I put some ginger cookie boys (or girls) in our granola!
Yes, I really did and yes, it is just as awesome as it sounds.
I have had this idea for what feels like months now. I even bought this mini gingerbread man cookie cutter weeks ago in preparation for this granola. Really, I just had the picture in my head. Mini gingerbread cookies in granola. Cookies in granola is the new thing. Well, at least I want it to be.
Ever since my family literally went through this granola in a day I have wanted to make another batch. With Christmas only fourteen days away and people arriving for Christmas one week from tomorrow now seemed like a good time to make a giant batch.
Unfortunately, I have a feeling it will be long gone by next Wednesday though….
It is kind of that good that you just want to keep eating handful after handful.
Well, that and we’ve had a steady flow of people here since Thanksgiving. People who eat a lot and make a lot of extra messes. It has kind have been a disaster zone around her lately.
But granola with cookies helps!
Actually, anything with cookies helps.
Especially cute little ginger bread cookies that I am in love with. Seriously, I cannot get enough of them.
Oh, and I think it is especially easy to eat this granola by the handfuls when it is extra, extra cold outside.
I should know since the temperatures have been in below zero mode for a week now. So dang cold you guys. Yesterday had a wind chill of negative thirty. Yeah, -30! It is so cold that when I do go outside my phone actually gets too cold and shuts off. Granted I have an older iPhone, but still! It is cold!
Anyway, the granola is really simple and while it bakes in the oven (and makes the house smell like Christmas) the cookies get to chill out in the fridge.
I was stupid though and put them out on the deck, which normally acts as my second fridge (I know, so hillbilly, but it works). They froze in like five minutes. Luckily this was ok since freezing cookie dough is no big deal, but I mean five minutes? Seriously, it needs to warm up to at least the teens already!
After the granola comes out of the oven you have to let it sit a full hour. This is a must if you want some granola clusters, which I personally love!
While the granola sits, bake the cookies. Sure, go ahead and eat one or two. Ok fine, go for three! They are mini, and the recipe makes some extra cookies just for this purpose. Really, who can resist a warm, cute little mini ginger bread man?
Obviously not me.
But hey, I did make the cookies a little healthier by swapping in some whole wheat flour and using coconut oil!
I recommend making a double batch.
One for you and one as a gift. If you make these solely with the intention of giving them as a gift they will be gone before you can package them up! I mean how can you resist not biting into one of these little guys?
Oh, and I think my favorite way to eat this granola is mixed with some plain greek yogurt + some pomegranate arils .
Why? Ahh, because it looks like my ginger bread boys are swimming in a winter wonderland of fluffy white snow!
Gingerbread Man Granola
Yields: 6 Cups + Extra Cookies
*Granola adapted from [here | http://www.halfbakedharvest.com/brown-butter-pumpkin-seed-espresso-glazed-big-cluster-granola/]
- Gingerbread Men
- 3/4 cup flour
- 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons coconut oil, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup molasses
- 1 egg yolk
- Gingerbread Granola
- 3 cups oats
- 1 cup shredded unsweetened flaked coconut
- 1/2 cup candid ginger
- 1/2 cup pistachios
- 1/2 cup pecans, almond or macadamia nuts
- 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- 1/4 cup toasted wheat germ
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 4 tablespoon coconut oil, melted (may sub butter)
- 3 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon ginger (use 1 teaspoon for a better ginger flavor!)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons honey
To make the gingerbread cookie dough. In a small bowl combine the flour, whole wheat flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice and salt. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl (using a hand mixer) or bowl of a stand mixer cream together the the coconut oil and brown sugar, beating for about 3-4 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the molasses and egg, beat until combined. Gradually mix in the dry ingredients until no streaks are showing in the dough. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or a silpat.
Remove the dough from the bowl and flour a clean work surface, and the dough. Roll it out as thin or thick as you like. If you want the cookies crisp roll thin and if you want them softer roll a thicker dough. Personally for this granola I thought somewhere in the middle of super thin and supper thick was good! Using a small ginger bread man (or girl!) cookie cutter. I used one from this pack -http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00004Y67U/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00004Y67U&linkCode=as2&tag=halbakhar-20
Cut out shapes with a cookie cutter, cutting them as close to one another as possible to minimize waste.
Transfer the cookies to the prepared cookie sheets. Cover the baking sheets and place them in the fridge while you make the granola.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
In a large bowl combine the oats, shredded coconut, candid ginger pecans (almonds or macadamia nuts), pistachios, pumpkin seeds, wheat germ and cranberries. Toss well.
Melt the coconut in the microwave for 30 seconds, stir in the molasses and maple syrup. Place the mixture back in the microwave for another 30 seconds. Sprinkle the espresso powder over top and stir to dissolve. Add the cinnamon, ginger and salt. Stir in the vanilla.
Pour the warm mixture over the dry oat mixture and stir to fully combine. I normally stir for a good 3 to 5 minutes.
Spread the granola out on a parchment lined baking sheet with sides and drizzle with 2 tablespoons honey. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes stirring every 15 minutes so the granola will get evenly toasted. The last time you stir the granola drizzle it with the remaining 2 tablespoons honey. Remove from the oven and let cool five minutes. Up the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
After 5 minutes spray the bottom of a flat 1 cup measuring cup or a flat bottomed glass with cooking spray. Press the granola into the pan using the bottom of the measuring cup so that you have a flat slab of granola that looks like they could be cut into bars. Let the granola sit for one hour to cool and harden. After an hour break the granola up into clusters.
While the granola cools bake the gingerbread cookies. Remove the pans from the fridge and bake the cookies just until they're slightly brown around the edges 8 to 12 minutes, or until they feel firm. Let the cookies cool completely before tossing with the granola.
When everything is cool toss about half the cookies or however many you wish with the granola. Enjoy!
Not to mention that they just plain taste great together.