My latest, favorite granola

Thank you for all the wonderful emails and congratulatory comments on my Fulbright post. I have a feeling this is going to be an incredible culinary journey that I hope we can take together — you and me, traveling through Syria. It’s going to be awesome. Just be sure to bring a hearty appetite (and definitely a pair of loose-fitted pants).

A few readers asked whether I will keep this blog or start a new one. My plan is to continue blogging here and tag my upcoming posts with a Fulbright tag for easy reference. Before I go abroad, however, since I can’t cook a huge dinner to thank everyone for their amazing support, although this is what my grandmother would insist on, I decided to give away my mamoul mold instead; my small way of saying thank you. This is the same mold I used for these mini mamoul cookies a while back.

To enter in the drawing, simply leave a comment about your latest, favorite recipe. This is the theme of today’s post. On September 15, before I fly to Syria, I will randomly select one commenter from this post and ship the mold to them, anywhere around the world.

traditional mamoul mold giveaway
mamoul mold

Even though I should probably be packing right now, I would feel terrible if I didn’t tell you about this delicious granola I’ve been making. I’ve tweeted about it a few times, and last night I made my third batch in less than a week. It’s so good, it makes me happy just writing about it.

I got this idea from Molly (via Twitter) after I posted a tweet about how much I love snacking on dates and almonds. She suggested I make a date and almond granola. I thought it was brilliant, so here I am, ready to pass on this gem of a recipe.

mise en place
mise en place

The original recipe comes from Epicurious, but I added my own Middle Eastern spin to it. I replaced the cashews with Aleppo pistachios (فستق حلبي) that I have in my freezer from a previous trip to Syria, and added a splash of orange blossom water to the mix. For my friends who are fasting during Ramadan right now, I think this would be a great recipe to prepare ahead of time for Suhoor (سحور). Suhoor is the meal that is consumed by Muslims at dawn, before fasting in daylight hours during the month of Ramadan. It is traditional to start Suhoor by eating dates as they are incredibly rich sources of energy and vitamins that help keep the body nourished throughout the day.

dates + almonds
dates and almonds

Chopping the dates and almonds is the only prep work necessary to make this granola. The rest is mixing ingredients together and baking them in the oven. This is part the recipe’s appeal.

dry ingredients
dry ingredients, except dates

The dates get added later, half-way into the baking process.

honey, butter, orange blossom water
honey and butter
ready to bake
granola goes into oven
date and almond granola
almond and date granola

Date and Almond Granola

yields approx 6 cups


  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 3/4 cup whole almonds, halved
  • 1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1/2 cup unsalted pistachios
  • 1/3 cup (packed) brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp orange blossom water
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 cup (packed) pitted dates, each cut crosswise into thirds

Putting them all together

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
  2. Mix first 7 ingredients in large bowl.
  3. Melt butter in the microwave and mix in the honey and orange blossom water, to combine.
  4. Pour the honey and butter mixture over granola mixture and toss well.
  5. Spread out mixture on baking sheet and bake 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add dates. Mix the granola to separate any large clumps.
  7. Continue to bake until granola is golden brown, stirring frequently, about 20 minutes longer. Let cool.

Notes: Recipe adapted from Epicurious. You can make this ahead and store in an airtight at room temperature for two weeks.


Although the granola is good on its own, my favorite way to enjoy it is sprinkled over a bowl of vanilla yogurt. The combination is heavenly. Enjoy!

best with yogurt
granola and yogurt

21 thoughts on “My latest, favorite granola

  1. I’ve wanted a mamoul mold for SOOOO long! It was the only thing I specifically asked for last Christmas and sadly, I didn’t get one 🙁 I better make this good, and I hope you mean it when you said you’ll ship it around the world, I just moved to Kyrgyzstan!

    Okay, my latest favorite recipe has to be gnocchi. I finally mastered a good consistency and texture with the dough and it’s practically a staple for dinner now (well, it was when I lived in DC, and it probably will be once I figure out my kitchen here!)

  2. My latest favorite recipe would have to be for my Spiced Peach Jam since I just won Best in Show at the county fair! I finally have the jam process down that if I have all the peaches cut-up (do the night before) I can make a batch of Spiced Peach Jam after work and while the family is watching TV in the family room and still be part of the family–any small taste of jam that doesn’t fit in the canning jars gets put on vanilla ice cream as a treat for the family!

  3. Thanks, Kirstin! Yes, I will send it anywhere around the world 🙂

    Thanks, Michelle! Congrats again on winning Best in Show!

    Update: I changed the title to “latest, favorite” — I like how that sounds a lot better. That’s what happens when I hit the publish button at 2am :p

  4. My latest favorite recipe is my Shish Barak recipe. Mmmmmm… So Good. Soooo Yummy!! Shish Barak is my favorite food and I finally feel like I perfected the recipe. Wohoo!
    Have a wonderful time in Syria!! Eat much and post much so we can live vicariously through you!

  5. Oh, Tony, that granola looks and sounds divine – I never would have thought of date and almond granola, but since I love both it’s a great idea. Also love the pistachios and the spices you have used, as well as the orange blossom water – that’s really inspired. Thanks for sharing.

    My latest, favourite recipe right now is my orange and date mayonnaise – I made it to go with tandoori salmon, but since then have been slathering it on toasted ciabatta bread with avocado – simply heavenly. Once, I’ve made this granola, mind you, it could well become my new favourite recipe.

    Safe travels and look forward to posts from Syria.


  6. Would you believe it if I told you my latest favorite recipe is also granola? But not granola all by its plain self…..has to be with greek yogurt and a big helping of home-made blackberry preserves 🙂

  7. Wow that granola looks good. Love the addition of orange blossom water. My favorite latest recipe? My peach and lemon thyme jam. I brushed it over roasting chicken the other day, and essentially made a glaze with it. Talk about simple pleasures.

  8. hmm.. u drive a hard bargain tony.. for sahoor n iftar, ive prepared chocolate almond dates.. i insert toasted pistachio or almonds in the dates replacing the seeds and dip it in dark chocolate to balance out the sweetness of the dates.. ive tricked many non-date believers to try one n they never stop eating until i tell them that they are actually dates.. i guess my recipe is probably the simplest (and not related! what?! fer real? ehhe!) to your mamoul mold draw.. never mind. give it to someone else who deserves it. giving away something special to someone is more rewarding. 🙂 congrats again tony!

  9. My latest favorite recipe is a fresh fig salad with prosciutto and Gorgonzola. It is mixed with a honey-lemon dressing. Sweet, savory and bold – this salad rocks! Find it on my blog:
    A mamoul mold would be an excellent addition to my cooking tools!

  10. The orange blossom water and pistachios sure would make this granola a special one.

    My favorite recipe of the week isn’t a food so much as a drink, but I’ve been mixing up a storm of lemon meringue martinis.

  11. Congratulations on your Fulbright! Wishing you safe travels and can’t wait to read about your adventures.

    My latest, favourite recipe is for Molasses cookies. I’ve always loved them, and I finally found a recipe that’s just right.

    Thanks for the blog, by the way – it’s beautifully done.

  12. I’m loving the blueberry cheesecake squares I recently posted about.

    Congratulations on your scholarship! Sounds like you’re headed for the experience of a lifetime.

  13. My latest favourite recipe is for an unusual cookie, *Brutti ma Buoni*, a super sweet merengue style cookie mixed with a few different nuts. I’ve been experimenting with different spices in these cookies as well – cardamon, nutmeg, and an Australian bush flavour called Lemon Myrtle. I love them!!! But, hey, that Mamoul mould would be so cool. I have an old friend who taught me how to make mamoul at Easter time ( for her it was a Christian Palestinian tradition!). Ever since I have been looking for a mould to start experimenting with mamoul fillings; different nut, spice and even some sweet bean fillings (sort of a Japanese New Year tradition crossed with a Middle Eastern tradition. Imagine that!) I’ve tried to source a mamoul mold many times in Australia but it seems impossible. Thanks for this opportunity to try an win one!!

  14. My favorite recipe of the moment has to be Halwa. It’s a Pakistani sweet dish made from semolina, butter, and plenty of sugar. It’s a delicately cardamon flavored pudding. Heck, the word pudding doesn’t do this dish justice. I told myself I wouldn’t have any more on Tuesday, but I caved for a midnight snack. I ended up devouring a pint of halwa. MY HIPS. Nom nom nom.

    My good friend is Pakistani, and her mother has been teaching me traditional Desi dishes. I think I’ve caught a cooking bug, as I’m dying to try out more South and Middle Eastern sweet dishes. I think this is just an excuse for me to indulge my sweet tooth, hehe!

  15. I made this granola last week and it has quickly become my favorite recipe. It is a little sweet to eat on it’s own but nothing a little milk won’t fix 🙂
    Thanks for the recipe!

  16. I made this granola last week and it has quickly become my favorite recipe. It is a little sweet to eat on it’s own but nothing a little milk won’t fix 🙂 Thanks for the recipe!

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