I started this recipe with the intention of bringing you a fantastic granola cookie recipe, made using a ton of the pecan meal that was given to me by my friend Kelli Baustert. The cookies were great but not good enough for you guys yet. I have some learning to do about substituting for flour and how to compensate for the effects. What was perfect, though, was the granola I made to go into the cookies. I have made granola before but this recipe was exceptional because of the delicious unsweetened organic coconut flakes. I had bought them to use on an extravagant cake that never quite materialized and decided that it was high time that it went to a great use. I found the recipe from which this recipe is adapted right on the back of the bag of Let’s Do Organic Coconut. Have you ever actually eaten a handful of the unsweetened coconut? I was raised on Baker’s Coconut and the first time I had the unsweetened I thought something had gone terribly awry. But there is enough sugar in this recipe to more than make up for it, so try the unsweetened coconut if you can.
Whether you sprinkle this on top of your morning yogurt, eat it for breakfast cereal with milk, or simply eat it by the handful as a snack, you will find it to be a terrific starter recipe for granola. Beyond this, it is ripe for innovation. After it is cooked, you can add dried fruits or M&M’s and make trail mix, or experiment with cookies as I did. If you have never made your own granola you are missing out. It is fun, easy, and relatively inexpensive. And because you made it, you know exactly what went into it. Thus, it is nothing but goodness.
3 cups old fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
¼ cup all purpose flour (whole wheat flour is suggested by the Let’s Do Organic recipe)
¾ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
¾ cup chopped pecans
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup maple syrup
⅓ cup vegetable oil (next time I am going to try sunflower oil…but I was out of it)
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, flour, coconut, pecans and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, whisk together the syrup, oil and vanilla. Pour the syrup mixture over the oat mixture and stir to combine. Make sure that all of the oats are evenly coated with the syrup.
Pour the oats onto a large rimmed baking sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Push the oats out to the edges in an even layer. Bake for thirty minutes and then remove it from the oven and check it to ensure that it is done. I stopped at 30 minutes. You may want yours slightly more golden. That decision is yours. When the granola has finished cooking, pour it out onto some parchment paper to fully cool. Store it in an airtight jar.
Consider dates, raisins, or dried cherries for this. Also, you may use almonds instead of pecans. Make sure to use real maple syrup, and not “maple flavored syrup.” The next time I make this I think I will also sprinkle some pure maple sugar into the finished mix just for a little added maple kick. Also, thanks to my old high school chum Kim Johnson Puricelli who sent me the amazing Makers Mark vanilla extract I was lucky enough to use in this granola. The cookies in the photo above are the ones that were not quite good enough to share yet. But, rest assured, I’m still working on it. What do you like in your granola?
You know I love pecans. In this post, I used both pecan meal from Valley Pecans in Chillicothe, Texas (for the cookie experiment) and whole pecans from The Pecan Shed in Wichita Falls, Texas. They are both great resources for fresh quality pecans. I order A LOT of pecans from these two sources because I can rarely find good pecans in the local grocery stores. If you are not fond of pecans, there is a distinct chance that you have never had really good pecans.