Cookie Butter Granola Clusters with Cacao Nibs
Oats, almonds, and walnuts are coated in a brown sugar cinnamon caramel, infused with the addictive flavor of cookie butter. Cacao nibs provide a chocolate-y crunch to these granola clusters.
The other day, I went to the store to restock my supply of cookie butter.
As I’m checking out, the bag boy asks, “Is this stuff any good?” The checkout clerk gave me a knowing glance, and in unison we said, “Oh, yeah!”
If you aren’t already familiar with cookie butter, oh, yeah, it’s good. Like, once you stick your spoon in it, your life will never be the same again. That kind of good.
Can I get an amen?
I can’t let more than a couple of months go by without featuring its brown sugar caramelly, slightly spiced, buttery, creamy goodness in a recipe. As evidenced here, here, and here. Since I’ve been on a bit of a breakfast kick as of late, I thought it might be nice to incorporate it into the most important meal of the day.
Making your own granola is as simple as tossing some dry cereal-y stuff together with some sweet, sticky stuff and toasting it up in the oven. You can sub in all sorts of yummy and/or healthy ingredients, and it’s so crunchy-delish with a dribble of cold milk or a dollop of Greek yogurt.
For this version, my beloved cookie butter melds with brown sugar, cinnamon, and a little melted butter for that unmistakable toasty caramel flavor. Egg whites help coax the granola into big, crunchy clusters…
A combination of old fashioned oats, almonds, and walnuts makes up the cereal-y component.
Once it’s toasty and crisp, toss in a small handful of cacao nibs.
How do you feel about combining nuts, caramel, and chocolate…?
That’s what I thought. 😉
Cacao nibs add a deep, dark, chocolate-y flavor, with no added sugar and lots of added magnesium, fiber, iron, and antioxidants. They taste like nutty, unsweetened dark chocolate! A little bitter by themselves, but so nicely balanced by the brown sugar.
I bought mine at the regular grocery store, in the organic/gluten-free section. If you have trouble finding them, here is a link to a mail-order source. Or, you could substitute mini chocolate chips.
Or really, you could substitute anything that tickles your fancy! That’s what’s so great about granola: it’s totally adaptable. Add in any kind of dried fruit, seed, or grain that you’d like.
But seriously, cookie butter, nuts, and cacao nibs?
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Oats, almonds, and walnuts are coated in a brown sugar cinnamon caramel, infused with the addictive flavor of cookie butter. cacao nibs provide a chocolate-y crunch to these granola clusters.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, almonds, and walnuts, and set aside.
Place the remaining ingredients in a smaller bowl, and whisk to combine. Pour the mixture over the oats and nuts, and toss to coat.
Spread the granola, in an even layer, on a lined baking sheet, pressing down with the back of a spatula to compact it, and leaving an open space in the center of the pan.
Bake for 20 minutes, stir, press to compact, and bake for another 10 minutes.
Cool completely, on the baking sheet, and break into clusters. Toss with cacao nibs, if desired.