Mole-Scented Granola

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 15 min (includes steeping and cooling times)
  • Active: 10 min
  • Yield: about 6 1/2 cups
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Nonstick cooking spray

1/2 cup coconut oil

2 tablespoons Mole Spice Rub, recipe follows

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/3 cup pure maple syrup

2 tablespoons clover honey

4 cups old-fashioned oats

1/2 cup slivered almonds

1/2 cup shelled pumpkin seeds

1 cup dried cherries

1/2 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate

Yogurt Parfaits, recipe follows, for serving (optional)

Mole Spice Rub

3/4 cup ancho chile powder

1/4 cup New Mexican chile powder 

3 tablespoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons best-quality unsweetened cocoa powder 

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons light brown sugar 

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

2 teaspoons chile de arbol 

1 teaspoon allspice 

1 teaspoon ground cloves 

1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

Yogurt Parfaits:

2 cups 2-percent Greek yogurt, such as Fage

2 cups part-skim ricotta cheese 

1/4 cup clover honey or pure maple syrup  

2 teaspoons finely grated tangerine, clementine or orange zest, plus 2 cups segmented clementines, tangerines or orange segments, halved 

Kosher salt 


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick spray.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat until it melts and begins to shimmer. Add the spice rub and salt and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant and slightly darkened and the raw flavor has cooked out slightly, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the maple syrup and honey and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and let steep for at least 10 minutes and up to 30 minutes.
  3. Combine the oats, almonds and pumpkin seeds in a large bowl. Pour in the maple mixture and stir well to combine.
  4. Spread the mixture evenly onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake until lightly golden, 21 to 24 minutes, stirring halfway (for extra-clumpy granola, press the stirred granola down with your spatula to create a more even layer). Do not look for the granola to become crispy in the oven--it will crisp up as it cools.
  5. Remove from the oven and let the granola cool completely, about 30 minutes. Top with the dried cherries and chocolate. Break the granola into pieces with your hands if you want to retain big chunks, or stir it around with a spoon if you don’t want extra-clumpy granola. Serve or store in jars with tight-fitting lids for up to 1 week.

Mole Spice Rub

  1. Whisk together the chile powders, salt, cocoa, sugar, cinnamon, chile de arbol, allspice, cloves and black pepper in a small bowl. Store in an airtight container or small jars with tight-fitting lids for up to 6 months.

Yogurt Parfaits:

Yield: 4 servings
  1. Combine the yogurt, ricotta, honey, zest and a pinch of salt in a medium bowl and whisk until smooth. Layer in 4 parfait glasses with the citrus and the mole-scented granola then repeat the layers once more, finishing with the granola. Serve immediately. Alternatively, layer the parfait in mason jars, cover tightly and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

Cook’s Note

You can make multiple batches of the granola to give as gifts.

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