Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Addictive Peanut Butter Granola

Hurray, an actual recipe!

If recipes were judged based on the number of times you make them, then this recipe gets five stars from me. I love it for many reasons: I can make it quickly from ingredients I have on hand, it is reasonably nutritious (especially for a sweet snack), it's satisfying, and most importantly, it's delicious! I adapted it from a now-lost recipe I found on, so my kudos and apologies to the writer of the original granola bar recipe from whence my beloved peanut butter granola came.

I truly believe peanut butter and chocolate are a magical combination. When I was a child, my favorite candy of all was Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Now that I am older and no longer live on candy, I eat this chocolate-studded granola in place of Peanut Butter Cups. I usually stir the granola into milk or plain yogurt and eat it alongside some fruit.

Addictive Peanut Butter Granola
4-6 servings

2 1/4 cups oats
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/6 - 1/3 cup (or 3-5 tbsp.) vegetable oil (I usually just eyeball 1/6 of a cup by filling the 1/3 cup half full)
1/3 cup peanut butter, chunky or smooth as you prefer (I do like the texture chunky peanut butter gives the granola)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 of the following add-ins:
-1/2 cup mini chocolate chip morsels
-1 cup mixed peanut butter and chocolate morsels
-1 cup chocolate chips

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2) Mix together the oats, flour, and baking soda in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the vanilla extract.
3) Add the vegetable oil and peanut butter and mix. The mixture will be a bit chunky.
4) Stir in the brown sugar.
5) Stir in your chosen add-in. The mixture will be a bit moist from the oil and peanut butter, but overall it will be rather dry and chunky. Spoon the granola into a square 8-inch cake pan.
6) Bake the granola at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, and then dig in! Before storing, allow granola to cool completely in the pan and then store it at room temperature in a tightly sealed container. This granola will keep for at least a week. My batches never last longer than that!

* * *

Friday, November 28, 2008

A post-script

This granola recipe is a wildly popular hit when people search for peanut butter granola recipes via Google. I'm tickled to discover that there are so many people out there who are eager to make their own granola! This granola in particular is one of the easiest and most satisfying baking recipes in my collection; it hardly gets much easier than measure-stir-bake-eat. (That last part is my favorite.)

The popularity of this recipe nudged me into making it again after a long hiatus. Ooh-wee, I forgot how good this stuff is! It's too tasty for its own good, especially when you make it with Sunspire Peanut Butter Chips. Although I love chocolate as much as the next guy, I really like a straight peanut butter granola, which is my official recipe entry for Nick's celebration of Peanut Butter Lover's Month. I am hardly surprised that November is Peanut Butter Lover's Month; it seems apropos because November is my birthday month and I consider peanut butter essential for life. So to all my fellow peanut butter lovers, I raise my spoon to you in a sticky, peanut-buttery salute!

To make the all-peanut butter version of Addictive Peanut Butter Granola, I recommend using 1/2 cup of Sunspire Peanut Butter Chips as the add-in. The chips are pretty sweet, so if you are a little sensitive to sugar, you can decrease the brown sugar if you like. With the full 1/4 cup of brown sugar, the granola is pleasantly sweet to me when mixed with milk or plain yogurt.


janelle said...

Here! here! Thanks for the fun granola recipe, sounded so well, addicting:



Rosiecat24 said...

Hi Janelle!

Thanks for the comment. I took at peak at your blog, and in a word, it is BEAUTIFUL! I cannot wait to dig into it. And I'm tickled to see my granola mentioned in your recent post, "The Gamut on Granola." What a great title! I think you are right: it is a kid-friendly recipe. I suppose when it comes to some flavor combinations, our tastebuds never grow up. Well, mine at least haven't.

Thanks for visiting! I'm looking forward to spending some time over at Talk of Tomatoes.

Unknown said...

addictive indeed! but oh so amazing :) where do you get the sunspire pb chips???? i haven't seen them anywhere and am totally tempted to buy them online along with some unsweetened carob chips!

Rosiecat24 said...

ttfn, is it safe to say your prize made it to you safe and sound? I buy my Sunspire chips at Whole Foods in the baking aisle. They are a little pricy (maybe ~$5 for 12 ounces?), but I get several batches of granola out of one bag of chips, so the cost isn't too bad.

If you buy them on-line, you can do a little review about buying ingredients from on-line vendors. I think lots of us who take our food seriously have thought about purchasing special ingredients on-line.

Mommy2Kaelynn said...

Any idea how to do this with no brown sugar or flour?? I have a friend who can't use those and wants a great PB Granola recipe. Thanks!!!

The recipe is awesome BTW!


Rosiecat24 said...

Hi Chandra! Great question. For the flour, I think any type of pleasantly neutral-tasting flour would work. I would try either oat flour or a non-gluten flour, like sweet rice flour, depending on what your friend's dietary restrictions are. To make oat flour, whirl some rolled oats in a blender or a food processor until finely ground. (Easy-peasy!)

The brown sugar is a little trickier. If your friend can use other sweeteners, like honey or maple syrup, I'd start with those--try 2-4 tablespoons, depending on how sweet you'd like the granola to be. If honey and maple syrup are out, you could try agave nectar or even brown rice syrup, which a lot of people like but I've never tried myself.

Good luck and happy baking! And thanks for stopping by :-)

Caroline said...

Delicious as promised!! My husband loves the Nature's Path Peanut Butter Granola...but it is SO EXPENSIVE!! For Father's Day I made him your recipe...IT'S A HIT!!! We have a convert!! And as a special bonus...I don't have to buy the expensive version anymore...THANK YOU!!

Rosiecat24 said...

Caroline, you are most welcome! I'm so pleased to hear this recipe worked out well for you and your husband. I hear you on the cost of storebought granolas--outrageous!

Thanks for stopping by to let me know how your batch turned out. Hurray!

Anonymous said...

I found this recipe while searching for a nutty granola that will hold together in big chunks, good for finger food, rather than crumble for spoonable cereal. This looks like it might do the trick. Will it stay in big chunks if you don't break it up? Also, I thought that granola was supposed to be a pretty good pantry keeper, but you say it keeps for about a week. If I want to make it in advance (think Christmas gifts!) do you think it will keep? Hmmm...maybe lose the crunch? Thanks!

Rosiecat24 said...

Hi, anonymous! Hmm, that is a lot of questions. I'll give them my best shot.

The original recipe here is a soft granola. I don't find it to be crunchy at all--it's a little chewy at most. I don't think it will stay in big, finger-food chunks as is, but I have made a batch of this substituting coconut oil for the vegetable oil and adding an egg. I was trying to make a granola bar recipe, and those two changes gave me bars that held together pretty well. To make chunks, I would just break up the bars a bit more. I think that version had a bit of a crunch to it.

To be honest, I don't know how long it keeps because I eat it so fast! You're right about granolas being good pantry keepers. With my recipes, I always try to speak from experience, so sometimes I'm a bit conservative about how long food will last.

So: try using a more saturated fat (like 1/4 cup coconut oil or melted butter instead of vegetable oil) and add an egg to that fat along with the peanut butter. Bake the pan of granola and then break it into chunks after it has cooled. That's my advice, based on some kitchen experimentation :-)

One final thought: I have another granola which is quite crunchy and nutty, but it is more like cereal than granola chunks. It's my Crunchy Breakfast Granola, and I think it's really tasty.