Big clusters of sweet, chocolatey granola with crunchy hazelnuts. Easily vegan and gluten free too.
Boo! It’s almost Halloween – that strange time of year when it’s fun to be scared. Which is a substantial improvement on the I’m-pulling-my-hair-out-while-stress-eating-bagels type of scared.
As someone who rarely bothers to do anything for Halloween, I’m always impressed by people who really go all out with the holiday. Kudos to the folks who make a fancy costumes, bake festive treats and decorate their houses from top to bottom with spooky paraphernalia.
This year, I’m once again treating Halloween as an excellent excuse to eat candy all day. (I’d say it’s also an excuse to eat pumpkin all day, but I already do that about five days a week). So, if, like me, you’re looking for a chocolatey way to start the day, then I have an idea for you: homemade chocolate hazelnut granola
The chocolate flavor of this granola comes from a mixture of cocoa powder and chocolate hazelnut spread. I used Peanut Butter & Co.’s ‘Chocmeister’ Dark Chocolatey Hazelnut Spread, since it has a more intense flavor than Nutella (it’s also dairy-free, by the way). Notwithstanding, I imagine Nutella would be fine too.
(Please note that I have received products from Peanut Butter & Co. in the past. As always, all opinions are my own).
Like all of my recent granola recipes, this recipe makes big chunks of granola. The key to creating big chunks is to avoid stirring or otherwise manhandling the granola while it’s baking. Then let it cool in peace. Once the granola has cooled completely, you can break it into chunks.
Before you break it up, the granola pieces are pretty massive, as evidenced below.
I kept this granola simple and didn’t add any chocolate chips, dried fruit or other mix-ins after it had cooled. Just give me a bowl of chocolate and hazelnuts and I’m happy. But if you’re after something a little more exciting, I’m sure some dried cranberries and dark chocolate chips would be delicious.
Or heck, maybe throw in some Halloween candy.
- ¼ cup (75g) chocolate hazelnut spread
- ¼ cup (20g) cocoa powder
- ¼ cup (60mL) maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons (25g) brown sugar, packed
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 ½ cups (250g) rolled oats
- ¾ cup (100g) chopped hazelnuts
- Preheat the oven to 340°F (170°C). Line a large baking sheet with non-stick paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the chocolate hazelnut spread, cocoa powder, brown sugar, vanilla extract and salt.
- Add the rolled oats and chopped hazelnuts. Mix until well combined.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through. Avoid mixing or stirring the granola.
- Allow the granola to cool completely. Once cooled, break it into chunks and store in an airtight container.
When done, the granola should be a little crunchy (especially around the edges of the tray), however, it will become crunchier as it cools.
Don’t mix the granola around during baking, or while it’s cooling.
Variation: Double Chocolate Hazelnut Granola
After removing the granola from the oven, scatter ¼ cup dark chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate) over the granola, and then allow the granola to cool completely.
Vegan and Gluten-Free
To make this recipe vegan, use a dairy-free brand of chocolate hazelnut spread (such as Peanut Butter & Co.'s Chocomeister Dark Chocolatey Hazelnut Spread).
To make this recipe gluten-free, use certified gluten-free oats. However, please note that some GF eaters cannot tolerate oats.