Monday, April 15, 2013

Peanut Butter Granola

This is my new favorite homemade granola. I make it with the typical oats, nuts and dried fruit combination baked with a coating of sweetness, but then I slather all that in peanut butter. How did it take me so long to decide this was a good idea? (Or for that matter, when did I become such a fan of peanut butter?)

This variation is as easy to make as any other granola. I do cook the coating mixture a little before stirring it into the oats and nuts, just to melt it together nicely. (I didn’t need to do that in this recipe.) I used lightly salted cocktail peanuts for this, which were just right as far as I’m concerned, but you could use unsalted peanuts or dry roasted peanuts. Of course I recommend peanuts over any other nut simply because there’s already peanut flavor going on here.


I was a bit concerned when, after a proper baking time, the granola was appropriately toasted, but still quite moist. I let it cool completely in the pan, however, and it crisped up nicely as it cooled. In fact I’d say it crisped up just right. The final product is nice and crunchy without being too hard, gently sweet and good and peanut buttery.

I added raisins, which went well, but I also took the liberty of including chocolate in my final granola mixture. It’s peanut butter, so there has to be chocolate right? Okay maybe not has to be, but is sure is good there. I used semi-sweet chocolate chunks for a real chocolate presence. I also waited until the granola was completely cooled before stirring them in.

This granola is good mixed with vanilla yogurt for breakfast, or with milk or almond milk. It’s also not too shabby eaten by the handful. It’s supposed to be for our breakfast, but I’ll admit it has stood in for a brown bag lunch (with yogurt), and its peanut-butter-and-chocolate-goodness makes it a fine substitute for snacks and desserts as well. I have to keep some of the batch in the freezer so I don’t casually nibble it all away a little at a time each pass through the kitchen.


Peanut Butter Granola

4 cups rolled oats
1 cup lightly salted or unsalted peanuts (coarsely chopped, if desired)
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup honey
½ cup creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons roasted peanut oil (you could use canola or another neutral oil)
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup raisins
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks

1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Prepare a large rimmed baking sheet by lining it with a silicone baking mat (my preferred method) or with foil sprayed with cooking spray. Set aside. In a very large bowl, combine the oats and peanuts. Set aside.

2. In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar, honey, peanut butter, and peanut oil. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the ingredients have melted together and the mixture is smooth. Stir in the cinnamon, salt and vanilla.

3. Pour the brown sugar mixture over the oat mixture and stir to coat the oats and peanuts well. Spread the mixture out onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake at 325 F for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.

4. Remove from the oven. Cool the granola on the baking sheet until dry and cool enough to handle. When completely cooled, transfer to a very large bowl and stir in the raisins and chocolate.

Makes about 7 ½ cups. Store in an airtight container for several days. Freeze for longer storage.

Other recipes like this one: Granola; Chocolate, Almond, and Cherry Granola; Almond Butter Granola Bars (you can use peanut butter to make these, too)

One year ago: Lemon-Fennel Egg Salad, Fried Potatoes with Scallions and Ham

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