. Stir the vanilla extract (I recommend Trader Joe’s Pure Bourbon Vanilla Extract – it contains no corn syrup!) into the syrup/oil.
Pour the syrup/oil/extract mixture into the dry ingredients, tossing till all of the dry ingredients are coated.
Spread the mixture onto the prepared sheet pan, then bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. You don’t want to overcook it, because the nuts will over toast and the oats will get too brown. If I’m not right on the timer at the first two 15-minute intervals (sometimes I’m feeding the dog, and we can’t make the dog wait!), I’ll pull the granola out of the oven before the last 15 minutes have expired. You don’t want to overcook the pecans or let the oats get too dark. When you pull it out of the oven for the final time, it will continue to cook a bit because of the retained heat. Let it cool in the pan. Store in an airtight container. I have some for breakfast every day when I make it, so I know from experience it can be stored for at least two weeks. I doubt this will be in your cupboard longer than that.
How many calories does this have? I have no idea. I do know that, with yogurt, it is a delicious breakfast that satisfies my stomach until lunch time. Enjoy!