Speculoos Granola and Garlic. But not together.


Since Mihl mentioned a speculoos-flavored granola in the comments for the last granola-centric post I wrote, and that several people +1’d the idea, I got motivated to tweak the gingerbread granola just a little to make it speculoos-friendly.
So without further ado…

Oh wait, I lied, just an extra pinch of ado actually: Kelly had sent me some speculoos spice mix a while back, and (IMHO) it’s the closest a spice mix has ever gotten to matching the actual cookies. Just google (and try to pronounce) “Verstegen koek en Speculaas” to find it; it seems to be available pretty much everywhere via online shopping or international food markets.

But Mihl knows all things speculoos like the back of her hand and has come up with the perfect mix, so make hers instead if you prefer! That’s what I’ll do as soon as I run out of the store-bought kind, which should be soon.

5 teaspoons of spice mix might seem like a lot, but that’s what’s needed to get the bold flavor speculoos cookies are known for. If the quantity really worries you, start with 1 tablespoon and move on up from there the next time, depending on the outcome.

Also, have you noticed that speculoos has become such a household name that spell check doesn’t itch to correct it anymore? At least not on this computer. Either the worldwide speculoos assimilation is now complete, or my computer just grew tired of trying. (Upon further investigation, it still tries to correct me when I use a capital S for Speculoos. It likes speculoos better. Dear spell check: you’re kind of weird. I like you.)

Speculoos Granola:

1/4 cup (60 ml) pure maple syrup
1/4 cup (60 ml) brown rice syrup
1/4 cup (48 g) Sucanat
1/2 cup (128 g) smooth unsalted almond butter
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup (60 ml) grapeseed oil or other neutral-flavored oil
Scant 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
5 teaspoons Speculoos spice mix
4 cups (320 g) rolled oats
1/4 cup (30 g) wheat germ

Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C or gas mark 2). Have a large rimmed baking sheet handy, which you can line with parchment paper if you prefer; I never bother.
In a large bowl, combine the syrups, Sucanat, almond butter, vanilla, oil, salt, and spice mix. Stir to combine.
Add the oats and wheat germ on top. Stir to thoroughly coat.
Evenly place the granola on the sheet, and bake in 8-minute increments, stirring after each increment, for a total of 20 to 25 minutes, until the granola looks dry and just slightly browned.
Let cool on the sheet. The granola will crisp up as it cools. Let cool completely. Break large granola chunks into smaller pieces before storing in an airtight container.
The granola will keep for up to two weeks at room temperature.

Yield: Way generous 6 cups

Before I go: Tami sweetly sent me a huge variety of garlic from her own garden. I’m impatient to start cooking with it, and it sounds like there will be quite a few bowls of mashed potatoes in my future. Possibly garlic bread, too. Look who isn’t complaining.

Here’s the list of garlic types she sent. The names are as fascinating as the bulbs themselves. Almost every link has a little info on the flavor of each garlic variety, as well as a few ideas how to put them to culinary good use.

Spanish Roja
Georgian Fire
German White