I thought I'd found the perfect recipe for granola. That is, until I had the granola from the Topside Inn in Boothbay Harbor, ME. Dark and flavorful, it was perfect on its own or with yogurt. The hosts were gracious enough to share the recipe with me. I tweaked it just a bit, and it really is hard to decide if my 'Best Granola Ever' claim can stand against this recipe.
We'll just call it a tie.
Preheat the oven to 325F.
Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl:
9 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup sunflower kernels
3 cup chopped nuts (1 cup each of pecans, almonds, & walnuts)
In a microwavable* container (i.e., 4-cup Pyrex measuring cup), mix:
1 1/2 cups canola oil (I've also used 1/2 to 3/4 cup applesauce with 1 or 3/4 cup oil to reduce fat)
1 1/2 cups honey
1/2 cup molasses
2 Tbsp. vanilla extract
Cook in microwave* on high until hot but not boiling (5-7 minutes), and then stir.
Pour over dry mixture and stir well, coating all of the dry with wet ingredients. Pour mix into 2 large prepared sheet pans (sprayed lightly with oil) and spread evenly.
Place pans into preheated oven and set timer for 15 minutes. Remove pans from oven and stir well, especially from corners of pan. Repeat 3 more times for a total of 4 baking sessions. Watch carefully after two baking sessions; the last two sessions may need to be shorter to avoid burning. It should be dark & golden brown.
Cool on the pan, using a spatula to stir periodically to avoid big lumps.
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried cherries (optional-I don't prefer them)
Store in airtight container in the refrigerator, or also can be frozen in heavy zip-lock bags.
From the Topside Inn, Boothbay Harbor, ME