A non-cook impresses friends with this Dirty Gourmet Trail Brittle

Your trail mates will give you new respect when you share this "Granola Brittle" from Dirty Gourmet: Food for Your Outdoor Adventures, a new cookbook.
Doug Canfield Doug Canfield
Marketing & Innovation Director, Mountaineers Books
April 11, 2018
A non-cook impresses friends with this Dirty Gourmet Trail Brittle

I've lived a charmed life, insofar as I like to eat and have a spouse who loves to cook. I'll gladly wash dishes as my part of this bargain, a chore I've managed with a moderate degree of competence. That said, I was intrigued by a recipe in Dirty Gourmet: Food for Your Outdoor Adventures, a new cookbook from Mountaineers Books.

I'm always looking for a high-calorie snack to keep me going on endurance outings and Dirty Gourmet's "Black Sesame Cashew Granola Brittle" looked like something I could actually make and that would give me a lift when I felt my energy starting to sputter.  It's a new twist on an old trail food and it tastes great, too. Try it out for yourself with the following simple recipe (excerpted from Dirty Gourmet with permission from Mountaineers Books):

Black Sesame Cashew Granola Brittle

"The first event we did as Dirty Gourmet was an art fair. Not so outdoorsy, but people were 'hiking' around looking at and purchasing all sorts of art—and they got hungry doing it. We made several products to sell there, but the main thing people wanted to buy was our granola. We offered two flavors, and both sold out (and there was a wait list!). 

"This recipe is one of those two flavors. We’ve sold it a handful of times since then and it continues to be a favorite. The texture is much like brittle, starting off as big, irregular slabs. It is easy to eat like a bar, but it’s not a big deal if it crumbles in your pack."  —Aimee Trudeau, co-author

  • Yield: About 5 cups
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes


1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup cashews
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup black sesame seeds


Preheat the oven to 325° F.

Line a large rimmed baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Set aside.

In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar, oil, honey, and salt. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture is hot and just starts to bubble. Remove from heat.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, cashews, coconut flakes, and sesame seeds. Add the sugar mixture, stirring to coat.

Spread the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and bake, stirring every 10 minutes, until the granola is golden (about 30 minutes). Remove from the oven and let cool completely. 

Break brittle into large chunks and store in an airtight container.

Dirty Gourmet co-authors from left: Aimee Trudeau, Mai-Yan Kwan, Emily Nielson

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Dirty Gourmet includes more than 120 deliciously modern outdoor recipes, organized in three sections:

  1. "On the Trail," for snacks like this Granola Brittle that you make at home and bring on your outing.
  2. "Car Camping," for cooking over a campfire and other techniques that make really wonderful meals when you're planning to establish a camp and stage your hikes or climbs from there.
  3. "Backcountry," for lightweight, easy-to-bring meals when you're carrying everything you have on your back. 

Download a PDF of this and two more delicious recipes.

Learn More Q&A Webisode

Take a deep dive into campfire cooking in a free online presentation and Q&A with the Dirty Gourmet authorsThis online presentation will teach you how to make great meals over a campfire, using a variety of tools from standard pots and pans to a pie iron, dutch oven, and aluminum foil pouches. 

Watch Now