Granola that tastes like a bowl of almond and coconut cookies, but with chocolate! Oil-free and gluten-free
I once heard granola referred to as ‘basically crumbled up cookies’. While I’m sure that was meant pejoratively, all I could think was: Cookies!? Granola? Win!
And that’s what started my love of granola that tastes like cookies, resulting in my Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Granola.
Then there’s today’s granola, which is like eating a bowl of almond and coconut cookies. But with chocolate!
Since ‘Almond Coconut Chocolate Cookie Granola’ sounded far too unyielding for a granola recipe, I ‘borrowed’ the name from a beloved candy bar, the adorable-sounding Almond Joy.
I’ll admit that to me, Almond Joy sounds like a hug in candy bar form. Seriously, ‘Joy’ is right there in the name. Joy.
As much as I love cookies, I do have to agree that granola shouldn’t have the same nutritional profile as your average Chocolate Chip. So – despite containing chocolate – I have tried to make this granola relatively healthy.
Instead of using a ton of oil and sugar (which most commercial granolas contain), this recipe begins by making an almond-coconut butter. Sure, it’s more effort that pouring in lots of oil. But trust me on this one, it tastes so much better.
The sweetness in this recipe largely comes from maple syrup, which is supposed to be better than sugar, right?
Admittedly, this granola isn’t quite as crunchy as most, which makes it more cookie-like. If you spread out the granola more, it will become crunchier (and cook faster). You’ll need two baking trays for this.
Alternatively, do what I did and pile it into a baking pan (stacked about 3/4-inch thick). This won’t be as crunchy, but it will create yummy chunks of granola-cookie deliciousness.
Or, as a third option, leave out the egg white. I don’t usually add egg whites into my granola, but in this case it adds extra moisture (which adds to the whole cookie effect).
Just so you know, this recipe makes a lot of granola. I figured that if you’re going to put extra effort into making the almond-coconut butter, you may as well get a lot out of it.
Plus, you know, it’s granola that tastes like cookies.
- For the almond-coconut butter
- 1 cup whole almonds
- ½ cup shredded coconut
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons coconut milk (carton, not can)
For everything else
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 cups rolled oats
- ⅓ cup whole raw almonds
- ⅓ cup sliced almonds
- ½ cup shredded coconut
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
- 1 egg white
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 340°F (170°C). Line a large baking tray or baking pan with non-stick paper.
- Making the almond-coconut butter: In a food processor, process the almonds and shredded coconut until they begin to clump together. Pour in the maple syrup, and process until incorporated. Add the coconut milk, and process until smooth. The mixture should resemble a thick/stiff nut butter.
- Make the granola: Transfer the almond-coconut butter a large bowl. Use a fork to whisk in the maple syrup, vanilla extract and salt.
- Add the rolled oats, and mix well (it’s easiest if you use your hands). Stir in the almonds, shredded coconut and brown sugar. Add the egg white, and mix until it’s evenly distributed.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking tray. Bake for 20 minutes, and then stir the granola around a bit with a fork. Bake for a further 10 - 15 minutes, or until the granola has browned. The granola should be a little crunchy, although it will become crunchier as it cools.
- Allow the granola to cool. Ideally, transfer the granola from the hot baking tray/pan and onto a clean surface or sheet of non-stick paper.
- Once cooled, stir in the chocolate chips and store in an airtight container. Enjoy with yogurt and fruit, or just by the handful.
The baking time will depend on how spread out your granola is (as well as your oven, of course). I baked my granola for the full 35 minutes in total, as the granola wasn't spread out much (it was piled about ¾-inch thick in a baking pan).
If you're after 'chunks' or 'clusters' of granola, make sure you don't stir the granola too much in Step 5.
Inspired by Minimalist Baker and The Lemon Bowl