Bake-Off Winner's $1 Million Pie

Suzanne Conrad, of Findlay, Ohio, center, reacts as she wins the $1 million prize for her recipe, Oats n Honey Granola Pie, at the 41st Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest, Tuesday, June 29, 2004, in Hollywood, Calif. Conrads recipe took the top prize among 100 contestants from across the U.S. Conrad is congratulated by $10 thousand winners Julie Amberson, left, and Tracy Schuhmacher. AP

A former librarian created a pie combining oats and walnuts with chocolate chips and crumbled granola bars to win $1 million in the Pillsbury Bake-Off on Tuesday.

Suzanne Conrad, 35, said it took a week to perfect her Oats 'n Honey Granola Pie.

"I kept sending the pies to work with my husband," said Conrad, of Findlay, Ohio, about 40 miles south of Toledo. "We just couldn't eat another piece."

She said her prize money would go into a college fund for her 3-year-old son and 1-year-old daughter and pay off loans for her master's degree in library science.

"It's a lot of money for a little effort," she said.

The 95 women and five men who were finalists in the biennial baking contest prepared their recipes Monday in a Hollywood hotel ballroom equipped with 100 mini-kitchens.

Dishes, which were judged by a 12 food experts, ranged from shrimp bisque to turkey loaf to macaroons.

Conrad's brown sugar- and corn syrup-sweetened entry takes 15 minutes to prepare and is ready in about 1½ hours.

"It's basically what a pecan pie would taste like," she said.
  • Lauren Johnston

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