Our old apartment was a few blocks away from Paper or Plastik Cafe, one of my favorite coffee shops, so I found myself there most mornings of the week. Not only do they serve one of the best lattes in the city, but it was their yogurt and granola that was so much better than the version I'd make on my own. I reached out to their chef, Rebecca Inez, (who came up with the recipe with sous chef Matt Romero) to take me through her granola recipe as well as her five tips for why hers tastes so good.
Paper or Plastik's Toasted Coconut Granola Recipe, Serves 4:
Bring the oil, browned butter, honey, maple, and vanilla to a simmer and immediately remove from heat. Divide this wet mixture and pour 1/4 C over the oats. Mix thoroughly with a spatula and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, stirring around every 5 minutes at 325.
Meanwhile, place the puffed cereal, hazelnuts, pecans, coconut, and pepitas in a large mixing bowl and pour the remaining wet mixture over the top. Stir to mix thoroughly. Once the oats have cooked to a light golden color, remove from the oven and stir into the rest of the ingredients. Toss this around to mix it together, and pour onto two rimmed baking sheets. Sprinkle with the turbinado sugar and flake salt. Bake for 20 minutes, until a nice golden hue is reached. Allow mixture to cool completely, then break apart and serve over whole milk greek yogurt. Top with fresh fruit and a drizzle of honey.
More tips from Paper or Plastik's kitchen:
1. Don't re-use the first baking sheet without washing it first, or the baked-on sugars will get too dark.
2. Sprinkle salt and sugar from fairly high above the sheet pans for even distribution (this is a good trick in general when seasoning food).
3. Stale cereal is better!
4. Every ingredient listed is interchangeable with something else, so this recipe works very well for anyone with allergies. For example, oats can be completely omitted and replaced with more puffed cereal if someone had a gluten allergy.
5. Some suggested additions: bee pollen for serving, dried fruit such as ginger, apricot, or prunes, fresh apples or pears (bake with the oats on the first baking sheet), almonds.