I find it slightly ironic that despite my love brewing and talking about coffee, I really don’t drink very much of it. I know the exact type that our family buys (Garuda, always ground to #5), and I can aeropress mugs of coffee and steam milk to no end even if we’re camping in the woods, but the amount that I drink of it is very small. One mug past 10am will keep me up late nearly all night, so I try to avoid drinking it as much as possible. That being said, I love the taste of coffee as well as its ability to deepen the flavors of chocolate and vanilla, so I try to find ways to cook foods with espresso powder in them, because the low caffeine content means I can eat a Hazelnut Mocha Cookie or a Chocolate Pots de Crème at three in the afternoon and fall asleep at a regular time.
I made this Peppermint Mocha Granola so that coffee abstainers don’t have to feel like we’re missing out through November and December, when everyone else is drinking their Peppermint Mochas. This is not a typical granola filled with dried fruit, nuts, and shredded coconut; instead, it’s a simple mixture of cocoa powder, espresso powder, and peppermint extract that lightly coats chewy rolled oats. A few generous handfuls of dark chocolate chips adds even more chocolate flavor. It’s excellent on thick Greek yogurt or sprinkled on top of hot oats, makes any Starbucks red cup pale in comparison. Make a batch now, and hopefully it will last until Christmas morning for a fun holiday breakfast.
Peppermint Mocha Granola
Makes about 4 cups
3 cups rolled oats
¼ cup water
¼ cup canola oil
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon espresso powder
½ teaspoon peppermint extract
¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 300F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the oats in a large bowl and set aside In a medium skillet, combine the water, canola oil, sugar, cocoa powder and salt, then bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly until smooth and thick. Take pan off the heat and stir in the espresso powder and peppermint extract until smooth. Pour the sugar mixture over the oats, the toss to combine thoroughly. Spread the oats onto the prepared baking sheet, then bake for 15-20 minutes until the edges have begun to turn golden brown, stirring once at the halfway point to ensure even cooking.
- Let the granola cool completely, then add the chocolate chips and toss to combine. Serve on oatmeal, yogurt, or cereal, or enjoy it unadorned for a sweet afternoon snack.