oats n' notes

Food & lifestyle from the the granola factory bakery

Monthly Archives: August 2014

Granola S’mores


Makes 6 – 4-inch custard cup smore’s

Bake 325 for 20 minutes

Broil – 1 minute



  • 1 cup Bethlehem Inn Honey Pecan Granola
  • 3 Tbsp melted butter
  • 1 Tbsp packed light brown sugar
  • 2 cups marshmallow crème
  • 1 box 18oz. Ghirardelli double chocolate brownie mix
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3-cup oil
  • 2 cups miniature marshmellows



  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  2. Lightly butter the oven proof custard cups, set aside
  3. In a medium bowl combine the Bethlehem Inn Honey Pecan Granola, melted butter and brown sugar. Stir until all ingredients are well combined
  4. Divide granola mixture in half; save half for topping finished produce and the other half use to divide among buttered custard cups, press mixture to pack into bottom of cups
  5. Spray a ¼-measuring cup with baking spray and measure out the marshmallow crème. (By spraying the measuring cups it will allow for an easy release of the marshmeooow crème.) Be sure the marshmallow crème goes all the way to the edge of the custard cups
  6. Prepare the brownie mix according to the package instructions.
  7. Divide brownie batter evenly among custard cups, about ¼ cup per smore.
  8. Place brownie filled cups on parchment-lined tray and bake in 325-degree oven for 20 minutes.
  9. When ready to serve top each cup with remaining granola mixture and a handful (or more) of miniature marshelows. Place under broiler for about a minute until lightly brown and toasted.

#5 finishd prod



Granola Chocolate Chip Bagels



by Dea Castrejon

I am so  excited to share with you today’s recipe for our 30 ways in 30 days’ uses for granola.  As I have shared in a previous post, I feel most like a fancy-schmancy baker when I am making breads of some sort, so I am very proud of this bagel recipe.  I will be frank to admit that this was my first time making bagels, but it will certainly not be my last!

I came across this recipe through a pinterest search (big surprise!) that led me to “A Beautiful Mess,”  a blog and women’s lifestyle company owned by Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman.  These talented ladies, along with their awesome team, share wonderful (and extremely helpful) ideas in the DIY world…everything from recipes, to one-of-a-kind-home decor, to photography, etc.  Ummmm, thank you for hookin’ a sister up!  So, in addition to the bagel recipe below, I urge y’all to check out the rest of their website!

Granola Chocolate Chip Bagels

*Yields 6-8 bagels

1 1/3 cup warm water
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
3 1/4 cups bread flour
1/8 cup cocoa powder (use 1/4 cup for a more chocolate-y taste)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup Granola Factory’s All Natural Honey Pecan granola
2 tablespoons honey

In a small bowl, dissolve sugar in warm water.  Add the yeast and let this sit for 5-10 minutes until it is slightly bubbly and activated.


In a bigger mixing bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, salt, and chocolate chips.


Pour yeast mixture into the dry mixture and bring together (it will appear crumbly at first).  Move dough onto a clean, floured surface and knead with your hands for about 6 minutes or just throw it into your mixer with the dough attachment, if you’d like.  After kneading, the dough should possess some elasticity to it.


Lightly oil a mixing bowl (I use canola oil), and place your kneaded dough there.  Cover and let this rise for about an hour.

Turn dough onto a floured surface and divide it into 6-8 equal pieces.  Figure each piece of dough into a ball, flatten it slightly, and then use your finger to make your bagel hole in the center of your dough.  Repeat for the remaining pieces and let rest for 10 minutes.

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While bagels are resting, preheat your oven to 425ºF.  Next, bring a pot of water to a boil.  Place 1 or 2 bagels into the boiling water for about 1 minute each side.  Remove and set bagels on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Repeat until you have done this to all the bagels.


Pour honey into a small ramekin. Heat in the microwave for 10-15 seconds (just to slightly thin it out).  Brush bagels with honey and sprinkle on the granola.

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Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, and “Voilà!”

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As Emma and Elsie mention on their blog, “We believe that the best things in life are homemade.”  Here at the Granola Factory, we could not agree more!

Enjoy these fabulous bagels with cream cheese, or my favorite way: peanut butter, thin slices of banana, and a drizzle of honey!

*** Recipe adapted from A Beautiful Mess

Granola Chocolate-Dipped Macaroons


IMG_2793TESTED, TRIED AND TRUE                     by Dea Castrejon

If there was such a thing for dessert to “dress to impress,” Granola Chocolate-Dipped Macaroons would win.  This recipe is so consistent!  It is simple, full-flavored, and so delicious, not to mention, the finished treat looks beautiful!

As I brainstormed ideas for the uses of our granola, I knew that this recipe would be a perfect choice.  The slightly salty and savory distinction of our Organic Honey Pecan granola would be a palatable companion to the sweet coconut and rich chocolate coating.  As you will see in the pictures below, I decided to experiment in two ways; in one batch, the granola is added right into the coconut mixture…this is what I like to call my “brindle macaroon” (can you tell I am a dog lover?!).  In the other batch, I decided to dip the macaroon in granola immediately after it had been coated in chocolate.  I regarded this version as the “dippin’ dotted macaroon.”


Brindle mixture (left) and Dippin’ Dotted mixture (right)


“Brindle Macaroon”


“Dippin’ Dotted Macaroon”

Both variations turned out great, and in my opinion they actually enhanced the visual appeal of this already fancy looking  treat.

Granola & Coconut Macaroons

2/3 cup coconut milk

1 egg white (If you find yourself eggless, just nix this ingredient.  I have done this multiple times before and my macaroons still form just fine!)

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1/8 teaspoon salt

3 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut

1 cup Granola Factory’s Organic Honey Pecan

Chocolate dipping sauce:

1 bag (about 12 ounces) of chocolate chips

dash of milk


Begin by preheating oven to 325º F and put down parchment paper on 2 baking sheets.  In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, egg white, vanilla extract and salt.  Fold in the coconut until all of your ingredients are combined.  If you choose to do my so-called “brindle macaroon” version, mix in the granola at this time, as well. You are ready to start forming these macaroons!

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With your hands, grab a small bunch of the mixture (about 3 tablespoons) and form it into a tepee shape right onto the parchment paper.  If you find that your hands are getting messy and sticky, simply wash your hands with water and get back to shaping!

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Bake macaroons for 30-40 minutes or until the tips and bottoms of the cookies are golden brown.  Let cool for 15-20 minutes.

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Now, let’s get the chocolate sauce going.  Fill the bottom of a pot with 1/2-1 inch of water and bring to a simmer.  Pour the bag of chocolate chips into a smaller heatproof glass bowl.  Set over the simmering pot of water.  This is where I will add a dash of milk (1,2,3, or even 4 tablespoons) to help smooth out the chocolate.  Once the dipping sauce is smooth and possesses a honey like consistency (thick but still pourable), remove from the heat.


Next, line a clean kitchen surface with two sheets of wax paper (we will be setting the dipped macaroons on here shortly).  Holding the macaroon by the tip, gently dip it into the chocolate.  Let any excess sauce drip off before placing it onto the sheet of wax paper.  Repeat for the remaining cookies.

If you plan on dipping the macaroons in granola (“dippin’ dotted” version), set up another small bowl full of granola next to the chocolate.  As mentioned above, first dip the macaroon into the chocolate and let any excess drip off.  From here, immediately dip the macaroon into the bowl of granola.  Place on the wax paper and repeat.

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Enjoy!  I hope you find these macaroons as delightful as I do!


*Recipe adapted from the Brown eyed Baker

Crostini with Crumbled Bacon Granola Topping




by Dea Castrejon

We had the pleasure of cooking tapas with a new friend of ours from Madrid, Spain. Fiona Redondo, one of my husband’s coworkers, is temporarily living here in Bethlehem for a six-month work stint.  During this time, we have been fortunate enough to meet up on a few occasions, where we have learned more about her, as well as the Spanish culture.

On our most recent visit, Fiona explained that “tapas en Madrid” is a very popular practice among the public on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, especially in the summertime. For anyone who is unfamiliar, tapas are appetizers, snacks or small plates of food in Spanish cuisine. These “tiny meals” are usually enjoyed with a company of friends over some sort of beer or wine. Fiona also explained that the serpentine streets of Madrid are heavily spotted with tapas bars, each known for certain specialties, and all are invariably packed with people for this weekly tradition.

So in honor of our wonderful new friend, and of course the utility of granola, we will be uniting a little bit of Spain with the taste of The Granola Factory.

Fiona and I put together a beautiful tapas plate: crunchy toast with fresh mozzarella, arugula, sliced peaches, and a crumbled, crispy mixture of bacon and honey pecan granola. The final touch to our plate was a drizzle of honey balsamic vinegar reduction. This is easily one of the prettiest pieces I have ever made, and I can attest, the taste matches the eye-appeal!

I am so excited to share this recipe with you!

Crunchy Toast with Crumbled Granola Topping

*Makes 24 crunchy toasts

1 sourdough baguette

7 pieces of bacon

1 cup Organic Honey Pecan Granola

1 ball of fresh mozzarella cheese

2 cups arugula

1 or 2 peaches, sliced

1 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoon of honey

Preheat your oven to 400ºF. Place the bacon on a foil lined baking sheet and cook for 8 minutes. Drain any grease, flip the bacon, and cook for another 8 minutes, or until crunchy. Set on stovetop to cool. Once cool, chop up bacon into small pieces (like “bacon bits”), and mix in with a bowl of granola. Set aside until you assemble your tapas.

While bacon is still cooking, you can gather and prepare the rest of your tapas ingredients. Slice peaches and fresh mozzarella. Set aside. Next, grab a small frying pan to start the honey balsamic reduction. Turn stovetop to medium high heat and pour in balsamic vinegar. Let this bubble up a little bit, stirring the vinegar every so often. As the vinegar starts to thicken (about 5-7 minutes), add honey. Not only does this help thicken the reduction more quickly, but the sweeter taste will certainly complement this dish.

Line another baking sheet with foil and cut baguette into ½ inch slices. Lay out the pieces of bread on the sheet and place in oven. Because the oven is sitting at such a high temperature, these pieces of bread will only take a couple of minutes to become crunchy (about 3-5).

Remove bread slices from oven and immediately start to assemble. Start with a piece of crunchy toast. Add a slice of mozzarella, a couple of arugula leaves, and a slice of peach. Top toast with a spoonful of the granola bacon mixture, and to end, drizzle about ½ tablespoon of reduction on each crunchy toast. Plate two pieces for each tapas dish. How pretty is that!


IMG_2126 Apparently, the rule in Madrid is that you order one tapas and move on, but after tasting these bad boys, I think we will take another round of vino and tapas!

Enjoy! Or, as they would say in Madrid, “¡Buen provecho!”

Cherry Almond Granola Energy Balls



by Dea Castrejon

Okay, I am going to preface this post as follows: these granola energy balls may not be the prettiest looking things, but they are so GOOD!

Now that that’s out, let me preface a little more.  Lately, it seems as though I have been “on the run,” sometimes, quite literally.  Aside from my early morning quiet time, my life has seemed to speed up this summer.  After getting home from work, I try to squeeze in a quick run/workout.  From there, it is usually off to the grocery store for a couple of items for dinner or off to an intramural volleyball game with my husband’s corporate work league (important stuff, huh?!).  We come home and it is dinner time, then time to clean up the mess I made to cook dinner, maybe do a load of laundry, and then finally cuddle up on the couch to watch a show with the hubby (which really means “knock out” on the couch after a measly 5-10 minutes).

Now, I know many of you have much more time demanding lives, but nonetheless, my daily schedule feels pretty full.  And, the only thing worse for me than having a full day is doing it on an empty stomach.

If y’all are anything like me, a growling stomach and low blood sugar gives me the shakes and makes me soooo cranky! I’m telling you, after making these granola energy balls, I have found my healthy solution to grab n’ go energy for my busy days.

Here is how it’s done:


Cherry Almond Granola Energy Balls

* Makes 12 balls              

1 cup Granola Factory Cherry Almond (with quinoa!) Granola

1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup chia seeds

1/4 cup dark chocolate chips

1/3 cup honey

1/2 cup peanut butter

Pour all ingredients into a mixing bowl.  Use a spoon (or just dig in with your hands) to incorporate all the ingredients together.  Grab about 2 tablespoons of mixture and roll into a compact ball.  Continue until you have rolled the whole batch.  Either refrigerate or freeze (I like them better this way) the balls for 30 minutes before eating.  How easy, right?

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Although you can throw together a variety of ingredients to make these energy balls (and I encourage you to do so), I wanted to give you some of my favorite nutritional benefits for my chosen ingredients:

1) GF Cherry Almond Granola: 7 grams of protein per 1/4 cup

2) Pumpkin seeds: anti-inflammatory benefits, rich in magnesium (responsible for creation of ATP= energy)

3) Chia Seeds: high in Omega-3 Fatty Acids, rich in calcium for bone health

4) Dark Chocolate Chips: high in fiber and antioxidants, and because they taste delicious!

5) Honey: rich in phytonutrients that boost immunity, aids in sleep, natural sweetener

6) Peanut Butter: rich in Vitamin E and Potassium, monounsaturated fat for a healthy heart

Okay, I am done blabbing on these pizzazz boosting, granola infused treats, but really, I hope the next time you find your schedule jam packed, you will pop one of these nourishing, energy pick-me-ups!



Jicama, Grapefruit & Avocado Salad topped with Granola and Whipped Mascarpone



by Dea Castrejon 

Have you ever been thoroughly blown away by a new dish ordered at a restaurant?  As a foodie family, we are always trying new restaurants, waiting for those one-of-a-kind dishes to “wow” us.

Well, one of my favorite restaurant dish discoveries, to date, has been the Opaque Salad at the Pecan Grill in Lubbock, Texas.  This salad is so simple, so elegant, and it is constructed flawlessly!  Per the menu’s description: “Texas pink grapefruit, asian pear and avocado salad, constructed with whipped pecan praline mascarpone.”  Gosh, I love this salad, and it is so pretty!

Typically, when I find my favorite fares, I want to recreate them, so I can enjoy them whenever I want.  Not to toot my own horn, but I think my recreated recipe stands on par with the Opaque Salad served at the Pecan Grill.


Opaque Salad…the Granola Factory way

*Makes 1 salad

1 asian pear (substitute 1/2 jicama in the summertime), peeled and cubed

1/2 grapefruit, peeled and sectioned

1/2 avocado, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons mascarpone

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, reduced

2 tablespoons Granola Factory Organic Honey Pecan

Okay, this is pretty straightforward.

Step One: peel fruit skin off of asian pear or jicama (jicama is used below).  Cut into sugar-cube like squares.  Set aside.


Step Two: repeat process with grapefruit.  Peel skin completely off.  Remove grapefruit from inner casing and section off into small pieces.

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Step Three: Cut avocado in half. Thinly slice, and when ready to serve, use a spoon to carefully scoop out the slices.

Step Four: pour balsamic vinegar in a small frying pan and turn on stovetop to  medium/high heat.  Stir often until vinegar thickens (5-7 minutes).  Turn on low, and get ready to serve.


Step Five: Plate your dish.  I like putting the asian pear in the middle, sided by the avocado and grapefruit.  Top with a dollop of mascarpone, drizzle with balsamic reduction, and sprinkle with organic honey pecan granola. Enjoy!

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This salad has become a staple in my household.  With only 6 ingredients,  this recipe is fresh, vibrant, and enticing.  These three fruits blend ideally: creamy notes of avocado, juicy bursts of grapefruit, and the slightly sweet and crisp texture of the asian pear/jicama.  On top of this (literally), the creamy, rich mascarpone, couples with the sweet zing of balsamic reduction, while the roasted pecans and speckled granola flakes enhances the all around complex flavor of this delightfully refreshing salad.  Ditch the oven on hot summer days, and enjoy this salad that is sure to please!


Artisan Whole Wheat Granola Loaf



by Dea Castrejon

I love baking!  You might hope this is the case, especially since I am one of the bakers at The Granola Factory.  But really, I get to wake up everyday, put on some comfy workout clothes, walk a few blocks to the bakery, and spend my work day creating delicious, wholesome granola and our truly decadent Bethlehem Bars, all done with some awesome people!  Music plays a major role throughout the course of our day, either as a rhythmic aid to keep production moving along or simply, just for background noise.

In the last few months, I have learned that Rebecca (our Baking Manager), likes to mix granola in our back oven station to some “angry/screaming” rock music…don’t worry, she still bakes with love:)  Sue, Granola Factory’s most efficient baker (she is a machine!), kindly deals with all of our music preferences, unless a Pitbull song comes on.  She wants nothing to do with this!  And, catch this, Calvin (Chief Baking Officer and our “all things behind the scenes” business guy), feels most productive with bagging, sealing, and labeling granola when “Fancy” by Iggy Azalea comes on.  How can you not enjoy your work day when you get to do something you love with some amazing, one-of-a-kind coworkers!

Buuuut, yeah, so I digress.  Back to my point…I love baking!  Nothing makes me feel more like a baker than creating beautiful breads.  I am mesmerized by the the bread displays at the widely popular and prestigious Tartine Bakery & Cafe in San Francisco or Sullivan Street Bakery in NYC (just to name two).  Heck, maybe this will be my next blog adventure: bake my way through a cookbook of one of these bread bakeries!

Anyway, if you share my interest, then I have a foolproof, “sit- back-and-let-the-yeast-do-its-magic” recipe for an artisan whole wheat granola round loaf.  Our Bethlehem Inn All-Natural Honey Pecan variety adds the slightest hint of honey, while the roasted pecans and crispy granola perfectly spots this delightfully dense whole wheat loaf.  And, just so you know, I am baking to a little bit of country pop music.  Who says (well, besides my coworkers) you cannot create the perfect loaf with a little bit of good ole country twang?!?

Choose your music and get to baking!

No Knead Granola Wheat Round

3 cups whole wheat bread flour

3 cups white bread flour

1 cup GF Bethlehem Inn All-Natural Honey Pecan granola

1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast

2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

2 2/3 cup of cool water


In a large mixing bowl, combine wheat and white flours, granola, yeast, and salt.IMG_2212

Add water and combine mixture with your hands.  The bread dough should be wet and sticky (add a little more flour or water to accommodate if necessary).  Form into a ball, cover, and let sit at room temperature for 12-18 hours.  After resting, dough should smell yeasty and have a bubbly look about it.

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Lay out a linen kitchen towel.  On top of that, put a piece of floured parchment paper down.  Flour your hands and grab dough from the mixing bowl, working it into a ball.  Cover the ball by folding parchment paper as well as the linen towel over the dough.  Let sit for 2 more hours.

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Place a dutch oven (I have a 6 quart one) in a cold oven and preheat to 425ºF.  Once dough has rested, and oven is ready, uncover dough and grab the dutch oven.  Dump the dough loaf into the Dutch oven.  Return to oven to bake with the lid on for 40 minutes.  Remove the lid from the dutch oven and cook for another 10 minutes or until internal temperature of the loaf reads 200ºF.

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Remove round loaf from the dutch oven, and let cool on a rack.  You are in for a treat!
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Enjoy artisan loaf with some butter and jam for breakfast, or pack a creative lunch sandwich (we made BLT’s this week with mozzarella cheese and homemade pesto sauce).  This bread is fantastic and ultra versatile.

Happy baking!