Nutty Chocolate-Cherry Granola

Nutty Chocolate-Cherry Granola

Olive Oil Granola is kind of a thing, have you heard? Melissa Clark started it, I think, in the New York Times (inspired by the one sold by Bklyn Larder—the very same people behind Franny’s), and soon after The Kitchn raved about the recipe. More recently Jenny at Dinner: A Love Story wrote about it. And now it’s my turn.

This one’s a bit different than the rest—after making it a few times, what started as Melissa Clark’s olive oil granola recipe has wound up more focused on chocolate. (Go figure: me, chocolate?) I like the slight bitterness the olive oil provides; along with the cocoa and a hefty dose of salt, it makes the granola sweet enough for dessert but not so purely sweet as to be boring. Two different nuts and a generous handful of dried cherries make this the perfect thing to scatter on top of a scoop of vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt.

Best part: When the frozen yogurt melts, it turns chocolaty brown just like milk + Cocoa Pebbles!

Nutty Chocolate-Cherry Granola
Inspired by the New York Times
Makes 32 servings (1/4 cup each)
Weight Watchers: Each serving is 5 PointsPlus

Note: the easiest way I know to chop hazelnuts is to put them in a zipper-lock bag and smash the bag with a rolling pin or a heavy pot.

4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 1/2 cups hazelnuts, roughly chopped (Oh Nuts sells an amazing whole hazelnut that’s peeled incredibly well)
1 cup blanched almonds (I use these, also from Oh Nuts)
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup unsweetened dried cherries, halved if they’re large

  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil (this’ll make it easier to transfer the granola off the sheet when you’re done).
  2. In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts, coconut, maple syrup, olive oil, brown sugar, cocoa, salt, and cinnamon. Toss together well, until it’s completely combined—break up any lumps of sugar with your fingers. Spread it on the baking sheet in an even layer and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until the granola is dry and toasty. Wash the large bowl while it’s baking.
  3. Transfer it back into that large bowl (dry it off first!), using the parchment or foil to lift it carefully. Stir in the cherries, and allow to cool before transferring to an air-tight container—give it a stir every 15 minutes or so if you remember, to cool it off faster.

MAKE BABY FOOD: Nope. Between the choking hazards (nuts, dried cherries) and the extra added sugar, this one’s not for babies.