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You know me well

My manuscript is due on June 1.  Hello from the Cave - or, as I first typed, "Hell from the Cave," which has a nice slasher-movie ring to it.  Hi.

For those keeping track, no, you are not crazy: the book was supposed to be due in March.  I had to ask for an extension, unfortunately, because of the small human under my shirt who makes me very tired, and because there’s been a difficult health situation in my family.  2012 came in roaring, and though I wish it would settle down and start acting its age, I doubt it’s going to.  I am, however, going to FINISH THIS BOOK.  If I can stay awake long enough.

Each night, when I get into bed, I’ve been reading a few pages of Nina Planck.  Her books were recommended to me by a couple of you, and clearly, you know me well.  For obvious reasons, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what I eat and why, and Planck’s defense of traditional whole foods like butter, eggs, and meat feels intuitive to me.  It’s been a nice, sensible way to close out my long days. (And so, I should note, has Friday Night Lights, which I just finished.  I miss Tim Riggins already.  I’m not proud to have fallen for the brooding-hunk routine, but I’m willing to own it.  I would also be willing, for the record, to watch an entire hour of close-ups of Taylor Kitsch’s lips, if the producers of the show ever decide to make a Best of Tim Riggins’s Makeout Scenes DVD.)

In any case, I was doing some research the other day, looking up granola bar recipes for a forthcoming Spilled Milk episode.  When I came across one on Smitten Kitchen, it leapt out at me - not only because it made a chewy granola bar, which I like, and because it came from Deb, who knows her way around a kitchen, but mostly because I loved the no-nonsense ingredients: oats, nuts, nut butter, dried fruits, butter, honey, and very little else.  The list of ingredients resonated with much of what I’ve been reading in Planck’s book, and that sealed the deal.  I decided to try it.  Of course, I did add chocolate.  Let’s be clear about that.

I love these granola bars.  They straddle the line between nutritious afternoon pick-me-up, which I’ve been needing lately, and dessert, which I never really need but want anyway.  For the most part, I followed Deb’s recipe - which she, in turn, adapted from King Arthur Flour - but I tailored the flavorings to suit my tastes.  For a nut, I used pecans, because I like them in granola.  I also threw in some big flakes of coconut.  And some dried cherries, though only a few.  (I don’t like a lot of fruit in my granola.)  And the chocolate.  I grew up on packaged granola bars with chocolate chips, and you know how I’ve come to feel about granola with chocolate, so it felt natural to throw in some chocolate chips that had been kicking around in the cupboard.  I didn’t bother to chop anything, not even the pecan halves, and I was glad for it later.  I liked all the lumps and bumps.  The whole process took less than an hour, most of which was oven time, and 72 hours later, only a couple of bars are left.  Brandon has been eating them for breakfast, and I took two to Matthew, and you can figure out the rest.  I’m already planning another batch.

Chewy Granola Bars with Pecans, Chocolate, and Cherries
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

For my first go at this recipe, I used ½ cup (100 grams) sugar.  That amount yielded a balanced, mildly sweet bar, but whenever I got a bite with cherries or chocolate, I wished that the base mixture were even a little less sweet.  Next time, I’ll try cutting the sugar back to 1/3 cup (67 grams).  Oh, and I should tell you that I used unrefined cane sugar.  Like this.  It’s what we use at Delancey, and over the past year, I’ve been using it more and more at home.  I find it to be 100% interchangeable with regular white sugar.

Also, I might leave out the cinnamon next time.  Maybe.  It’s nice, but there’s already a lot of good stuff going on in here.

For chocolate, I used Ghirardelli 60% chocolate chips, but you could chop up and use any chocolate you like, preferably bittersweet.  And if you’re confused by the thought of coconut chips, as I’ve been in the past, they’re the big, flat flakes. (Here’s a photograph.)  Last, you don’t have to use the pecan-coconut-chocolate-cherry flavor combination that I chose, of course.  You’re welcome to use a mixture of any fruits and/or nuts you want, ideally 2 to 3 cups in all.

2 cups (190 grams) quick-cooking oats, divided
1/3 cup (67 grams) to ½ cup (100 grams) sugar (see above)
1 cup (110 grams) raw pecan halves
½ cup (25 grams) unsweetened coconut chips
½ cup (85 grams) chocolate chips or chopped chocolate of similar size
¼ cup (40 grams) dried cherries
½ tsp. fine salt
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon (optional)
1/3 cup (85 grams) peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
6 Tbsp. (85 grams) unsalted butter, melted
6 Tbsp. (120 grams) honey
1 Tbsp. water

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Lightly butter an 8-inch square baking pan, or grease it with cooking spray. Cut a rectangle of parchment paper to line the bottom and two sides of the dish, leaving a little overhang.  Press the parchment paper into the dish.  Lightly grease the parchment paper.

Put 1/3 cup (30 to 35 grams) of the quick-cooking oats in the bowl of a food processor.  Process until finely ground.

In a large bowl, stir together the remaining 1 2/3 cup oats, ground oats, sugar, pecans, coconut chips, chocolate chips, dried cherries, salt, and, if using, cinnamon.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, vanilla extract, melted butter, honey, and water. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients, and stir well, until the mixture is evenly moistened. Transfer to the prepared pan, pressing the mixture firmly to ensure that it molds to the shape of the pan. (A piece of plastic wrap helps: just lay it over the pan before you begin pressing.  Much less stickiness.)

Bake the bars for about 30 minutes, or until they’re brown around the edges and just beginning to color on top, too.  (I set a timer for 25 minutes and began checking on them at that point, and I was surprised to find that they were already browning at the edges.  I left them in, however, for another 5 minutes or so, until the tops had a hint of color.)  The mixture will still seem soft and almost underbaked if you press on it, but it’ll set as it cools.

Transfer the pan to a rack, and allow the bars to cool completely in the pan.  When cool, run a sharp knife along the edges of the pan; then pull up on the parchment paper to lift the sheet of bars out of the pan.  Cut the bars into squares.  Or, heck, rectangles.  Whatever you want.

Note:  I let my bars cool for a number of hours, and they cut very neatly, but I noticed that some commenters on Deb’s post mentioned issues with crumbling.  Here’s what she suggested:  If your bars seem crumbly, refrigerate them in the pan for 30 minutes to further set them, and then try cutting them while cold.

Another note: I stored my bars on a cutting board wrapped in plastic wrap, but if you’d like to put them in an airtight container, consider layering them between sheets of wax paper, so they don’t stick to one another.  In hot weather, you might need to refrigerate them.

Yield: 16 squares


Anonymous Karen K said...

OMG I LOVE Tim Riggins. FNL. Best television show ever.

4:59 PM, May 04, 2012  
Blogger kinsey said...

1) These look delicious. Sometimes whole and natural can imply not-as-good-a-processed, and I'm happy to see so many recipes emerging that look awesome in addition to retaining actual nutritional value.
2) Thank you for that partial paragraph about FNL and Tim Riggins. I'm with you on that special feature... There's no reason to feel ashamed. In the end, he's building his own house with his own hands, and there's something to be said for that. Plus in real life, he's a respectably aged 31-year-old man. No shame.

5:14 PM, May 04, 2012  
Blogger Sarah said...

Those are my family's favorite granola bars! We made them several times last summer. We made them first to bring to the 4th of July parade. It was a really good snack to bring instead of donuts from the grocery store.

5:21 PM, May 04, 2012  
Blogger Lia said...

Oh Molly, I haven't checked in here in awhile. My little boys keep me busy (and tired!). I think I congratulated you on the little baby in your belly, but if I didn't congrats! You're in for an amazing ride. I couldn't help but comment on the FNL mention since I'm a few episodes away from finishing myself and Mr. Tim Riggins so has me under his spell. Sigh.

5:25 PM, May 04, 2012  
OpenID sliceofmidlife.com said...

You should send this recipe to David Lebovitz, who recently swore off trying to make granola bars. By the way, thanks to you, I now religiously make and eat granola and I am a happier (and possibly even better) person for it.

5:45 PM, May 04, 2012  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Glad you are finding good ways to nourish yourself and le bébé! Keep healthy and rest up - you deserve it!

5:59 PM, May 04, 2012  
Anonymous Jordan said...

Tim Riggins. Yes. Please.

(And the granola bars look tasty too.)

6:01 PM, May 04, 2012  
Anonymous Jennifer said...

Oh my goodness. You just solved one of my biggest conundrums. I picked up a recipe at Whole Foods some time ago for a simple granola bar made of oats, bananas, coconut, nuts, and dates. I like it, but I've always felt that something was missing and couldn't put my finger on it. Chocolate chips! That's it!

I imagine that chocolate is probably the answer more often than I realize. I'm going to try that first for every unanswered question in the future.

6:08 PM, May 04, 2012  
Anonymous Amy said...

Oh spending some quality time with Tim Riggins is the best way to close out a night, in my opinion. Good luck with your manuscript, and growing that human under your shirt!

And I love Smitten Kitchen's granola bars, I just recently blogged about them too. Good no-nonsense ingredients. I omitted the peanut butter in mine, but I think I'll have to try out this version where it's included along with chocolate. Sounds perfect.

6:22 PM, May 04, 2012  
Anonymous Stephanie said...

Hi Molly!

Nina Planck really revolutionized how I thought about feeding my family. Will be trying these bars this weekend. Hang in there. xo.

6:56 PM, May 04, 2012  
Anonymous A Plum By Any Other Name said...

Yup. As luck would have it, I just came across that recipe this week. Turns out I need to start acting my age too ... and get my act together to make them. It's official now.

6:59 PM, May 04, 2012  
Blogger Lecia said...

We're hooked on Friday Night Lights, thanks to your recommendation. And yes - Nina Planck.

I can't wait to make these.

You are on the home stretch, friend.


7:00 PM, May 04, 2012  
Blogger Laurel said...

Sounds great! I know how tired you can be when pregnant-with my first child I can't tell you how many times I burned dinner because I sat down and couldn't get back up! I hope you are not struggling with morning sickness. Can't wait for your new book.There is always something homey and comforting about your blog, which brings me back to reading over and over again.

7:25 PM, May 04, 2012  
Anonymous deb said...

I am so thrilled that you liked these. I agree about the sweetness and often make them quite a bit much less now. But not with chocolate -- I will have to get right on that.

I had this insane 3rd trimester energy burst. I swam laps like a madwoman. I hope you find the same and apply it to a book we can all soak up next year. (P.S. Team Saracen.)

7:26 PM, May 04, 2012  
Blogger Barb said...

There's so much I could say, but what I am going to say?

I love Tim Riggins.

Seriously adorable.

(And, I'm just pretending Taylor Kitsch was not in John Carter - which looked amazingly lame. It's best to think of him only as Tim Riggins.)

7:29 PM, May 04, 2012  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The King Arthur flour recipes are intriguing and always make me inspired to bake. Their catalog is baking porn! Their almond flour is to die for.

My daughter while in school managed to create a quick but tasty breakfast and passed it on to me. She buys a favorite granola bar and crumbles it in Greek yogurt. Despite being raised on home made yogurt and granola, in a pinch this works fine. It also is a super easy breakfast while traveling.

7:56 PM, May 04, 2012  
Anonymous Shannalee said...

First of all, loved the TIm Riggins reference. Same reaction here and oh how I miss that show. Also, Tami Taylor? LOVE her.

Second - love the way you described cooking with whole foods as intuitive. That is exactly the right word. YES.

8:00 PM, May 04, 2012  
Anonymous Hannah said...

I miss Friday Night Lights so much. I still haven't found anything to replace it. Tim Riggins yes, but what does it say about me that I also have a little place in my heart for Matty Saracen? But if it came down to one lonely Texas night ... Riggins all the way :)

Planck has a lot of good things to say. And we have been making tons of granola bars here as well. A favorite variation includes coconut flakes (the big ones) and orange zest. Cherries and chocolate sound terrific.

8:37 PM, May 04, 2012  
Anonymous Allison said...

I personally want to grow up to be like Tammy Taylor.

9:03 PM, May 04, 2012  
Anonymous The Zadge said...

You get a huge crush on Riggins only to grow into a full-on love affair with the Coach.

9:25 PM, May 04, 2012  
Anonymous meg- grow and resist said...

oh dear god.... I'm as queer as can be and still, I am totally hot for Tim Riggins. Sigh.

10:46 PM, May 04, 2012  
Anonymous Amanda said...

Just pulled these out of the oven. They look divine. Thanks for the recipe!

1:55 AM, May 05, 2012  
Blogger Gemma said...

I suddenly feel like I might need to find and start watching Friday Night Lights...

I try to restrict my granola bar consumption, because, as with granola, I find it all too easy to convince myself that it's a nice light option when, really, who am I kidding. That being said I'm sure I'll only hold out so long against trying these.

Good luck with getting to June 1 - you can do it!

p.s - I may have asked before but have you made the chocolate peanut version of Nigella's granola? It's a wonderful thing.

2:07 AM, May 05, 2012  
Blogger Margarita said...

I have never heard of Nina Planck so I decided to check her out and read the free first chapter of her book online. Instantly loved her writing style and what she wrote about real food and made my first Kindle purchase a few minutes ago. Can't wait to keep reading her book! Thanks for introducing her to me!

2:49 AM, May 05, 2012  
Anonymous DC365 said...

I am more of a Matt Saracen girl myself, but I do appreciate Riggins.

6:36 AM, May 05, 2012  
Blogger Rebekka Seale said...

Nina Plank is awesome, and has completely revolutionized the way I think about food as well. I love her. And I think intuition is a really true way describe why traditional foods make sense.

7:55 AM, May 05, 2012  
Blogger Krissa said...

Riggins! I think it's time for me to watch that show again. These granola bars look wonderful too!

7:58 AM, May 05, 2012  
Blogger Claudia said...

Yay for the comeback of real food. Those granola bars do have a lot going on - I expect there are 2 or 3 recipes that can be culled from that. Now I return to my milk, butter and eggs.

8:40 AM, May 05, 2012  
Anonymous Hayley @ Oat Couture said...

These look and sound absolutely amazing! Thanks for sharing! :)

9:14 AM, May 05, 2012  
Blogger missris said...

Tim. Riggins. *swoon* Also, I grew up in a small town in Texas and that show is so accurate it makes me homesick. And also glad I never have to go back to being an adolescent in a small town in Texas.

9:26 AM, May 05, 2012  
Blogger That's Ms. Amy to You... said...

I've been making these for years, exactly as you did: with chocolate, cherries, and pecans. They are a family favorite. I also cut way back on the sugar, and sometimes sub in agave for the honey. YUM!

10:02 AM, May 05, 2012  
Blogger Just Spiff It said...

Can't wait to give these a try!!

12:49 PM, May 05, 2012  
Anonymous kickpleat said...

I really, really wished I could experience the joy of FNL all over again (and maybe next winter I'll hunker down with more Tim Riggins, because one can't get enough). Sigh. And I'm into your granola bars - though I'm nervous because I've tried and failed at them in the past. Maybe the key is lumpy nuts (maybe that's always the right key!).

2:13 PM, May 05, 2012  
Blogger carly said...

I am looking forward to making these! This is a great recipe as my partner isn't into baked sweets (yes, crazy, I know) & bubby is too young for these! Ah the delight of having them all to myself... :-)

Have just googled Nina Planck & am liking what I see. I love when you come across foodies that use butter & full fat milk! None of this fake & light stuff!

2:52 PM, May 05, 2012  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I miss Friday Night Lights and Tim Riggins. Texas Forever.

3:02 PM, May 05, 2012  
Blogger nancyodea said...

I alternate between making your granola and these Smitten Kitchen granola bars - glad to see both coming together!

3:11 PM, May 05, 2012  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Oh, Molly, I hope everything is okay..a difficult health situation does not sound good

4:33 PM, May 05, 2012  
Anonymous Hima said...

And just yesterday I was thinking about Granola...I am making these today along with Julia Child's Applesauce cake.

1:33 AM, May 06, 2012  
Anonymous Kelly said...

Molly, I was thinking of you this week. I have a new daughter (5 weeks old now) and have been reading Anne Lamott's 'Operating Instructions' - may I highly recommend it to you for reading later on in the year? Such a wonderful and honest look at motherhood - guaranteed to make you laugh, and also to feel less alone in those first few weeks.

3:26 AM, May 06, 2012  
Anonymous Hima said...

Hi Molly,

I did make these. I added some Hazelnuts, black sultanas and sesame and sunflower seeds. I omitted the coconut due to family preference. They indeed taste very good and ofcourse the best of what I have made so far. Also we found ti very good with Kenya AA black coffee. Tx.

3:34 AM, May 06, 2012  
Anonymous Hannah said...

Tim Riggins, Nina Planck, granola bar indulgence...this post has it all! I'm so sorry to hear about a family health issue - some years do have a way of stomping in and not settling down. Hope you are well.

8:22 AM, May 06, 2012  
Blogger Casey said...

who cares about granola bars, you had me at Tim Riggins. I binged on that show and finished the entire thing in 5 weeks.

10:24 AM, May 06, 2012  
Blogger rebecca said...

i don't know, sometimes the "no-bake" recipes don't work for me. mostly, it's the "no-bake" part. i just don't groove on the convenience as a selling point... i want it to be "outstanding" or "best ever" with the fact that you don't have to bake it just a reality of the recipe. this is all to say, i recently made a batch (and then a second, soon followed by a third) of these no-bake energy bites. they have many of the same ingredients found in this granola bar recipe: chocolate, coconut (mine was untoasted,) nut butter, (minus the extra sugar and butter.) and i think you could add in the nuts and some dried fruit and they'd still roll up. worth a try! and because they're not cooked, the chewy factor is way up there. i think you'd like them.

11:16 AM, May 06, 2012  
Anonymous Amy said...

These look fabulous! So glad to hear that you are enjoying Nina Planck. If you have a Facebook account, you can also "friend" her. She sticks to the topic of food and engages many of her fans in interesting discussion. One of the only reasons why I check Facebook is to read her posts :)

1:30 PM, May 06, 2012  
Anonymous Liz W (EmmaEats) said...

Texas Forever!

I certainly fell in love with FNL *and* got to see Riggins in person when he was in town on a talk show. Oh my!

Your granola bars look fantastic. I make a nut-free version for us that is similar and sooooooo popular I can hardly keep up with demand.

6:35 PM, May 06, 2012  
Blogger OMG! Yummy said...

Hi Molly,

First off, sorry to hear that 2012 has been a bit of a bear so far. I hope it calms down. Ours also started off with a bad bang right on January 1 and hasn't slowed down but as eventually happens, the bright spots are starting to outshine the less-appealing aspects.

Now on to granola bars - I've been thinking about making granola bars for a while for all the reasons both you and Smitten Kitchen said - but I am past the baby stage. I'm dealing with teenage life where I am chauffeuring continuously and for the kids, sleep and make-up are far more important than eating until, of course, they wake up enough to realize they are starving! So grab and go with protein included is just what this family needs. I recently bought an almond butter with flaxseed in it at Trader Joe's that I bet would taste great in these.

By the way, your exhaustion is actually good training. It is not only the pregnancy that makes you tired, but the 18+ years of parenting that comes afterwards. But none of the books I read while pregnant told me that!

I look forward to sharing the storytelling panel with you at BlogHerFood. I saw you speak in San Francisco in 2010 and shortly thereafter read your book and was sorry to see it end so I'm glad you're pounding through another manuscript (selfishly)!

Look forward to talking with you and meeting you soon!

9:37 PM, May 06, 2012  
Blogger Abby said...

I think I cried on every single episode of FNL from season one to the end. And Tim is my imaginary high-school beau.

Congrats on your baby. And granola bars are always better with chocolate! So says my 3-year-old.

6:57 AM, May 07, 2012  
Blogger Sara said...

I watched every episode of Friday Night Lights, start to finish, during my pregnancy. I sometimes worried how swooning for Tim Riggins might effect my baby, but he's turned out ok :-)

And also, there's this recipe in Heidi's most recent book for some oatcake type things that also fit this bill (with raisins and chocolate added of course) and are a perfect "mommy snack" (this is what we refer to for those snacks that are necessary to keep a pregnant or nursing mama's voracious appetite fed with good food).

9:11 AM, May 07, 2012  
Blogger jacqui | happyjackeats said...

Rigs. FNL. No regrets.

2:47 PM, May 07, 2012  
Anonymous Heather said...

I too, miss Tim Riggins. He was so misunderstood, don't you think? Thanks for sending me to learn more about Nina Planck. I have reserved her book at our library. Hang in there. : > )

4:40 PM, May 07, 2012  
Anonymous BethDH said...

I read this and immediately started collecting the ingredients....I used sweetened shredded coconut & the 1/3 cup of sugar. They were a delight & a real hit for an early morning call at the hospital. Thanks for your prose & delicious food!

4:44 PM, May 07, 2012  
Anonymous Amielle said...

Those look like a delicious, easy snack. Which we're all about in our family. Pretty sure that'll be something that I'll be trying out this summer.

8:54 PM, May 07, 2012  
Anonymous Monna said...

Molly, I know you are going to finish that book. Out here, we are all cheering you on. You go, girl!

9:52 PM, May 07, 2012  
Anonymous Natalie said...

Molly, you had me at the peanut butter line of the recipe. Peanut butter and chocolate? I'm there!

Sorry to hear about the family health issue -- I'm sending out some supportive energy for that. And thanks for the FNL reminder. It's on my list of TV series to rent soon. (I'm happy to claim Taylor Kitsch as a fellow Canadian. No, please, no applause... I hardly did anything.)

Take good care of yourself as you prepare to birth both a baby and a book -- I know that many are eagerly anticipating the latter, since your writing (and culinary) skills are so awesome, but the former has to be priority #1, since you can't reschedule THAT deadline! ;o)

8:02 AM, May 08, 2012  
Blogger Jessica Reed said...

Hi Molly,

Thanks for this recipe! I ran right home and made a batch. As well, I love both of Nina Planck's books . . . they make so much sense.



11:17 AM, May 08, 2012  
Anonymous Emily Rae said...

I know what my Wednesday Baking will be! And if there were a Tim Riggins make-out DVD (OR INTERACTIVE VIDEO GAME -- no, too creepy?) I would also like that.

11:55 AM, May 08, 2012  
Blogger bex said...

I also have a small human growing under my shirt and am currently reading Nina Planck's Real Food for Mother and Baby. My sister-in-law, who lent me Real Food a year ago, graciously gave me this baby-relevant book a few weeks ago. A vegetarian for years, I can't quite bring myself to devour much meat, but I've still taken the messages of whole, traditional foods to heart, incorporating more eggs, dairy, and fish into my diet, especially as of late. She's a lovely writer!

4:03 PM, May 08, 2012  
Blogger Mish, Al, and Acer said...

I LOVE these bars. They were my go to recipe for quite a long time. I plan to go back to them once we figure out if my son can eat oats (he was recently diagnosed with celiac disease) Glad to see you tried them with less sugar, I'm always trying to do that much to the dismay of my family :) Thanks again for your wonderful recipes!

6:54 PM, May 08, 2012  
Anonymous Erica said...

So I have been pretty sure we were kindred spirits since I started reading your blog, but then you mention Riggins and I know for sure! I love your recipes thank you for sharing :) good luck with the lil one I am excited to take your Nina suggestion!

7:13 PM, May 08, 2012  
Anonymous Courtney said...

these look absolutely wonderful and something I could make this weekend for both myself and my daughter. I'm going to give them ago on Saturday - thanks so much!

11:31 AM, May 09, 2012  
Anonymous Mairsydoats said...

YES on Riggins! Though I kinda crush on the coach too. Thank god for Netflix!

3:01 PM, May 09, 2012  
Anonymous katie-anne said...

oh. my. these are incredible. i don't think i've ever gone so rapidly from reading a recipe to making it. and then licking every last bit of the honey-pb-butter-vanilla slurry out of the bowl. thank you!

8:58 AM, May 10, 2012  
Anonymous mary e said...

I just want to say how lovely reading your blog is now that I've also started listening to Spilled Milk. Now, when I read your blog posts, I hear them in my head in your actual voice. :-)

9:03 AM, May 10, 2012  
Blogger Melissa said...

From one pregnant woman to another, I would just like to say a huge THANK YOU for sharing this recipe. I made them as soon as I could get in the kitchen and they are oh so good. I don't think I could ever eat a store bought one again. My husband thanks you also, he's a granola bar junky, especially if it has some chocolate.

10:55 AM, May 10, 2012  
Blogger Heather T. Handicrafter said...

I miss FNL! I loved all the characters, but I agree, Tim held a special place in my heart. His character was so real, gritty and complex, and Taylor did a great job.

But, I will say, I'm all about Matt Saracen. I just wanted to hug him. He was adorable and melted my little lesbian heart.

I wish I could have a dinner party with Tammie Taylor and fam. Wasn't their portrayal of a real marriage, the ups, downs, challenges, compromise, the most genuine reflection of strong values.

wow, I really miss that show.

and now I have to make the granola bars.

12:22 PM, May 10, 2012  
Anonymous Angie Lynn said...


I tried these and they were dee-lish! I am already planning to make them this weekend for my sweet little family of five. This time however, I'll make a double batch.

Good luck on making your deadline. Then end is near! I am looking forward to your second book. The first was lovely.

3:18 PM, May 10, 2012  
Blogger michele said...

Hi Molly, as a new reader to your blog I haven't posted a comment yet, but I wanted to let you know that your recent posts reawakened my love for granola!!! Thank you!!

8:23 AM, May 11, 2012  
Blogger ThePixie said...

Ooh, those bars look delicious! Might have to give them a try sometime

12:40 PM, May 11, 2012  
Anonymous Ena said...

I saw these on Smitten Kitchen a long time ago and never made them, but when I saw your post I had to make them as soon as possible. I made them yesterday morning and within 24 hours only one piece was left. My mother who almost never eats sweets but loves anything granola ate almost the entire batch herself. I put about a cup of cashews and almonds (what I had on hand), 1/2 cup raisins, 1/2 cup coconut chips 1/2 cup sunflower seeds and maybe 1/5 cup wheat germ. I used 1/3 cup sugar and would use an even lesser amount next time, perhaps only 1/5 cup. Not that they were too sweet this way but I would use less. Anyway, they are so good. I am making them again in a few days.

12:52 PM, May 12, 2012  
Blogger Jordan said...

These do look tasty. Thanks again for all your inspired recipes and writing. And say hi to Danielle for me! (she and ryan can be so hard to get a hold of ;)


2:22 PM, May 12, 2012  
Anonymous Marissa | Pinch and Swirl said...

Hi Molly. I'm really looking forward to your next book - loved the last one and even got to meet you in Olympia in the test kitchen at Bayview Market. Such fun. I'll be thinking of you these next couple of weeks as you finish it up - so much pressure/uncertainty and then BOOM! it's done. And then, I hope, relief for you and luxurious naps!
Nina Planck's, What to Eat and Why had great influence on me a few years ago. I'm still iffy about drinking raw milk (though I adore raw cheese) - beyond that I think she's spot on! Hope you've read or plan to read Tamar Adler's, The Everlasting Meal - it's a knockout. All best!

5:15 PM, May 13, 2012  
Anonymous Kate said...

Hi Molly! What a delicious combo - Tim Riggins and homemade granola bars. Best wishes to you as you're working on baking up that little bebe!

10:20 AM, May 14, 2012  
Blogger balderton said...

Hi Molly,
I've been thinking about granola bars lately, specifically a peanut butter-chocolate version from Giada de Laurentiis. I'll let you know how they turn out. All the best on finishing the book.

12:37 PM, May 14, 2012  
Blogger Khrista said...

Yay! I've been waiting for you to post this. And in my anticipation I actually found Smitten Kitchen's version and was going to have a go at those! I will be making these very soon! And I too (at 18 weeks pregnant) have been reading Nina Planck's book Real Food For Mother and Baby ! Best of luck with the new book!

9:26 PM, May 16, 2012  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose! So lovely to read all of the FNL love here- such an underappreciated show. And Team Riggins or Team Saracen- doesn't matter to me!

1:16 PM, May 17, 2012  
Blogger megcjones said...

these look delicious :) good luck with the book!

10:37 AM, May 18, 2012  
Blogger Stephanie said...

These look great. The post where you shared the olive oil and maple granola has made me a granola lover. I make that almost every week now. I am excited to try these granola bars!

9:31 AM, May 19, 2012  
Blogger Aunt Laura said...

Thanks so much for introducing me to Nina Planck. I hadn't heard of her before and am now reading Real Food and loving it. It makes so much sense. I've always been distrustful of chemicals in food and factory farming. The more I read the more I've come to agree with her position. Anyone who gives me permission to drink whole milk again is okay in my book! I can't wait to try your granola bar recipe - sounds great.

5:11 PM, May 19, 2012  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Planck has another book titled "Real food for mother and baby" which will take all the craziness out of feeding that soon-to-be little one of yours. I read it cover to cover with my first.

2:56 PM, May 20, 2012  
Blogger Kayla said...

Oh man, do those look yummy. Loved dried cherries and chocolate, Those are my favorite Kashi bars. Definitely making these! Have been meaning to start watching Friday Night Lights for some time now... need to make more of an effort, I suppose! Congrats on your baby!

10:09 AM, May 22, 2012  
Anonymous Michelle said...

I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment of Tim Riggins. Especially the suggestion of the make-out video. Someone should get on that!

3:14 PM, May 22, 2012  
Blogger Melanie said...

Haven't read your blog posts for months. I guess I've been sleeping ... (due 10/2)! But this afternoon, when once again, I was trying to figure out a quick, safe lunch, I thought - I should peruse Molly's blog for some new ideas. What do you know - I find you're eating the same things I've been eating - hard boiled eggs, nut butter, lots of fruit and vegetables. But I haven't been eating these bars! Congratulations! (And thanks!)

6:13 PM, May 23, 2012  
Anonymous Kimby said...

Molly, I loved your description of a pick-me-up vs. dessert. :) I'm also tickled to see you asked for an extension on your book. Do what works for YOU! Smiling over your "cave" reference. That was a wonderful post and so was this one.

12:49 PM, May 24, 2012  
Blogger oceanric said...

I just baked this yesterday night. The granola had some crumble while I cutting it this morning. But I guess it's due to the hot weather in my country or my knife ain't sharp enough. Well, those don't bother me much as the granola taste awesome! I used 1/3 cup sugar and it's more then enough!
Totally LOVE LOVE it. Thanks for this beautiful recipe :)

6:41 PM, May 24, 2012  
Blogger Erin LaDue said...

My Foodie friend and now GOOP recommended your blog. So glad to find another FNL fan. I was depressed when I was done watching. Tim made my heart flutter. Going to Pin your blog in my "blogs I love"

7:45 PM, May 24, 2012  
Blogger Emma said...

oh, my goodness. i will definitely be making these soon!
i just found your blog, i'm amazed at your brilliant photos, amazing writing, and your originality and voice! :)

6:10 PM, May 27, 2012  
Blogger Lorraine Joy Alegria-Vizcarra said...

The bars look great. I know how you feel and get as much rest as possible.

3:59 PM, May 29, 2012  
Blogger Cat King said...

You're so close Molly! Hope you're seeing the light at the end of the tunnel... And if not, I hope there are at least baked goods nearby to get you through it :)

6:18 PM, May 30, 2012  
Anonymous Ena said...

I made these again yesterday, but that's not why I'm posting. I can imagine how hectic your days have been so I wish you loads of good luck with the manuscript!

6:37 AM, May 31, 2012  
Anonymous Mindy said...

Clear eyes, full hearts. Sorry, but Coach Taylor makes my heart go pitter pat. I will try those Granola Bars, though, and I'm sure we'll see eye to eye on those. :)

8:29 PM, June 01, 2012  
Blogger Meg said...

I am making these for the 3rd time right now. I keep justifying it by telling myself that it is because my kids are gobbling them up, but it really might mainly be me. I should have known that they would be good when presented alongside Riggins. Hmmh.

12:28 PM, June 03, 2012  
Blogger Karen said...

I am totally trying these granola bars. Except I am going to have to substitute cashew butter for peanut butter. I work at a commercial bakery and we are a peanut free facility which makes things very tricky for me as I love anything peanut. Stop me now if you think that won't work!

1:49 PM, June 03, 2012  
Anonymous clémence said...

i really like these granola bars!

2:03 AM, June 04, 2012  
Blogger kristin said...

Molly, a very late congrats to you and brandon! I wanted to comment sooner but i just had my own little person this past december and somehow i run out of time to peruse the interwebs like i'm used to!
Also i wanted to say i love love love the recipes you've recommended from good to grain (ended up buying it). you're right that rye crumble is ridiculous! (Also, as an aside, i have your cookbook...i'm not used to getting teary eyed while reading about recipes. I loved it. I can't wait for your next one!)
I have the ingredients for these granola bars and hope to make this week!

1:10 PM, June 05, 2012  
Blogger kristin said...

p.s. i miss FNL so badly too.

1:11 PM, June 05, 2012  
Anonymous wandering educators said...

Making.These.Bars. thank you!

hope your book is in, and you can breathe (well, if the baby moves a little bit and lets you)!!

2:51 PM, June 05, 2012  
Anonymous Jeff @ Cheeseburger said...

Hi molly. How's the manuscript coming along?

This granola bars are very delicious!

12:49 AM, June 06, 2012  
Blogger Gloria said...

Hi Molly,

I am new to reading your blog. I did read your book, A Homemade Life, and LOVED it! And, I have an issue of, Where Women Cook, that featured you. It was fun to take a look around here, and discover the news that you were expecting a baby. Congratulations! I hope all is well, and that your manuscript it coming along fine. I was born on Sept. 15th...:) Maybe the baby will be born around the same date?? Those granola bars look very yummy! Thanks for sharing!


p.s. I did a blog post that includes a photo of french toast I made from your book. Just thought I would share that with you.

3:07 PM, June 06, 2012  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the recipe, I will bake some this weekend. Wishing you and your Baby the Best! and Congrats on your book! I know it will be a success!

11:52 PM, June 07, 2012  
Anonymous The Lucky Wife/Anne said...

I am going to have to try these... look and sound delicious. Love that chocolate cherry combo too and my son loves dried cherries.

~The Lucky Wife
The Saturday Evening Pot

9:26 PM, June 10, 2012  
Anonymous amy@currylime said...

Love the chocolate-cherry-coconut combination!

12:06 PM, June 12, 2012  
Blogger Mika said...

It took me a LONG time (and many many tries) to develop a perfect Granola Bar recipe. Your recipe (and Smitten Kitchen's) kept falling apart as I cut the sheet into bars. My success -Granola Cups!!! Here is the recipe with pictures: http://cuceesprouts.com/2012/06/crunchy-granola-cups

1:00 PM, June 13, 2012  
Anonymous Heidi - Apples Under My Bed said...

lovely. Ahhh the fine line between afternoon pick me up and dessert. Great use of whole foods here. Wonderful recipe, thanks for sharing.
Heidi xo

5:23 PM, June 13, 2012  
Blogger Kenda said...

It's interesting that this recipe doesn't contain eggs, baking powder or baking soda. Loved the story about your Aunt loving to live in SF. I've always wanted to live there. Maybe it's time.

10:41 AM, July 10, 2012  
Anonymous HRossP said...

I just made these granola bars (July 8, 2012) and am surprised how addictive they are! Thank-you for a fabulous recipe!
I just found out about your blog after reading your first book (just finished) and am really looking forward to your next book.
Loving your blog now that I know about it.

9:52 AM, July 11, 2012  
Anonymous Pam said...

We loooove these! Have made them many times and cobbled them together with dried apricots instead of cherries this time around. Also had a brain blip and forgot the recipe called for instant oatmeal so used the regular I had purchased. All was good! Also used a spare coffee grinder to grind the 1/3 cup oats so I didn't have to break out the food processor and it worked like a charm. Another Orangette winner!

5:21 PM, January 31, 2014  
Blogger Unknown said...

Okay, so: really late to get in the commenting game on this post, but nevertheless: I have just made these (also without the quick-cooking oats, as we do not have them in Denmark, where I live), but as I did not have peanut butter on hand, I substituted it for sesame paste. I tentatively tried the batter, and the sesame taste was really overwhelming, but after baking, it becomes very subtle and lovely. Definitively a recommendation, should any of you be in a similar pinch.

10:22 PM, January 29, 2015  

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