Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Chocolate Orange Granola

I know, I know, you were thinking it'd been far too long since the last granola post, right?

I've started seeing Terry's Chocolate Oranges in the stores (and knock-off versions as well), and that reminded me of how, growing up, my dad and I would each receive a chocolate orange in our stockings at Christmas. I still enjoy the flavor of chocolate and orange together, at least from time to time, and because today is grey and gloomy (though also windy and warm, and beautiful in a slightly spooky way) it seemed like a good morning to try making chocolate orange granola.

As with my other granolas, this one isn't terribly sweet. If you like it sweeter, increase the sugar or agave nectar (in the directions, I'll have the amount I recommend increase in parentheses). The orange flavor is subtle, but then again, you probably don't want to overwhelm your tastebuds with super-duper-orange OMG goodness, or you'll cancel out the chocolate flavor.

The chocolate is also a moderately subtle flavor in this granola, which means you can actually still taste the oats and buckwheat groats -- which I appreciate, since they add their own complexity to the cereal. I bake this granola at a much lower temperature than most granolas I make since it does use cocoa powder and I definitely do not want that to scorch. If you decide to go with a little higher heat (like if you're crunched for time, I recommend not above 325, and stir more frequently).

Chocolate Orange Granola
4 cups gluten-free rolled oats
1/2 cup buckwheat groats (not toasted)
1/2 cup brown sugar (2/3 cup if you prefer sweeter granola)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tablespoons agave nectar (3-4 tablespoons)
1/2 teaspoon salt
10-15 drops pure orange oil

1/2 cup hot water

Preheat oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine all the ingredients except the water in a medium sized mixing bowl. Add the water and stir until all the oats are evenly coated and moist. Spread the granola out on a cookie sheet and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring every fifteen minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Granola should be crispy when cool. Store in an air-tight container.

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