Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Chocolate Chili Granola

I had a whacky flash of insight the other day while eating the walnuts from the veggie box. They were good and all, but after eating a lot of them, the skins started to taste kind of bitter. I thought toasting them might make them more pleasant, then wondered what I could do with toasted walnuts. This led to granola, which somehow led to chocolate, which I understand is not a typical granola ingredient. While I was making it, I thought, "Why not add some ground chilies to go with the chocolate?" I figured that would give the granola a little extra kick, a little something special.

I wanted to include this recipe because it combines 2 different veggie box items, the most important of which is the cayenne peppers, which I have found difficult to place in a starring role in any dish. Truthfully though, my aunt gave me a huge jar of ground chilies this summer, so I just used some of that, but the cayenne peppers we got a few weeks ago (a month ago?) can be easily ground up in a spice grinder or even mortar and pestle for this tasty treat.


1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
1/2 cup sliced almonds
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp each cinnamon, ground cayenne & ground coriander
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a large skillet over high heat, melt the butter. Once the butter is melted, add the nuts, stirring constantly until they just begin to brown. Add all of the remaining ingredients, except for the chocolate, and mix well.

Reduce heat to medium-high, and continue to stir until the brown sugar has melted and oats have begun to toast.

Spread the mixture on a cookie sheet, and then sprinkle the chocolate chips on top. The heat from the oat mixture will slightly melt the chocolate.

Set the cookie sheet aside to cool until the chocolate sets, about 4 hours, and then break up the granola with a metal spoon in to bite-sized pieces.

Bon Apetit!

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