Fig & Bay Granola with Hazelnuts

Makes about 10 cups.

4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1½ cups toasted, skinned hazelnuts, roughly chopped
¼ cup whole sesame seeds
3 tablespoons natural cane sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon ground bay leaf (from 8–10 dried leaves)
½ cup (scant) light oil, such as grape seed or safflower
¾ cup mild honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped, dried Turkish figs (about 10)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Lightly coat a rimmed half-sheet baking pan with baking spray or oil and set it aside.

Combine the dry ingredients, except the hazelnuts and figs, in a big bowl. Warm the oil and honey on the stove or in the microwave (45 seconds at half-power). Pour the oil-honey over the dry ingredients and mix until the oats are evenly moistened. Scoop the mixture onto the prepared pan and spread it, edge-to-edge in an even layer.

Put the pan in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Take the pan out of the oven and stir/turn the granola. Repeat the baking and stirring two more times, adding the figs for the last run through the oven. Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle the nuts over the granola. Let it cool for about 15 minutes, then stir/turn the granola and allow it to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks or freeze for a month.

Because this granola is sweetened with honey, it will seem slightly moist when still hot. Not to worry, it will crisp as it cools.

To test for crispness, when the granola is almost as golden as you’d like, take a little bit out of the oven and let it cool.


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