Snacks: Crunchy Chunky Granola and Healthier Chewy Oatmeal Cookies

One afternoon late last week, I started making granola and wound-up with cookies.

It was a rainy day near the end of the spring semester at my university, and even while I had so much to do to wrap-up one semester, I was also preparing for the summer term. My email inbox was hopping, messages flying in and out and back again almost as quickly as I sent them. My head was pounding, and I hadn’t even started on the main item on my work to-do list for the day; and that item had a serious deadline. I needed reinforcements.

Or, refreshments, rather. Now that the entire family is obsessed with British gardening television, we watch it of an evening as a family, commenting on it the way others might a fashion show: “would you look at the size of that tomato plant; it’s beautiful!” “yes! shhh I think he’s going to tell us what variety it is.” “do you think he pruned early or late?” πŸ™‚ While we enjoy our program, it has become a new family tradition to take tea, just as we watch our British gardening heroes enjoying their cuppas. So, naturally, when I needed a refreshment, I reached for tea.

But I also wanted something delicious to accompany it. Rainy, hard days are good for tea parties, but I was so tired and my head was pounding and the thought of even attempting something as simple as a scone seemed ridiculous. What’s something I just have to stir? I began to make our old standard granola recipe. I used to keep a cookie jar of it full on the counter for easy, relatively healthy snacks that could satisfy a sweet and/or crunchy craving. Liam, as a toddler, would always ask for “granilla,” as a special treat, and I was happy to oblige, knowing that it was healthier than other items on the “sweet treat” list.

Since the shelter-in-place order I have been making it again, much to the delight of my family. Except, something happened that afternoon. I did all the same steps, and then suddenly, I just didn’t even think. I acted on pure, refreshment-deprived instinct. I added a single egg and a cup of flour before I stirred in the oats and other mix-ins. Realizing what I had done, I then went for broke and added a touch of baking powder and some chocolate chips and baked them in cookie shape rather than pressed into the pan, as I would for granola.

Did I just decide to make granola chocolate cookies? Yes, yes I did. And they were delicious. So delicious I ate three with a cup of peppermint tea and that, my dears, is when the sun came out. Was it the cookies? We’ll never know. πŸ˜‰

Healthier Chewy Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
Yield: 1 dozen

1/3 C raw honey or pure maple syrup
1/3 C brown sugar
1 T vanilla extract
1/2 t almond extract
2 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t sea salt
1/2 C coconut oil, melted
1 egg
1 C AP flour
1/2 t baking powder
2 C old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 C sliced almonds
1/2 C shredded unsweetened coconut
3/4 C chocolate chips

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Melt the coconut oil over medium heat. Meanwhile add the honey/maple syrup and brown sugar into a bowl and stir to combine. Add the extracts, cinnamon, sea salt. Add the melted coconut oil and whisk. Then add the egg and whisk. Stir in everything else. Use a cookie scoop or spoon to portion out into a cookie shape on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes, cool, and then devour. Serve.

Hull Family Granola
Yield: 1 half baking-sheet pan

1/3 C raw honey or pure maple syrup
1/3 C brown sugar
1 T vanilla extract
1/2 t almond extract
2 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t sea salt
1/2 C coconut oil, melted
3 C old-fashioned rolled oats
1 C sliced almonds
3/4 C shredded unsweetened coconut
1-2 C optional dried fruit mix-ins (at the end after baking)

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Melt the coconut oil over medium heat. Meanwhile add the honey/maple syrup and brown sugar into a bowl and stir to combine. Add the extracts, cinnamon, sea salt. Add the melted coconut oil and whisk. Add all the dry ingredients (oats, almonds, and coconut) and mix well. Lightly grease with coconut oil a baking sheet or half baking sheet. Press the granola mixture into the pan just as you would as if you were making rice krispy treats. Evenly spread it and push it into the corners (not the full pan if you’re using a full sheet. Just build a straight-edge at about the halfway point of the pan). Bake for 25 – 30 minutes. If you want a cereal-style granola, immediately upon removing the pan from the oven, break the granola up with a wooden spoon and mix in your dried fruit. If you want big chunks of granola “krispy” treats, wait until the granola cools before breaking it apart. Most of the time we forego fruit mix-ins and go for the krispy-treat style chunks that make for a satisfying, cookie-jar snack.

Published by kelinmchull

Wife, mother, student, dreamer/doer, adventurer, wannabe farmer, writer, and all around curious gal.

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