Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Island Dreams Granola

© Digital94086 | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

20 years ago now we were in Hawaii on the beautiful island of Kona having an AMAZING vacation because of the generosity of an employer. The King Kamehameha Hotel had a wonderful breakfast buffet that had some granola that I thought was WONDERFUL...I am not a huge breakfast person...and eggs are just yucky in my opinion...so I had some of this granola. It was DELICIOUS...and when I think back to our times in Hawaii...I eventually think of that granola.
One day, as I was thinking about this granola, I thought I would just try to recreate the flavors I remember...now it has been 20 years...so absence probably DOES make the heart grow fonder and dulls the memory...so I have NO idea if this is ANYTHING like that one...but we really enjoy it and you can too...
When I began to put together this recipe, I searched online a bit for something that was like this and could not find what I was looking for, but I did notice that most granola recipes started with the same basic formula...so many oats, so much honey, etc...so I started with a basic formula and added the flavors I was looking for.

3 Cups Oats-old fashioned, not quick
1.5 cups macadamia nuts, rough chopped...see note in the instructions
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp.coconut extract
1/4 cup coconut oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup mini chocolate chips

Now, I will admit...I do not measure EXACTLY on the extracts, macadamia nuts, coconut or the chocolate chips...so enjoy some freedom there!

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts, and coconut. The macadamia nuts need to be small enough to chew without feeling like you are really getting a sore jaw, but big enough to notice and taste...so my first time rough chopping with a knife was too big and grinding in a nut grinder too small...but TIME IS MONEY...so using the Pampered Chef Chopper, I got a combination of too big, too small and JUST RIGHT!

In a pan, combine honey, brown sugar, vanilla & coconut extracts, coconut oil, and salt. Put on VERY low heat and stir until combined nicely. You are not cooking it as much as getting everything to a smooth consistency.

Combine both mixtures and pour onto 2 sheet pans. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to achieve an even color. This will look lighter and not cooked enough when you take it out of the oven, but will crisp up more as it sits and cools.

Remove from oven and transfer into a large bowl. Let cool. Add chocolate chips and mix until evenly distributed.

Thank you SO MUCH for this picture Tina! You're the BEST!

Blessings, and Enjoy!

No comments: