Stark Sisters maple almond

image (cropped) courtesy Stu Spivack via flickr.

‘Best of Boston’ Boston Magazine and ‘Best Mail Order Food Gift’ The New York Times, are just a few of the rave reviews Stark Sisters has garnered. Bon Appetit called it “one of the best we’ve ever tasted.” Featured in Boston Globe as “Hit of the Week,” Stark Sisters was dubbed “the Ultimate Granola.”

For almond lovers. For maple syrup lovers. For grain lovers. Allergies? Feel free to substitute one grain for another. If you want to use only oats, go for it. Although I like variety and believe each grain brings something different to the table. Yes, use only organic grains. It’s that important.

Years ago, we started making our granola with a non-GMO canola oil. (And, no, canola oil is not poisonous). Today, our kitchen prefers sunflower oil.

As most of you know, we made our Maple Almond granola in a not-so-sweet version, just for our shop. The recipe is the same except that you use half the amount of maple syrup.

The original recipe called for desiccated coconut, and you’ll see that here. In fact, we took out the coconut for commercial production. You can take it out, too, if you like.

Makes 12 servings.  Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

½ C dried unsweetened coconut 1 C barley flakes
3 C sliced almond 1 C maple syrup
2 C rolled oats ¼ C canola or sunflower oil
1 C wheat flakes 1 tsp real vanilla extract
1 C rye flakes ¼ tsp good salt

Mix dry ingredients except salt in a large bowl. (If you don’t have a large enough bowl, divide between two bowls. For example, 1 C oats in one bowl, and 1 C in a second bowl).

Pour wet ingredients over dry and mix well using your hands or a rubber spatula. Add salt and mix again. Make sure all grains are well-coated.

Spread granola in shallow pans and bake until golden brown and dry, about 1½ hours. Stir gently every 15-20 minutes. Baking times varies due to weather, the size of your pans, and your oven.

When granola is dry and golden brown, remove from oven and stir. Let cool completely before storing in airtight containers.

We started making this in our shop, right back in our kitchen, and the smell would bring everyone back to the kitchen. Our granola never got a chance to cool because people refused to wait for a portion. When we started making it behind the store in large quantities, the smell of maple syrup and almonds was everywhere in West Concord. It was heavenly.

Ah, memories. Now it’s time for new ones. Let us know when you make your own Stark Sisters Granola at home.