Reading Molly Wizenberg’s Orangette gets me to make a lot of things that I would never ordinarily consider making. Her writing is downright enchanting, and the woman could make a sauteed shoe sound good. And I know, I know, everyone already knows and loves her blog – But I especially like browsing the archives of the site and finding fantastic recipes from before the days of Pinterest, from before everyone just tried to make the latest one-pot, low-cal, gluten-free, “tastes just like cake I swear!” recipes that are infinitely able to go viral and garner hits. Molly’s site has always focused on 1) great writing, and 2) great recipes. And really, that’s why I trust the recipes she posts, and when she says a granola is deeply toasty, nearly “shatters” when eaten, verges on savory, yet still has a fair glug of maple syrup running through it… I make that granola. Even though I’ve never made granola before, and didn’t think I even really liked most granolas. Those days, my friend, are over.
I’ve now made it twice, exactly as written, and plan on making another batch tomorrow. Without it, breakfast is sad now. We are crazed granola converts over here, eating it daily with milk or yogurt, and if you make a batch of this you will understand why. It suffuses the apartment with a toasted pecan and maple smell when baking, and when finished it’s indeed the most crunchy granola I’ve had, and the deep toasting of the nuts and coconut flakes is ambrosial. And hey, check it out: it ends up being vegan, one-pot (or at least one bowl), and super fast and easy – without trying to!
I’ve used pecans as the nuts here both times I’ve made it because they’re my favorite, but Molly notes that any nuts will be fine (although I wouldn’t recommend cashews – I tried toasting them once and it was very ill-advised). When I make it tomorrow I’ll be using walnuts. Choose whichever your heart desires, just make sure they get a nice good toasting on them without burning.
And really, if you love granola, like it, are kinda “meh” about it, or even are slightly suspicious of it, you should give this a try. It’s really like no other granola I’ve had.
Deeply Toasted Coconut Pecan Granola
or, Granola No. 5
From Orangette (Molly Wizenberg)
600 grams (6 cups) old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
100 to 150 grams (about 2 to 3 loose cups) unsweetened coconut chips (the big flakes – I find them at Whole Foods)
400 grams nuts (about 3-4 cups), chopped if you like
2 teaspoons kosher salt (2 tsp if Diamond brand, but use only 1.5 tsp if Morton brand)
1 cup (240 ml) dark maple syrup (dark amber or grade B)
2/3 cup (160 ml) olive oil
Place oven racks in upper and lower thirds of your oven. Preheat oven to 300 F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
Add oats, coconut chips, nuts, and salt to a large bowl and stir them together. Add the maple syrup and olive oil, and stir everything together until evenly coated. Pour onto the baking pans evenly and place pans in oven (one on top rack and one on bottom rack). Bake, stirring every 10-15 minutes, for a total of about 40 minutes. Switch the pans in the oven once after 20 minutes (this will ensure that each pan gets even toasting – if you don’t do it one pan will finish before the other).
Check for doneness beginning around 35 minutes, and see if the coconut chips are nicely browned (see above photos). You want them to get nice and toasted without burning. Feel free to take a spoonful out and see if the nuts are toasted enough. Depending on your oven, it could take anywhere from 35-45 minutes total.
Allow granola to cool before putting in an airtight container or bag for storage. It will stay good at room temperature for at least 2 weeks.