[posted by Ann]
I loved Joan’s granola cookies so much that I quickly made them again, using a granola that already had coconut in it, so I skipped the additional coconut, as well as the wheat germ, peanuts, and almonds. I used the nuts I had on hand, which were walnuts and pepitas. For the fruit I used a mixture of raisins and dried cranberries (I plumped the raisins in apple cider, and the cranberries in Luxardo maraschino liqueur.) Having only white chocolate chips, I used them instead of dark chocolate, and for the flour I used part whole-wheat pastry flour and part white flour. I made a half recipe, still using one egg, but only a half-cup of flour, and ½ cup of butter. I donated most to a bake sale and they sold out.
I baked another batch this week, this time using only dried cranberries for the fruit, bittersweet dark chocolate chips, and a homemade, unsweetened granola made from rolled oats, spelt flakes, sesame seeds, candied grapefruit peel, pepitas, and flax seeds. In the hope of reducing sugar and fat, I substituted coconut nectar and agave syrup for part of the sugar, and coconut oil for part of the butter. This version was also very good, and the cookies were a little softer and chewier, perhaps from the syrups and the coconut oil. I added one tablespoon of Teff flour to the mixture of white and whole-wheat pastry flour. Not having a bake sale to take them off my hands, I have eaten way too many and I intend not to make them again for quite a while. However, I hope to try them eventually with other dried fruit (cherries?), grains (kamut or quinoa flakes?), nuts (macademia?), seeds (sunflower?) and whole grain flours. The possibilities for complex flavors and texture contrasts are unlimited. The recipe is easily adaptable to the immediate contents of one’s pantry.
1-1/2 Cups Granola (Without Fruit)
½ cup moist, plump dried fruit—cranberries, cherries, raisins
1/2 Cup nuts
1/3 cup seeds, (sesame, pepitas, sunflower)
½ cup chocolate chips
½ stick (1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup coconut oil (at room temperature or slightly warmed)
½ cup turbinado or raw sugar
2 tablespoons natural liquid sweetener (agave, coconut syrup, maple syrup)
1/4 tsp salt
½ cup flour (I used a mix of all purpose white, whole wheat pastry flour, and teff flour)
1 teaspoon vanilla
additional rolled oats and/or spelt flakes if batter doesn’t seem thick enough
Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
Put the granola in a large bowl and break up any clumps with your fingers. Add the dried fruit, nuts, seeds, chocolate chips, and mix together.
Beat the butter and coconut oil at medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar and liquid sweetener(s) and beat for another 3 minutes, or until creamy. Add the egg, vanilla, and salt and beat until well blended. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add flour, mixing only until it is incorporated. Add the granola-fruit-nut mixture by hand and mix gently but thoroughly.
Scoop out rounded tablespoons of dough and arrange the mounds on the baking sheets, leaving about 1-1/2 inches between them. Flatten the mounds lightly using a spoon or your fingertips.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the sheets at the midway point. The cookies should be golden brown but not firm. Allow them to rest on the sheets for 1 to 2 minutes before transferring them to racks to cool to room temperature.