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Almond Joy Granola

Crunchy, sweet, full of almond pieces and coconut flakes, this granola tastes much like an Almond Joy candy bar but has none of the stuff that makes the candy so bad for you. Great for munching as a snack or serving with yogurt or milk for breakfast. This version is inspired by and adapted gently from the Mocha Coconut Granola posted by the brilliant Liren Baker at Kitchen Confidante.
Author Rebecca Lindamood

Ingredients

  • extra virgin coconut oil
  • 5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 cups roughly chopped raw almonds or slivered raw almonds. *See Notes
  • 1 cup unsweetened puffed rice brown rice holds up best here
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder I use Dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup pure maple syrup preferably Grade B
  • 4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract or 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract and 2 teaspoons chocolate extract
  • 2 cups unsweetened flaked coconut

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 325°F. Smear a light film of coconut oil over the bottom and sides a rimmed half-sheet pan. Set it aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, stir together the oats, almonds, puffed rice, cocoa powder, and brown sugar until evenly dusted and no clumps remain of the sugar and cocoa powder. In the measuring cup used to measure your maple syrup, stir in the extract(s) . Pour it over the oat mixture and stir it in. At first, it will seem like you don't have enough liquid, but keep stirring gently and it will become evenly moistened. When it is a uniform colour and evenly coated, spread it out over the prepared half-sheet pan and put it in the oven. Bake for 45 minutes, flipping the granola every 5 minutes. When there are 5 minutes remaining, sprinkle the coconut flakes over the top of the granola and then flip it. Bake for the final 5 minute stretch, then remove the pan from the oven and let cool completely before transferring to a container with a tight fitting lid. Store at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
  • If after 2 weeks you have some remaining and it has started becoming stale, you can refresh it by placing it on a cookie sheet in a 325°F oven for 5 to 10 minutes. Let cool completely before storing in an airtight container again. It is not recommended to refresh the granola more than once as it will deteriorate in flavour.

Notes

*I prefer to start with whole, raw almonds and roughly chop them with a big kitchen knife. I like the way they toast while cooking better, and prefer the texture it gives the final granola. If you want to save a couple of minutes, or prefer smaller, more uniform pieces, you can substitute an equal amount of slivered raw almonds.