First granola, then cookies

I've never made granola so this was a first.  Granola is my topping of choice when I go out for frozen yogurt but at home, I opt for nuts alone to top on my yogurt or to snack on.  I eat a ton of oats in the form of oatmeal so, in a way, I eat a lot of granola without all the binders.  
I was reluctant to make granola since recipes typically make a heaping mound (and you might as well when you go to the trouble) and I was a little afraid of overindulging in the face of abundance. Well, the plan was to share and to make good use of my first batch.

I made maple-almond granola.  The recipe is heavily Smitten Kitchen but minus the big clusters. Well, it's also minus the coconut, wheat germ, and dried fruit.  Oh, and I use almonds instead of walnuts.  I like my granola bare and simple - oats, almonds, and barely a hint of spice (I like seeds, too, and maybe I'll add it next time).  Big chunks and clusters are not a requirement for me (since I use it more as a topper than as a snack) but I do like the use of the egg white in this recipe. It acts as a binder and reduces the amount of oil you need to use.  
It's a good thing I wasn't going for clusters because mine really didn't bake up that way.  I fussed with it a bit more than necessary during the initial flip since I actually wanted to break them up a bit and I suppose that did the trick.  I ended up with wonderful toasted bits of crunchy granola - lightly sweetened with maple syrup, softly scented with cinnamon, and altogether fresh and delicious.  All I can say is fresh, homemade granola is a really good thing.  

I shared some of this batch with my sister.  At our house, I paired it with yogurt, using it to make mango yogurt parfaits as well as mixing it with some fruit.  I was on a Greek yogurt kick for a while but maybe it was too much of a good thing because I grew tired of it.  This batch of homemade granola has helped rekindle my interest in yogurt again.
Granola can be stored in an airtight container on the counter for about 2 weeks and it's great to know that it freezes well too.  I didn't need to freeze any this time around.  Besides enjoying it with my yogurt, I moved on to...cookies!  I made granola chocolate chip cookies with a cup of this granola.
I always figured I'd do this if I ever got around to making some granola.  As far as chocolate chip cookies go, these are your classic: soft-in-the-middle, crisp-around-the-edges, and oozing with bits of chocolate, kind.  

I used a mix of all-purpose and white whole wheat flour here - I think it blends together nicely.  The toasted oats and almonds in the form of the ready-made granola adds a bit of crunchiness, a little chew, and maybe even a hint of maple flavor if you savor it hard enough.
So if you ask me, definitely make some cookies with your granola.  The way I look at it...you may have some extra granola on your hands but you can never have too many cookies.


Recipes:


Maple-Almond Granola
Adapted from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, via Serious Eats

3 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups almonds (I used 1 cup sliced and 1/2 cup whole almonds, mainly for some chunks in my cookies - recipe below)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, or to taste (I used a scant 1/4 teaspoon)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg white

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Toss oats, almonds, cinnamon, and salt together in a large bowl.  In a measuring cup, combine maple syrup, olive oil, and vanilla together.  Pour into the dry mixture and toss to coat evenly.  Whisk egg white in a small bowl until frothy.  Stir it into the granola mixture until evenly combined.  Spread mixture out onto a a parchment-lined baking sheet in a single layer.  

Bake for 45 to 55 minutes.  About halfway through the baking time, use a large spatula to flip over sections of the granola.  Disturb the granola as little as possible, particularly if you are after large clusters of granola.  Keep a close eye on the granola near the end of the baking time and rotate the pan if the granola is browning unevenly.  When granola is browned and dry to the touch, remove from the oven and let cool completely on a cooling rack.  It will continue to crisp up as it dries.  Once cooled, break up granola into desired size clusters.

Granola keeps at room temperature, in an airtight container, for 2 weeks. It can also be frozen; leave out at room temperature overnight before using.

Now on to the cookies! 
I actually went a little heavy on the almonds and decided to mix some whole almonds - along with sliced - in my granola with these cookies in mind.  I wanted a few chunks of almonds in the cookies for a bit more texture.  Otherwise, I would stick with the more subtle crunch of the sliced almonds for granola alone.  I coarsely chopped the whole almonds up, and if you have large clusters, you'll want to give that a chop as well.

Granola Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from epicurious.com

- Approximately 18 cookies - 

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour (or use more all-purpose)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 large egg
1 cup granola, with large clusters/nuts coarsely chopped
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Set racks on upper and lower thirds of the oven.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon mats.

Whisk flours, baking soda, and salt together in a small bowl.  Beat butter, sugars, and vanilla together in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Beat in egg until combined.  On low speed, gradually add dry ingredients until just incorporated.  Stir in the granola and chocolates with a rubber spatula.

Drop 2-tablespoon rounds of dough onto the lined baking sheets, leaving 2 inches of space between the cookies.  Lightly flatten the cookies with your fingers.

Bake for about 12-13 minutes, until cookies are lightly golden, rotating the baking sheets midway through.  Remove the baking sheets from the oven, let cool for a minute or so, then transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely. 




42 comments:

  1. Wow! Great looking granola. Like the fact the you incorporated the granola into the cookies. You were busy!

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    1. Thanks, Cheri. I can't go through a ton of granola since I'm mostly the only one to use it in yogurt in the house. Cookies are always popular. : )

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  2. What a great little project! I need to give this a try! Thanks for sharing! :) ela

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  3. Oooo I just made a batch of granola but wasn't as in love with it as normal ... I should make cookies with it! That's such a great idea! And I do have all the ingredients on hand... haha very tempting!

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    1. Granola is really good but sometimes, staring at a huge ton of it, makes it a little less good...you know what I mean? Cookies make sense...and I have a little bit left and thinking of making another half batch of cookies and stocking it in the freezer With so much snow (including today), I have some time on my hands.

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  4. A fun granola project, Monica. I love that mango parfait!

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  5. My mom makes the SK granola all the time - it's yummy! And even better as cookies :)

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    1. You can't go wrong with one of Deb's recipes or suggestions or likes! I'm a fan for sure.

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  6. A - the granola looks awesome. B - the cookies look even MORE awesome! C - Now I want to put all kinds of granola in ALL SORTS of cookies. D - Now my tummy is rumbling.....

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    1. haha - love that, Natalie. You are very succinct. : ) Looking at food always makes me hungry...well, thinking about food also and I seem to do that constantly.

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  7. Your granola looks awesome Monica- what a fun project :) I love anything with oats and am a big fan of granola. Some batches don't always turn out the way we like too but I usually make granola parfaits out of those too and my lil guy polishes them off since that is one of his favorite snacks. What a great idea to make cookies out of them - so creative and can't wait to try that next time :) Hope you are having a great week so far and staying warm:)

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    1. I'm such a huge oats fanatic, too, Kelly! Your little one has good taste in food, I can tell! We are doing well here despite another couple inches of snow last night. Hanging in there!

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  8. Gosh, you have been busy Monica!! This granola looks wonderful. I love the almonds and interested to hear you used egg white for the binding. I love the mango parfait and yoghurt with it! Oh, and the cookies to follow - a brilliant idea and they look delicious. Super fabulous photos today too!! :-)

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    1. There's been plenty of time spent indoors this winter, Jo! Thank you and glad you like it. : )

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  9. Both the granola and cookies look so good. Yummy !!!

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  10. Gorgeous recipe and great idea! I bet those cookies have an amazing texture...

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    1. Cookies are excellent. I used the last bit of my granola to make a second batch of cookies today. : )

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  11. The cookies look wonderful Monica!! I can't seem to make enough granola, I make it and by the next day its gone. My son's favourite snack is yoghurt with granola and fruit. He finishes the whole thing in a day. I just bought some organic one to keep him satiated, I can't keep up!!
    Your granola looks great too, but i adore the cookies! I'm going to make some with my store bought granola :)

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    1. I can totally see how a young fella would run through a stash of granola quickly if he's a fan of it. Using your favorite store bought granola in cookies is just as smart. I hope you try it and your son likes it.

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  12. I love homemade granola and always keep some on hand for my yogurt parfait. :) yours is truly gorgeous. I think it's really versatile in terms of what to include or exclude from it to make it your own. That's the beauty of it. ;)

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    1. Thanks so much, Amy. I do love the versatility of making your own version and adding what you're in the mood for when it comes to granola.

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  13. I don't eat granola that often, though I do love it. It's just too expensive to buy and i haven't gotten around to making it. I love your simple no-frills version...perfect for mixing into those CCC's!

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    1. I'm sort of the same way, Joanne. It's great but I can't seem to eat a ton because I think I usually opt for straight up nuts as a snack or add-in to things. I also eat steel cut oats and since they're so chunky, I don't need any toppings.

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  14. What a lovely idea to put granola into cookies! I'll definitely be trying that soon. How come I'd never thought about it? I mean, I love cookies, and I like granola... so eating them both at the same time is purely genius! Love this idea <3

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    1. I've wanted to do it for a while...but never made granola! haha...finally had the chance and it works really well!

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  15. Lovin the transformer ricepe like this, you're so clever my friend!!!

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  16. Can I tell you how much love I want to give to these granola cookies? Love your process here.....

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    1. You are a true cookie lover and I love it, Pamela. : )

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  17. Wow, what a great idea...using granola to make cookies...yummy!
    Thanks for the inspiration Monica...hope you are having a wonderful week :D

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    1. Made two batches of those cookies so it was put to good use. Thanks!

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  18. looooovve homemade granola! totally one of those things that once you've made it for yourself, you'll have a really hard time with the premade stuff. So good, right? And i've never once tried to make cookies out of it, which gives me good incentive to a) make granola because, b) COOKIES. :)

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    1. There is usually something magical (maybe it's just plain freshness) from homemade things, including granola, for sure. And yes, cookies at the end is also a big draw.

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  19. Yummy-I love homemade granola! And granola cookies-yes please!

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    1. Thanks, Dawn. Homemade things are so good...particularly cookies! : )

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  20. Replies
    1. I like looking at that pop of color too, thanks!

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  21. Your homemade granola looks amazing! And adding it to the mango yogurt parfait and chocolate chip cookies sounds like a brilliant idea. I'm drooling (:

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    1. It was fun to try it and homemade usually wins. : ) We just popped a few of these cookies from the freezer this afternoon. Very handy! ; )

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