Hello there, would you like some Crunchy Chocolate Hazelnut Granola to snack on?
I thought so.
As the weather begins to cool down a little, especially at night and in the morning, and the humidity has almost disappeared, we are able to turn off our window a/c units and open the windows. Yaay for no more noise – hello fresh air! I am also able to turn on my oven. Okay, it still makes my kitchen pretty hot, but it’s more tolerable and the heat doesn’t linger for hours! This, my friends, is a wonderful thing! I can finally bake things and cook things without being stifled! Crunchy Chocolate Hazelnut Granola here we come!
Can we just pause for a moment and think about how wonderful fall is? To be honest with you, I always liked bits and pieces of fall – all the pumpkin and cinnamon and hot tea, and the pretty change in leaves. But at the same time I dreaded it because fall meant one thing: winter was coming! Then I bought a house that does not have central air and I really started to look forward to the cooler weather fall would bring. Yes, we have window units, but it does not cool down your house in quite the same way as central air does – it’s a very uneven cool that does not reach other rooms without the help of a million fans to push the air. Well okay, we could probably really cool down other rooms by jacking the a/c up a lot but then we wouldn’t be able to afford to live. Plus window units really don’t do away with the humidity as well as central air does. Basically, if you are outside on a hot, humid August day and you come inside, you really don’t get that same kind of instant relief that you get from central air. We have been in our house for 3 summers now and this has probably been the hottest summer of them all. Oh, and when you go over to a house with central air and that house is actually a normal temperature without humidity, you freeze because you are so used to your sauna of a house. Then you return home and die of heat exhaustion because you have since gotten used to the life of central air. The cycle continues!
What I’m saying is that living in a house without central air has shifted my love for fall. I have never loved the cooler weather of fall as much as I do at this time in my life! Especially right now, here in Iowa, we are having pretty perfect weather. Most days are still sunny and warm with low humidity while the mornings and nights cool off enough to enjoy a cup of hot tea without needing to add ice cubes! How do you feel about reading a blog that talks about the weather all of the time?!
The thing is food and weather are so connected – the seasons change and the produce changes with it and so do the types of cooking methods. During the summer I avoided turning on my oven at all costs, and didn’t want to cook for longer than 10 minutes! Lovely, crisp, cool fall brings forth the feeling of baking and soul-warming foods!
Such as this Crispy Chocolate Hazelnut Granola! Which is totally addicting! Think dark chocolate goodness baked onto each oat and hazelnut piece with clusters of dark chocolate that has been salted. Yaasss to the salty sweet combo, double yaaasss to the super crunchiness in each bite!
This Crispy Chocolate Hazelnut Granola is more of a snack/dessert granola to me, and less of a breakfast granola. Because of the chocolate chips that have been melted and then are allowed to cool and harden again, the thought of eating this granola with yogurt or milk doesn’t seem right. Crispy Chocolate Hazelnut Granola is best eaten by the handful, straight out of the jar!
What I love about this recipe is that it makes a huge batch and it lasts for at least 2 weeks. You can portion it into jars to pack into lunches, grab it as a snack, or even give it as a gift. It’s easy to make. Just throw everything together in a bowl, mix well and then bake away!
In the spirit of fall, go make this Crispy Chocolate Hazelnut Granola and then enjoy all of it’s chocolaty and salty sweet goodness for days to come!
- 1 cup raw hazelnuts
- 3 cups certified gluten free rolled oats
- ¾ cup raw pecans, roughly chopped (or sub other kinds of nuts)
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ cup coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup honey
- ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
- 1½ cups dark chocolate chips
- Coarse sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place the hazelnuts on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes, just to loosen some of the skin from the hazelnuts, but not to toast them. Use a clean kitchen towel to rub the hazelnut skins off. It's okay if not all of the skin is removed; just get the skin that's loose to come off. Roughly chop up the hazelnuts.
- To a large mixing bowl add the chopped hazelnuts, oats, pecans, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and coconut sugar. Give it a good mix until well combined.
- To the same bowl add the vanilla extract, honey, and coconut oil. Stir until everything is well combined. All of the granola should be pretty wet.
- Transfer the granola to 1 very large rimmed baking sheet or separate it into two large rimmed baking sheets. You don't want the granola to be too crowded otherwise it won't get crispy. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through to prevent burning. The granola should be browned and most of the liquid should be baked off. It will crisp up as it cools.
- Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top of the granola. Place back in the oven for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the chocolate chips have melted. Sprinkle a generous amount of the coarse sea salt onto the melted chocolate chips so that the salt sticks to them.
- Allow the granola to cool for 1 to 2 hours. While the chocolate chips are still slightly melted transfer the granola into small jars or containers. The still soft chocolate chips will kind of ooze between the granola pieces creating yummy chocolate clusters. Allow the chocolate chips to harden in the containers.
- Store granola in airtight containers (not baggies, they cause moisture) at room temperature for at least 2 weeks, maybe longer.
Nutrition facts are based on 18 servings.