09 November 2016

A goldenness

Funny, I wrote this post on Election Day, hadn't published it yet. I, like everyone, woke up to an Internet with a lot of strong feelings.

I'm not sure anyone has escaped this election without feeling deeply, deeply provoked on some level. 

I don't think I've listened to the radio (often while cooking) more in my life than over the past few months. 

We haven't stopped doing what we're doing just because of a chaotic season of anxiety around us and now we are not going to stop doing what we are doing because something has been decided that we perhaps, have major problems with, but the person next to us, does not. 

We've had to keep going. We've had to examine our conscious. We've had to, in small ways remember what grounds us.To hold everyone accountable and to to be kind and strong and gracious. I woke up today wanting to act, to protect, to remember who I am, no matter what.

The other day, in search of something new, I turned to a page in Good to the Grain (my first love of cookbooks and part of the inspo for this blog) for a new granola bar recipe. I'm hooked. They make a great breakfast with some yogurt or a snack in the afternoon. 

They have a crispiness and a goldenness. They are easy to put together, and they are chock full of ground flax, which I had in the pantry. I reduced the dried fruit, butter, sugar and honey by just a bit and that is reflected below. 

These bars, they're quiet little winners with great crunch. Wishing you all a peaceful mind, friends. 

Kim Boyce's Granola Bars

(Adapted from Good to the Grain)

3 Tbs unsalted butter, plus extra to butter the pan with your hands
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup flaxseed meal (I used golden)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 c chopped dates or other dried fruit
1/3 cup honey
3 Tbs brown sugar
1tablespoon unsulphured molasses
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 325° F. Generously butter a 9 x 9-inch glass or metal baking dish.
Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed pot at medium heat and stir the oats every minute or so for about 6 minutes. The oats need to be about two shades darker than they are raw.
Pour the toasted oats into a large bowl. Wipe out the pot and set it aside to use again for the syrup. Add fruit, flaxseed meal and the cinnamon to the bowl.

To make the syrup, measure the honey, brown sugar, molasses, and salt into the reserved pot. Place it over a medium flame, stir to combine, and cook the syrup until evenly boiling, about 4-5 minutes. 

Pour the syrup over the oat mixture, making sure to use a spatula to scrape every last bit out. Then use the spatula to coat every flake with syrup. This means going over and over, tossing and scraping the oats together. Scrape the granola mixture into the prepared pan. Form the bars, butter your hands and press the oats firmly and evenly into the pan.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. The outer edge of the granola bars should be darker than the rest and the bars should have a beautiful sheen. 

Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Cut the contents of the pan into quarters, for a total of 16 bars. Remove the bars from the pan and let cool before eating.

The granola bars can be eaten the day they're made, or kept in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

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