Vanilla Maple Hazelnut Granola

vanilla maple hazelnut granola

Until recently, I was never really a granola person. I would eat it while camping or in bar form on busy mornings, but could always take it or leave it. This easy granola recipe, however, is now in permanent rotation.

It came from “Just Married,” but don’t let the title deter you if you’re staunchly single, a seasoned marriage vet, or just opposed to niche/novelty cookbooks. It’s a super solid collection of recipes with some really fun techniques and dynamite flavors. I tweaked the original granola formula a bit but the core elements that make it special (hazelnuts and maple) are intact.

You can snack on this, sprinkle it on a simple loaf cake as a sort of streusel topping, even use it as a crunchy element in a salad (as the author recommends and I keep meaning to try), but I default to spooning it over skyr and throwing chopped pears on top; the soft, melting-tender texture of the ripe fruit with the thick, creamy yogurt and crispy-crunchy granola is perfection. It also actually keeps me full for a while. It’s not too sweet, the coconut is fairly subtle, and the cinnamon warmth plays so well with the toasty notes and tangy, chewy fruit.

Here’s my version — you can easily halve the recipe if you want, but if you make the full batch, you can store extra in the freezer after about 10 days (mine never lasts that long):

What You Need to Make Vanilla Maple Hazelnut Granola

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup*
  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (the whole ones, not the chopped-up quick cooking kind)
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (I like the thin shreds here)
  • 1 cup raw hazelnuts, roughly chopped (discard any skins that detach while you’re chopping but don’t stress about any that stay on)
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds (those thin, oval pieces you can use as creepy nails on witch finger cookies at Halloween, but I also like roughly chopped almonds here too; slivered would work as well — just make sure they’re raw in any case)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Maldon sea salt (kosher salt to taste works too)
  • 1/2 cup craisins or dried cherries (chop them into smaller bits if you want more even distribution and less intense bursts of sour flavor)
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • cinnamon to taste (probably at least 1 teaspoon)
  • vanilla powder to taste (presumably you could use vanilla extract or vanilla bean seeds here as well, but this seemed like an ideal place to use the powder I don’t even remember buying)

*Any maple syrup is good, as long as it’s the dark, robust kind (what used to be called Grade B but is now Grade A Amber), but if you can splurge, Noble Tonic 02: Tahitian Vanilla Bean and Egyptian Chamomile Blossom Maple Syrup is ridiculously delicious. It hurts to use a whole 1/4 cup at once because it’s so precious (and priced to match), but damn it’s tasty. Bonus: Once you finish the bottle, you can use the syrup-soaked vanilla bean to make bourbon-infused cherries, which is another recipe from the “Just Married” book.

How to Make Vanilla Maple Hazelnut Granola

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment (foil is also fine).
  2. In a large bowl, stir the melted coconut oil and maple syrup together until combined. Dump in the oats, coconut, hazelnuts, almonds, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla. Stir until everything is evenly coated. Pour onto the prepared baking sheet and spread out with a spatula.
  3. Bake for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally to promote even browning (which can quickly turn into burning). When everything is toasty golden-brown and fragrant, remove from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes.
  4. Stir in the dried fruit and let granola cool completely, then store in an airtight container for the week.

I imagine I’ll tweak this again come summer — different fruits at least — but for now, I’m fully committed to this granola formula for fall and winter. I mixed a small handful of cacao nibs into my last batch and it was fine to barely noticeable. Also, I once accidentally stirred the fruit in before baking and it was no biggie.

That’s my kind of recipe. And my kind of granola, apparently.

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