gingerbread granola

gingerbread granola

It really is the most wonderful time of the year.  Gingerbread just sums up Christmas to me!! The smell of the sugar and spices baking together reminds me of my mom making gingerbread cookies growing up.  It makes me very nostalgic!  That’s why I love this time of year because it’s when we make all of our favorite things from our childhood and reminisce about a more simple time when Santa’s visit was the most exciting thing to happen.  I would eat so many cookies my poor mom would have to deal with my ultimate sugar rush.  Even though I’m far from home (and it’s not even cold here) every time I smell those holiday spices baking in the oven it takes me back to cold, cozy, comforting holidays in Michigan with my family.  I’m obsessed with making homemade granola AND pumpkin pie spice so this is basically the best thing ever!

That smokey molasses flavor paired with the floral taste of the honey couldn’t be a better combination to sweeten this granola.  The rich dark chocolate adds a slight softness to the crunchy granola. This is definitely something that could be enjoyed throughout the entire holiday season! You don’t have to wait until Christmas morning to make it.  It also makes a great gift when wrapped up really pretty.

gingerbread granola

gingerbread granola

Gingerbread Dark Chocolate Granola

4 cups old fashioned oats

1 cup pumpkin seeds (pepita seeds)

1 cup sunflower seeds

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/2 teaspoon salt; I like kosher salt

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (homemade pumpkin pie spice)

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1/2 cup honey

2 tablespoons molasses

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 3/4 cup dark chocolate

How To:

*Preheat oven to 325 degrees

*Line two baking sheets with parchment paper

*In a small pot combine the butter, honey, and molasses over medium to low heat until the butter is melted

*Turn off heat and stir in the vanilla

*In a large bowl combine the oats, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, shredded coconut, salt and pumpkin pie spice

*Toss to combine to make sure everything is covered in the pumpkin pie spice

*Pour the warm butter mixture over the oat mixture

*Stir with a spatula to make sure the oat mixture is evenly coated with the butter mixture

*Pour half of the mixture onto one baking sheet and the other half on the second

*Use the spatula to spread the mixture out and press to keep the oats together instead of being very spread out; this helps create those great large chunks when you break up the granola after it bakes

*Bake for 12-13 minutes

*Allow to cool completely

*Once cooled break the granola up with your hands and sprinkle in the dark chocolate

*Store in an airtight container

gingerbread granola 2

gingerbread granola 2

gingerbread granola 4

gingerbread granola 4