Recipe Review

Memorize This Simple Formula for Perfect Granola Every Time

published Aug 2, 2020
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Credit: Image: Jesse Szewczyk; Design: The Kitchn

This week on Kitchn, we’re battling off granola recipes in search of the very best one. And where better to start than the top hit on Google? The recipe, which ranks first for the search term “granola,” belongs to the popular food blog Cookie and Kate. And from the looks of the comments section, it’s very well-loved: It has more than 2,000 comments and 900 reviews.

At first glance, the recipe looked pretty standard, written with several helpful ingredient substitutions to make it with things you might already have on hand. Was the mix-and-match style the secret to making the best granola at home? Or would I be craving more specificity? I was eager to find out what the hype was all about it.

Get the recipe: Cookie and Kate’s “The Very Best” Granola

Credit: Image: Jesse Szewczyk; Design: The Kitchn

How to Make Cookie and Kate’s Granola

Cookie and Kate’s granola recipe is the perfect blank canvas for using any nut or seed you might have on hand. You’ll start by combining rolled oats, 1 1/2 cups of any nuts or seeds, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Add melted coconut oil (or olive oil), maple syrup (or honey), and vanilla extract, and toss to evenly coat the oats. Transfer the mixture to a parchment-lined sheet tray and bake until lightly browned, stirring halfway through baking to make sure it’s cooking evenly. (Cookie and Kate notes that if you want even crunchier granola you can press the granola down with a spatula to create a more even layer as it bakes.) Let the granola cool, then toss it with dried fruit (cranberries are recommended) and a half cup of optional mix-ins such as chocolate chips or coconut flakes. And that’s it!

Credit: Jesse Szewczyk

My Honest Review of Cookie and Kate’s Granola Recipe

This recipe is a good, basic granola recipe you can customize with whatever you have on hand. It’s written in a way that makes it super easy to throw together with any nuts and seeds you have, and it even gives two different options for both the oil and sweetener. And the ratios work perfectly! The granola was crisp, just-sweet-enough, and had the perfect amount of salt. The addition of vanilla extract gave it a nice, subtle flavor that was unexpected yet delicious.

If you’re looking for a basic granola formula to keep in your back pocket, this is the perfect recipe for you. You can mix and match the nuts, seeds, oils, and sweetener — and even add things like chocolate chips at the end to bulk it up. Ultimately, however, it didn’t nab the top spot — as great as it was, I wasn’t blown away. While it’s definitely the most practical recipe of the bunch, it wasn’t my all-time favorite.

Credit: Jesse Szewczyk

If You’re Making Cookie and Kate’s Granola, a Few Tips

  1. Use a combination of nuts and seeds that vary in shape and flavor. The recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups raw nuts and seeds. I used a combination of pecans and pepitas (as recommended in the recipe) but could see cashews, almonds, and just about any other nuts/seeds working. The key is to pick ones that aren’t too similar so you get a nice contrast.
  2. And make sure theyre raw. Double check that the nuts you’re using aren’t already roasted. If you were to use pre-roasted nuts you run the risk of burning them as the granola cooks.
  3. Don’t be shy with the vanilla extract. This was the first time I had ever used vanilla extract to flavor granola, and it was a revelation! It gave the granola a subtle, floral flavor that rounded the whole thing out. The recipe calls for just one teaspoon, but I think I will bump it up to two teaspoons the next time I make it.
  4. Try making it with olive oil. Cookie and Kate’s recipe calls for using either melted coconut oil or olive oil. I went with coconut oil, but after testing the other granola recipes, I have a hunch that this recipe would taste even better if made with olive oil. If you’re feeling adventurous, try making it with a flavorful extra-virgin olive oil, or a combination of both olive and coconut oils.

    Rating: 7/10

    Have you ever made Cookie and Kate’s  granola recipe? Tell us what you thought!
Credit: Image: Jesse Szewczyk; Design: The Kitchn