Chocolate-Cherry Granola

Last Updated on December 4, 2012 by Jennifer Pallian BSc, RD

I am really, really late in jumping on the Pinterest wagon. I kinda just didn’t get it. Then suddenly it made sense to me. And now I am OBSESSED. I’ve discovered so many great new food blogs through it. And have a massive list of DIY projects that I’m feeling pretty

Ok, now granola. I love homemade granola – I almost always have a batch in the freezer (where it keeps fresh for months! I eat it straight from frozen – it just takes 5 minutes for the dried fruit to soften up).

But the thing is, I specifically like clumpy homemade granola. I don’t love the granola that is distinct oat flakes + fruit pieces + nuts. No, I like them to be clustered together in delicious crunchy parcels. I discovered the secret to making this happen. All you have to do is pulse some of the oats in the food processor – it makes everything bind together!

This particular recipe is a special kind of delicious. I don’t usually eat chocolate for breakfast… but it just sorta happened. And it was really, really good. But you can leave the chocolate out if you’re inclined.

This granola, you don’t stir. You press it into a baking pan and bake it in a solid piece. Then when it’s cool, you break it up into clusters of desired magnitude. The clusters will be quite chewy, rather than rock-hard like most granolas.  If you prefer a really crunchy granola, simply bake it for another 5-10 minutes.

Here’s your to do list, okay?

1. Make granola

2. Follow Foodess on Pinterest

And on another technology-related topic – a major fail on my part. Many of my Foodess contact form messages, which are directed to my email account, have been wrongly routed to my spam folder. I had the urge to poke around in there last week and I found a dozen lovely questions and comments from you in there. Though I responded to those, because my spam folder automatically empties every month, I have no idea how many others I’ve missed. If I missed yours, I am so sorry!!! There’s nothing I love more than your comments on my posts, and when you send me a personal message, I promise I would never ignore it intentionally.


  • 1/3 cup corn syrup
  • ½ cup brown sugar, packed
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp almond extract
  • 2 1/2 cups regular oats (not quick or instant)
  • 1 cup whole almonds
  • 2/3 cup dried cherries (or cranberries)
  • ½ cup chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 9 x 9 inch baking pan with parchment paper.

  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine corn syrup, brown sugar, salt and vegetable oil. Cook, stirring, until brown sugar dissolves (about 2 minutes). Transfer syrup to a large mixing bowl, stir in vanilla and almond extracts.

  3. In a food processor, place ½ cup large flake oats and pulse to a flour consistency. Add to the mixing bowl with the syrup, along with the remaining 2 cup oats, almonds, cherries and chocolate. Use your hands, moistened with water, to combine all the ingredients well (chocolate will melt). Press evenly into the prepared pan and bake for 25 – 30 minutes, until edges are browned and almonds are toasty.

  4. Let cool in baking pan set on top of a wire rack, then break it into chunks. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks (or in the freezer for up to 3 months).

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