Monday, November 21, 2011

Breakfast: Caramel Walnut Chocolate Chunk Granola

Need a snack to put out on the morning of Thanksgiving while every one waits for the turkey (or tofurkey)? This is a sweet, breakfast cereal-like granola. This is the first granola I ever attempted to make (partially because I had every ingredient on hand.) It is also probably the first recipe I attempted out of Robin Asbell's The New Whole Grains Cookbook. Enjoy!


4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup walnuts, broken into large pieces
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, sliced
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup dark chocolate chunks (about 4 ounces)


  1. Line 2 large, rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper, and spray the parchment with vegetable oil spray. Preheat the oven to 300F. In a large bowl, mix the oats, nuts, and salt. In a 2-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan, stir together the water and sugar. Over high heat, bring to a boil, moving the pan to keep it mixed, rather than stirring. Cook until the syrup turns a medium amber, then take it off the heat and add the butter carefully - it will foam and bubble. Stir in the butter with a heat-safe spatula, and then stir in the vanilla. Scrape into the oat mixture and stir immediately. The caramel mixture will start to harden and clump, but it will melt while baking and disperse.
  2. Scrape the oat mixture onto the prepared pans, and spread it out into rough chunks. Place one pan in top quarter of oven and other in bottom quarter. Bake for 15 minutes, then stir well and switch pan locations. The caramel will be liquefied and soaking into the oats more evenly. Bake for 15 minutes more.
  3. Remove to cooling racks. When cool, break the granola into chunks, mix with the chocolate chunks, and store in jars or zipper-top bags.

Other details:

  • Makes about 9 cups 
  • Nutrition per cup
  • Pin It
  • This granola was not initially posted as vegan. However, I recently tested it (the picture of the granola in the bowl) using sugar in the raw (sugar), Earth Balance buttery sticks (butter), with confirmed vegan dark chocolate. Everybody loved it! Some members of the house do not like the nuts, others don't like the chocolate. In general each person eats the components they like leaving more of the other for those who enjoy them!

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