Years before I started blogging, I read a handful of food blogs. Smitten Kitchen was one of my first blog discoveries, and I looked forward to Deb’s new posts, enjoying the anecdotes she shared about cooking in a tiny NYC apartment kitchen. I still read SK and was thrilled when her first cookbook was released last fall. The big cluster maple granola caught my eye instantly for two reasons: 1. I eat granola daily, and 2. I fight for the clusters.
When I found myself snacking on the clusters nonstop, I knew it was worth sharing here. I prefer this granola to store-bought because it’s not greasy or oily (an egg white helps “glue” the clusters together, eliminating the need for copious amounts of oil or butter) and it’s not cloyingly sweet.
Calling this a “recipe” is a stretch; it’s more of a method that can be completely customized (swap the almonds for your favorite nut, play around with spices, etc). If you like dried fruit, mix in about a cup to the cooled granola. Whether you eat this granola for breakfast or by the handful as a midnight snack, I think you’ll find it completely addictive!
Adapted from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
4 cups rolled oats
1 cup sliced almonds
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg white
Preheat oven to 290°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine oats, almonds, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. Add olive oil, honey, and vanilla; toss to coat. Whisk egg white in a small bowl until frothy (about 1 minute); add to oat mixture and toss to coat.
Use an offset spatula to spread mixture into an even layer on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, then use a large spatula to flip sections of granola. Press back into an even layer, rotate pan, and bake another 15 minutes. When granola is golden and feels dry to the touch, turn off oven and leave pan in oven for another 10 minutes to continue drying. Remove pan from oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely (the granola crisps as it cools).
When completely cool, break into clusters (if you want to add dried fruit, stir in now). Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 to 2 weeks.
Yield – 7 cups
Calories – 230 (per 2/3 cup serving)
Carbs – 36