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Brown Sugar and Winter Spice Granola
Brown Sugar and Winter Spice Granola Photo courtesy of Clay McLachlan

We’d like to be part of the morning ritual at James and Caitlin Freeman’s house. The owners of Blue Bottle Coffee Company often start their days with a cappuccino, a big pot of tea and a bowl of the coffee shop’s gently spiced granola. The addictive recipe appears in the couple’s new book, The Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee, and promotes an alternative approach to making granola. Instead of stirring the wet oats at regular intervals, they bake it without interruption until the oats are crisp and golden brown. We have no doubt that those big, crunchy granola clusters will be making a regular appearance in our breakfast bowls too.

Makes about 10 cups

1½ cups lightly packed light brown sugar

⅓ cup water

4 cups old-fashioned oats

1½ cups pecans, coarsely chopped

1½ cups walnuts, coarsely chopped

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

¾ teaspoon Maldon sea salt (or other flaky salt)

⅓ cup canola oil

2½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 250°. In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar with the water and cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture comes to a boil. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the syrup cool slightly.

2. In a large bowl, toss the oats with the pecans, walnuts, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.

3. Add the canola oil and vanilla to the brown sugar syrup and stir until thoroughly combined. Pour the syrup over the oat mixture and mix well with a rubber spatula or your hands until thoroughly combined.

4. Coat a rimmed 13-by-18-inch baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer the oat mixture to the baking sheet and pat it down in an even layer; it will be thick but shouldn’t rise above the rim of the baking sheet.

5. Bake the granola for 75 minutes. Remove from the oven and use a large spatula to flip the granola, keeping it in large chunks. Return the granola to the oven and bake for about 30 minutes longer or until completely dry and crunchy. Remove from the oven and let cool before breaking into clusters and serving.



Reprinted with permission from The Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee: Growing, Roasting, and Drinking, with Recipes, by James Freeman, Caitlin Freeman, and Tara Duggan, copyright 2012. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.

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