This has been one of my most loved homemade holiday gifts for years. The dates are chewy; the oats, cereal and almonds supply all the crunch you’ll need and the tropical notes of the coconut are welcomed on cold winter mornings. Last year, this recipe was featured in a recipe round up in fresh magazine.
I’ve made this recipe for at least 10 years and it always garners rave reviews.
¾ cup butter
½ cup light brown sugar
1/8 tsp. kosher salt
4 cups old fashioned oats
2 cups Grape Nuts Flake cereal
1 cup shredded coconut
1 ½ cups sliced almonds
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1 ½ cups chopped dates
1. Preheat oven to 275°F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with foil or parchment paper.
2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Whisk brown sugar and salt into butter and stir until mixture is blended and smooth and sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat.
3. In a large mixing bowl combine oats, flake cereal, coconut, almonds, and cinnamon. Mix well.
4. Stir vanilla extract into butter and sugar. Pour butter mixture over dry ingredients and mix until well combined. All dry ingredients should be coated with butter mixture.
5. Divide granola between prepared baking sheets, spreading it into an even layer. Bake for 30 minutes.
6. Stir granola, rotate pans and switch racks. Bake for an additional 20 to 30 minutes until granola is golden. Watch very carefully during the last 10 minutes, as granola can burn easily at this point.
7. Pour granola into a large mixing bowl. Stir in chopped dates, then pour back onto pans. Let granola cool to room temperature, then store in an airtight container. It can be kept for at least one week at room temperature, or one month when refrigerated.
8. To package for holiday gifts, divide granola into five cellophane bags or glass jars. Tie with decorative ribbon.