The internet is full of recipes that are made to look easy, but are a pain. This is especially true at the holidays where we are all looking for that holy grail food item—that thing to bring or give that is both delicious and memorable. Case in point, the Nutella puff pastry Christmas tree currently all over Instagram and so many other cleverly pieced-together videos. More often than not they lure you down the rabbit hole of something that may indeed be easy, but only after making it for a generation. And honey, we ain’t got no time for that during the holidays.
When I’ve tired of failed baking experiments I often go back to granola. In the pantheon of homemade treats—from this chocolate sauce that can be made in your sleep, to these GD chocolate dipped peanut butter balls (beware of anything that has to be rolled into individual balls! And/or dipped!)—granola is among the easiest. Not the cheapest, thanks to the precious nuts and honey/syrup, but the easiest. So, when I see easiest and granola together in one heading, I perk up.
This recipe delivers on its claim. Of course the ease comes with a price. You’ll swap out some steps and ingredients by springing for the jar of tahini. And if you go with pistachios as written (I used roughly chopped almonds), they’re the priciest option. BUT, they also require zero chopping, bringing this recipe to Level 1 on the effort meter. You will be rewarded for your lack of work with a delicious, not-too-sweet, crunch-perfect granola and extra time on your hands.
As with every recipe there is a slight catch, something that keeps the trained monkeys from taking over production. The catch here is the step of spreading the thick granola mass evenly on the cookie sheet. I used little chopping motions with a rubber spatula. You do whatever it takes, and it does not need to be perfect—we’re just aiming for somewhat even thickness so the granola at the edges doesn’t burn up while the stuff in the center stays soft and cuddly.
I wish you success in all your experiments. No matter how they turn out you deserve a gold star and a chocolate kiss for trying.
Easy Tahini Granola
From Jenné Claiborne via Food52 Genius Recipes
Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 15 min
- 1/2 cup (125g) well-stirred tahini
- 1/3 cup (80ml) maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 cups (180g) old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1/2 to 1 cup (60 to 120g) shelled raw pistachios (or another nut or pepitas)
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- Stir everything together: Heat the oven to 350°F (175°C) with a rack in the center. Line a sheet pan with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the tahini, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt with a silicone spatula until it’s smooth and evenly combined. Stir in the oats, pistachios, and chia seeds.
- Bake the granola: Spread the wet, sticky oats onto the sheet pan in a thin, even layer. Bake for 10 minutes, then, using oven mitts, take the pan out of the oven and stir the granola—this will help it finish baking evenly. Return the pan to the oven and bake until the granola is dry and golden brown, another 5 to 10 minutes. Keep a close eye toward the end to make sure it doesn’t start to burn at the edges.
- Eat, Store, Give: Let the granola cool completely to crisp up, about 20 minutes, before breaking it into clumps with your hands. Eat as one does with granola. Store in a sealed container at room temperature for a week or more if you are disciplined. Pack it up in mason jars or treat bags for giving.