These pecan spice granola clusters make a quick and easy breakfast or can serve as a snack to keep you going in between meals. Crunchy and not too sweet, they taste even better the day after they are made.
Pecan Spice Granola Clusters
1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup raw pecan halves, broken into pieces
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
1/4 tsp. ginger powder
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/8 tsp nutmeg
2 egg whites
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- Set the oven to 300 Fahrenheit or 148 Celsius.
- Mix all of the dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and set aside.
- Separate the egg whites from the yolk and place the egg whites in a small bowl. Whisk the egg whites with a fork until frothy, about two minutes.
- Pour the egg whites and vanilla into the oat mixture and stir until combined and clumpy.
- Line a 1/4 sheet baking tray with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Pour the oat mixture onto the pan and spread out evenly. Place the pan into the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven, break up the granola into smaller chunks with a spatula, and stir, flipping the pieces. Place back in the oven and bake for 20 more minutes.
- Remove from the oven. The largest clusters should be mostly crisp throughout. Some may be a little soft in the center but not wet. These will crisp up as they cool. If not done, place back in the oven for 15 more minutes and then check again. The granola should be a toasty brown when done.
- Baking times may vary. If you make these in a toaster oven like I do, they may take less time, and if you use a standard oven, they may take more.
- You can use different add ins besides pecans, but I like to add things like dried fruit or coconut after the granola has baked as those things tend to burn easily.
- The granola forms a single layer on the sheet pan, and that’s okay. The lack of spacing helps the clusters to stick together.
- Need a use for those extra egg yolks? Give these ginger spice cookies a try, or make this homemade pasta.
I almost don’t want to tell you how long it took for me to figure out how to make good granola clusters that actually clustered.
I mean, I tried everything.
Maple syrup, peanut butter, flax seeds, chocolate, honey, and on and on.
I got either granola with clusters that were way too sweet or granola that tasted alright but had teeny tiny little clusters.
And what’s the point in making granola if they look like sugar-coated oat flakes?
And then I saw a post talking about egg whites and how protein is a binder. I’d seen them being used to make candied pecans, but not as much with granola, but I decided to give it a try.
Fortunately, I had several egg whites leftover from all of my single serve baking endeavors, so I pulled a few of those and got to work.
And it worked!
Big and small crisp granola clusters that weren’t too sweet and are slightly addictive!
And they were good on day one but on day two? It was like someone sprinkled extra golden pixie dust on them or something.
Now excuse me while I go eat a handful or two of these crispy, crunchy granola bites.