Friday, January 21, 2011

Guest Post: Chocolate Granola

Jerimi Ann Walker a math professor living in the Chicago area and founder of Math Bootcamps. When not doing math, she enjoys trying to put new and hopefully healthier spins on common recipes.

My husband and I love finding ways to satisfy our collective sweet tooth without eating food that's over-the-top sweet or too heavily processed. Last year, this lead us to experiment with recipes for different type of granola. Eventually, we decided that any old granola wouldn’t do. We had to find a recipe for chocolate granola. I mean, think about it - the best of all worlds!

After a couple of duds (okay - way more than a couple of duds), we finally found a recipe that has become a staple of our household. Just a few simple and easy-to-find ingredients makes an amazing sweet and salty mixture that always has our friends asking us when the next batch will be ready. Compared to granola from the store, which is expensive and often comes in small packages, this turns out to be a great deal. When we are being selfish and keeping it for ourselves, it can easily last a week.

Before I present the recipe, I do want to make two comments:

1) You really have to try it with the sea salt. I know it seems strange and even I was skeptical of the thought at first, but now I won't eat this granola without it. It will work with regular table salt as well, but the sea salt is a step up.

2) Don't expect granola bars. This will come out more like the granola in a cereal, with some large and some small pieces.

With that said, here's the recipe!


If this looks good, you'll love:

Chocolate Granola
Serves 4

2 1/4 cups of oats
3/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon sea salt (optional)
5 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup CRUNCHY peanut butter (Note: I do not think natural peanut butter would work here.)
1/2 cup brown sugar
You will also need a 9x9 casserole dish, a large mixing bowl, and a pot for melting the butter.

1) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and butter the casserole dish.

2) Mix the oats, sesame seeds, cocoa powder, and salt together in large mixing bowl.

3) Place the butter and peanut butter in a medium sized pot on the stove and melt both together over low heat. Once they have melted, remove from heat and mix in the brown sugar.

4) Pour the butter, peanut butter, and brown sugar mixture over the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl and mix thoroughly.

5) Take mixture and put into baking dish pressing it down and flat. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until browned on top. Once you remove it from the oven, allow it to cool COMPLETELY for the best results. In fact, we will often let it cool a bit then put in the freezer for about 15 minutes to really set it.

After it cools, it is ready to go, simply use a spoon to break it into pieces and eat by itself in a bowl, or even with milk or ice cream (I need to try this!). You will find that it is not only really good – but also VERY
filling for a snack!

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