Scientifically Sweet: Decadent Dark Chocolate Cranberry Granola

Monday, December 11, 2017

Decadent Dark Chocolate Cranberry Granola

Warning - I'm about to ruin granola for you.

I mean ruin it in a really really good way.

If you only eat oats because they are healthy, then I might be totally crushing the dream with this one. I mean, oats are still healthy and this is still a way better option than a candy bar - the fact that I've coated them in butter and loaded them up with dark chocolate doesn't take away from them being high in fiber and super nutritious! Let's put that out there.

This decadent granola is awesome and it serves as the most satisfying snack/dessert probably ever!

Plus it is so super festive with the cranberry/dark chocolate combo and I could just imagine several bowls of it at every corner of your living and dining rooms as well as atop your kitchen counter so guests can snack all day long.

One of the coolest things about this granola (aside from being loaded with chocolate) is its texture! 

After it is baked to golden and crisp it gets a bath in cocoa butter - not cacao butter as in the fat that comes from the cocoa bean, but rich dairy butter mixed with cocoa powder. It is so decadent! When it coats all of the toasty nuts and oats, the texture of the granola changes - I'm talking about the actual feel of it. It actually feels velvety, almost soft in the hand but when you bite into it, it is super crunchy! Plus it stays crunchy for a long long time. You can crunch away for weeks on this gold and it will not tire.

This recipe is also EASY.

No saucepan, no heating. Just mixing and baking.

Place all of your oats and nuts in a bowl. Stir together maple syrup, sugar, vanilla and salt and stir into oat mixture until evenly coated.

Spread it all out on a baking tray and bake until golden and crisp. Then let it cool completely.

Once it is cooled, place it all into a bowl.

Melt your butter in the microwave (or dirty a saucepan if you want). Stir in the cocoa until it makes a smooth dark sauce and pour it into the bowl. Toss the granola until it is all evenly coated in the butter/cocoa mixture and then stir through all the goodies - cranberries, cacao nibs and dark chocolate chunks!

It is such a treat!

So, treat yo'self!

Happy Holidays xo

Decadent Dark Chocolate Cranberry Granola
makes about 4 ½ cups

2 ¼ cups (225g) rolled oats
1 cup (140g) mixed nuts (I used pistachios, almonds and cashews) roughly chopped
1/3 cup (80ml) maple syrup
2 tbsp (30g) light brown sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp salt
3 tbsp (42g) unsalted butter
2 tbsp (12g) dutch process cocoa powder
½ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup cocoa nibs
½ cup dark chocolate chunks

Preheat your oven to 325ºF.

In a large bowl, mix together oats, nuts, maple syrup, brown sugar, vanilla extract and salt until evenly coated. Spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet in an even layer and bake, tossing every 10 minutes, until dry and darker in colour, about 25-30 minutes. It may still feel soft while warm, but will crisp up on cooling. Transfer tray to a wire rack and let granola cool completely, then pour it back into a bowl.

In a small saucepan (or in a heatproof bowl in the microwave) melt butter and stir in cocoa powder until smooth. Pour this butter mixture over the cooled granola and toss until evenly coated. Stir through dried cranberries, cacao nibs and chocolate chunks. Transfer to a container. Will last for 2 weeks.
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