oats n' notes

Food & lifestyle from the the granola factory bakery

Category Archives: Suzanne’s Recipes

Granola Croutons


by Suzanne Virgilio

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE salads. Salads are the opening number to a dinner that introduces the season to be celebrated. I suppose one reason salads are so popular is that it allows us to eat something delicious and nutritious. What could be better? When it comes to making salads, in my world, the crunchier the better! I’m a huge fan of croutons, nuts & smoky flavors; so I thought, why not develop a crouton that incorporates all my favor things? Not only delicious, but also good for you! I hope you enjoy this blog offering; even if your salad is your meal, you are eating well!

Savory & Sweet Granola Croutons

Oven 350

Bake 10-15 minutes, until golden

Makes about a dozen 2-inch croutons


  • 1 egg white
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • ½ cup Extra Virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup Granola Factory Honey Pecan Granola
  • ¼ cup oat flour
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds
  • 2 Tbsp quinoa
  • 2 Tbsp. ground flax seed
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • ½ tsp kosher salt



  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • In a liquid measuring cup combine the olive oil, egg white & honey. Combine well with a fork. Set aside
  • In a medium bowl combine the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine.
  • Give the liquid mixture a good stir again and pour over the granola mixture. Use a rubber spatula to combine.
  • Line a 9 X 13-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
  • Spread the granola mixture onto the pan using an offset spatula. Spread to an even thickness (or thinness).
  • Bake in 350 degree oven for 10 – 15 minutes until golden. Croutons will spread together and become one sheet.
  • Allow crouton to cool completely. Mixture will harden.
  • Once cooled break into crouton size pieces. Store in airtight zip lock until ready to use. Can be made 1 day in advance


When the air becomes crisp and the leave begin to change colors, I crave this delicious reflection of the season’s offerings. Combine your favorite greens and garnish with your favorite apple slices, dried cranberries & shaved Parmesan Reggiano. The following vinaigrette completes a perfect fall or winter salad.


Maple Vinaigrette

Makes approximately 1 cup

Store in refrigerator until serving

Allow to come to room temp. before serving


  • 1/4-cup pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup Canola oil
  • 1 Tbsp coarse grain Dijon mustard
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 crushed clove of garlic


  • Combine the first 5 ingredients in a liquid measuring cup or small jar.
  • Whisk mixture with a wire whisk or fork to combine.
  • Add 1 crushed clove of garlic and allow it to macerate in vinaigrette. Remove clove of garlic before serving


Honey Pecan Sticky Buns


Recipe By Suzanne Virgilio

During the years when our bakery was open for retail, our sticky buns were always one of the most-demanded pastries by our customers. Though our customers loved them, making sticky buns is very labor intensive. Because of the long baking process, sticky buns were offered once a month at the bakery, and they would always sell out.

As you will see with this recipe, baking sticky buns is not for the faint of heart. But if you have the time and energy to bake them, you will be rewarded with a pastry that has unique flavor, texture and an aroma that will have you waiting by the oven until the timer finally goes off.

Honey Pecan Sticky Buns

Requires 1-2 days to complete

Oven 375 degrees

Bakes 25 to 30 minutes

Makes 1 dozen, 4–inch buns

Ingredients For Dough

  • 1 pkg active dry yeast
  • 2 cups warm water
  •  ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4 Tbsp butter – softened
  • 2 eggs – beaten
  • 3 ¼ – 3 ½ cups flour

Ingredients For Sticky Topping

  • 2/3-cup butter
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp light or dark corn syrup
  • 1 cup chopped toasted pecans
  • 1 cup Granola Factory Honey Pecan Granola

Cinnamon Sugar Filling

  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup Granola Factory Honey Pecan Granola
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • flour for dusting work surface

Making The Dough

Use the ingredients that correspond with the “dough” section

  1. In a large mixing bowl combine the yeast with 2 cups warm water. Stir until dissolved.
  2. To the yeast/water mixture, add the 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 2 tsp. salt, 4 Tbsp. softened butter and 2 beaten eggs. Stir with a rubber spatula until well combined
  3. Begin adding the flour 1 cup at a time and stir after each addition. Continue adding flour until you have a dough that is easy to handle. Dough will be soft and slightly sticky. You may only have to add 3 to 3 1/4 cups of flour.  Remember the rule for flour is…YOU CAN ALWAYS ADD MORE BUT ONCE IT’S IN THE DOUGH, YOU CAN’T TAKE IT OUT!
  4. Spray the inside of a Ziploc bag with vegetable spray and place completed dough into bag. Press the air out of bag and seal.
  5. Refrigerate dough several hours or overnight.

Preparing the Sticky Buns for Baking

Use the ingredients that correspond with the “sticky topping” section

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray 1 dozen, 4–inch muffin pans with vegetable spray.
  2. In a medium saucepan or microwave, combine the butter, brown sugar and corn syrup. Heat until butter is melted then stir to combine.  Divide mixture among 1 dozen muffin pans.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine honey pecan granola and the cup of chopped pecans. Distribute granola mixture evenly into the muffin cups. Set aside.


Making the Filling and Rolling Out The Buns

Use the ingredient amounts that correspond with the “cinnamon sugar filling” section.

  1. Divide dough in half; work with one half at a time.
  2. Melt 1/2 cup butter and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl combine sugar, granola and cinnamon – stir to combine
  4. On lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 15 X 9 inch oblong.
  5. Brush dough with melted butter and sprinkle with the granola/sugar mixture.
  6. Starting at wide side, roll up dough, “jelly-roll” style, folding in edges to seal sides.
  7. Roll dough tightly so buns stay rolled when cut
  8. For cutting buns, first mark rolled dough into 6 equal portions. Now to cut bun, get a double length of sewing thread and tie into a knot so the dough keeps its double thickness. Slide thread under rolled dough and “criss-cross thread to make a clean cut of the dough.
  9. Place cut buns on top of sticky topping in muffin pan.
  10. Repeat steps with other half of dough.
  11. Place muffin pans on parchment-lined baking sheet. Place in a warm part of kitchen and allow buns to rise until double in size, about 1 hour.
  12. Once dough has risen, place in preheated oven and bake 25 – 30 minutes.
  13. When baking is complete, carefully invert buns onto parchment-lined baking sheet, taking care to avoid the very hot sticky topping. *Invert the buns within the first few minutes of taking them out of the oven.

Now that the work is done, bite into one of the best-tasting pastries you’ve ever had!


Caramel Apple Pie Bar with Granola Crumble


by Dea Castrejon

So, if you didn’t already know, here at the Granola Factory, we make the amazing, deliciously decadent and addictive Bethlehem Bars.  Yesssss, they are simply magnificent!  It is an oat shortbread cookie, topped with chocolate chunks, roasted pecans, homemade salted caramel, and shortbread crumbled on top!

Upon thinking up new granola recipes for this blog series, I thought it would be so great to do a bar!  And I am proud of this guy!  It is a salted caramel apple pie bar topped with a Native Berry granola crumble!  Do it…make it now!



2 sticks of unsalted butter

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 1/4 cups flour (reserve 1/2 cup for crumble)


2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and thinly sliced

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 tablespoon sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons flour


1/2 cup shortbread dough reserve

3/4 cup Native Berry Granola

Salted Caramel

2 cups granulated sugar

12 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon flaked sea salt

See posted link for directions on caramel: http://www.browneyedbaker.com/homemade-salted-caramel-sauce-recipe/

Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Cream together butter and sugar.  Add the flour until just incorporated.
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Reserve 1/2 cup of the dough in a separate mixing bowl.  Add the granola to this and set in the refrigerator until later.
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In a parchment lined baking dish (I used an 8×8 pan), press the shortbread dough into the bottom of the pan.  Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until a golden tint starts to appear on the crust.


While the crust is baking, peal and slice your apples.  In a mixing bowl, combine apples, flour, sugar, and cinnamon.
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Once crust is golden brown, add apple pie layer to the crust.

Then add the crumble on top.  Finish it off with a light drizzle of salted caramel (the recipe is posted in a link above).


Place the baking dish back in the oven for another 15 minutes.  Let cool for about 15 minutes before cutting and serving.
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Enjoy with a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream and a drizzle of salted caramel!

Granola Swirl Scones


By Suzanne Virgilio

Okay Granola Factory followers–those of you who have stayed at our B&B or perhaps visited our retail store when it was in operation are most likely familiar with our scones. Though this is not THE scone recipe (saving that one for the cookbook someday), these are fabulous! I came upon this recipe years ago in an issue of Food &Wine Magazine. It’s a combination of a scone and a cinnamon bun, no yeast required.

Cherry almond was one of our customer’s favorite scones, so I decided to incorporate our ever-popular cherry almond granola into this recipe. I think you’ll love the results! Feel free to experiment with our other varieties of granola. The honey pecan is equally as yummy in this recipe.

While the preparation may be a bit time intensive, take advantage of freezing the unbaked scones for a special breakfast surprise on a morning that warrants a delicious treat.


Bake Time: 15-20 minutes – depending on size

Makes approx. one dozen scones


Granola “Swirl”

  • 2/3 cup Brown Sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons Softened Butter
  • 3/4 cup Granola Factory Cherry Almond Quinoa

Scone Ingredients

  • 3 cups Flour
  • 1/3 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoons Salt
  • 1/2 cup Cold Butter cut into pieces (1 stick)
  • 1 cup Cold Heavy Cream
  • 1 whole Egg, Slightly Beaten
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • ½ tsp Pure Almond Extract

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 4 oz Philadelphia Brand Cream Cheese – room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp. soft butter
  • Confectioners sugar to taste
  • Milk to thin-to-drizzle consistency


  1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  2. For Granola “Swirl,” combine brown sugar, softened butter and Granola Factory Cherry Almond Granola to form soft crumbs; set aside.
  3. In a food processor combine flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt; process in all of cold butter until the mixture resembles pea-sized crumbs. Place mixture in large bowl; make a well in the center.
  4. Combine cream, egg and vanilla and almond extract, mix well with a fork; pour into the well and toss with flour mixture until firm dough forms.
  5. Crumble half of the brown sugar/granola mixture into the dough and knead, leaving some streaks.
  6. Lightly dust work surface with flour and turn dough onto it. Knead dough several times, sprinkling more brown sugar crumbs into each layer.
  7. Gently shape dough into 1 -2 inch round. Use a biscuit cutter to cut out scones.
  8. Place scones on a parchment lined sheet and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown, depending on size of scones. (Baking may take more or less time, use your judgment by color of scones). You may also place the unbaked scones in the freezer and bake as many or few as you like at a time.
  9. For cream cheese, drizzle combined softened cream cheese in medium bowl, blend in softened butter until completely combined. Add confectioner’s sugar to taste. Stir in enough milk to make mixture thin enough to drizzle over hot scones.

Peach Muffins With Granola-Streusel


peach muffin_cropped

by Suzanne Virgilio

These muffins always got rave reviews when served to guests at our inn, especially when “Scholl’s” peaches are in season. You will no doubt be asked to share this recipe as the possibilities of creating a different muffin is as easy as choosing whatever fruits are available throughout the spring and summer.

Yield: 2 dozen 4-inch muffins, or 1 dozen 6-inch muffins

Bake Time: 18-20 minutes for 4-inch muffins | 25-30 minutes for 6-inch muffins

Granola-Streusel Topping

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup Granola Factory Honey Pecan Granola
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter, cut into pieces, softened
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg


  1. In a medium bowl combine all ingredients
  2. Using clean hands or a pastry blender, cut butter into mixture until butter is incorporated and resembles small peas. Set aside.

Muffin Batter

  • 1-cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 12-16 ripe peaches, peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch slices


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lightly spray muffin pans. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine butter & granulated sugar until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes).
  4. Add eggs, 1 at a time and mix after each addition.
  5. Add vanilla and mix.
  6. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Stir to combine.
  7. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and fold to combine using a rubber spatula.
  8. Divide the batter among the 12 muffin cups
  9. Top batter with sliced peaches and prepared granola-streusel.
  10. Bake according to size of muffin (see above) and test with a toothpick for doneness.
  11. Allow to completely cool before removing from pan.


peach muffin

Salted Caramel Biscotti with Honey Pecan Granola


by Suzanne Virgilio

Biscottis are a great cookie to make and eat morning, afternoon or evening. The salted caramel and honey pecan granola gives this biscotti a great sweet and salty flavor.

Biscotti ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons brandy
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple extract
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup Granola Factory Honey Pecan Granola
  • 1 cup salted caramel (see recipe)*
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Salted Caramel Ingredients

  • Vegetable oil, for baking sheet
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 1/4 cups light corn syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon Fleur De Sel
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Salted Caramel Directions

  1. Lightly brush bottom and sides of a 9×13 inch rimmed baking sheet with oil. Line with parchment, leaving a 2-inch overhang on long sides; lightly brush parchment with oil.
  2. Bring cream, sugar, butter, and corn syrup to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium-high; cook, stirring occasionally, until caramel reaches 248 degrees on a candy thermometer (about 15 minutes).
  3. Immediately remove caramel from the heat, and stir in salt and vanilla. Pour caramel onto a baking sheet, and let stand, uncovered, at room temperature at least 8 hours and up to 1 day.
  4. Lifting by parchment overhang, transfer caramel to a large cutting board. Cut into 3/4-by-1 1/4-inch pieces; wrap each piece in waxed paper or cellophane.

Biscotti Directions

  1. In a large bowl combine sugar, butter, brandy, and extracts. Beat with electric mixer until very creamy, about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add eggs one at a time to butter/sugar mixture.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine flour, Granola Factory’s Honey Pecan Granola, salted caramel, baking powder, and salt. Stir with a rubber spatula to combine.
  4. Chill dough, covered, for 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F with the rack placed in middle.
  6. Using lightly floured hands, halve dough and form 2 (16-by 2-inch) loaves on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  7. Bake until pale golden, which is about 30 minutes. Carefully transfer loaves to a rack and cool for 15 minutes.
  8. Cut loaves into 3/4-inch slices with a serrated knife.
  9. Arrange biscotti, with a cut side down, on a clean baking sheet and bake until golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to rack to cool completely.

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart Living

English Muffins With Native Berry Granola & Fresh Blueberries


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by Suzanne Virgilio

If you’ve ever wanted to make yeast breads but thought they would be too complicated, this recipe will change your mind and impress your friends.  The possibilities are endless for varying the ingredients; change the fruit, add fresh herbs, a different citrus zest.  They also package nicely for gift giving!



  • 2 cups milk (of choice, whole, 1%, buttermilk, soy)
  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 5 Tbsp butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 pkg. or 2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 8 cups flour
  • 1 ½ cups Granola Factory Native Berry Granola
  • 2 cups Fresh blueberries
  • Zest of 2 lemons

Prepping The Dough

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the milk, water, sugar & salt to a simmer. Off heat and stir in butter. Allow to cool to lukewarm.
  2. Crack eggs into a small bowl and beat with a fork. Add beaten eggs to milk mixture and mix well.
  3. In a large bowl, combine yeast, flour, granola, zest and blueberries. Stir to combine.
  4. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the liquid mixture. Using a rubber spatula, gently stir mixture until well combined.
  5. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator overnight.

Baking The Muffins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  • Remove batter from refrigerator.
  • Line baking sheet with parchment. Using vegetable spray, generously spray muffins rings and roll rings in a bowl of cornmeal to coat the inside of each ring.
  • Divide batter among muffin rings, sprinkle tops with granulated sugar. Spray plastic wrap with vegetable spray and cover muffins with plastic wrap (*sprayed side against muffins, this will prevent wrap from sticking and deflating muffins when wrap is removed).
  • Allow muffins to rise until almost double in size, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Carefully remove plastic wrap, place muffins in preheated oven and bake until lightly golden (about 25-30 minutes). Remove from oven and place muffins on a cooling rack. When you able to, remove muffin rings to allow muffins to fully cool.
  • Muffins are very high and may be sliced into three slices (if preferred); serve with topping of choice…but honey butter adds a nice touch!

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