Baked Maple Oatmeal

I know I’ve mentioned a few times that I’m not a breakfast person. I maintain that with one big exception. See that bowl up there? That’s the exception. That is baked oatmeal.

I had a big time Goldilocks complex about oatmeal, and not being someone who eats until ten-thirty/eleven-ish each day, I never really felt compelled to get serious about perfecting my porridge. I dutifully made oatmeal for my crew in the wee hours most days, went about my morning routine, then came back to the leftovers when my hunger kicked into gear. I repeatedly tried it to see if it was dinging my chimes yet. Not so much. By the time I was ready to eat, the stuff I’d made them in the early morning hours was  a stodgy clump of thick grey goo. Ew.

*Notable exceptions to the oatmeal blahs were my stepmom’s piping hot camping oatmeal chock full of dried fruit and seeds and drizzled with maple syrup and my dad’s peanut butter and dried fruit combos. Somehow, it just never tasted as good when I made it for myself. This is either due to the tastes-better-when-someone-you-love-makes-it-for-you-phenomenon or to the fact that I never got to eating it until about two hours after it was made. Sigh.

Then I saw Erica Berge’s gorgeous baked oatmeal a few months ago and decided to give oatmeal another whirl. Boy am I ever glad I did because it solved every issue I’ve ever had with oatmeal. It is golden and firm and moist where normal oatmeal is grey and mucilaginous and wet. The texture is like a cookie crossed with a cake crossed with granola crossed with oatmeal. Leftovers hold and reheat beautifully where regular oatmeal becomes a weird amorphous mass. See, that? That is the real kicker. It’s the holding over well that sealed the deal for me. My kids were able to have something they loved, LOVED, first thing in the morning for breakfast, and I was able to have something I loved when I was good and ready to start chowing down.

If you, like me, are doing all you can to get your brain into gear before you’ve caffeinated it, there is an added bonus; you can mix the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl, and mix/cover/refrigerate the wet ingredients the night before. Then, while still bleary-eyed the next morning,  combine the two mixtures while the butter melts in the preheating oven, pour, bake, and ta-da! You’re a hero! Quite conveniently, a double batch of this takes almost exactly as long to cook as my Pilates routine takes to complete. Admittedly, keeping me going until lunchtime is not such a challenge since my breakfast comes a paltry hour before my noon meal, but my kids are another story and this does the job admirably.

The smell of this baking is one of the easiest ways to get even the hardest-to-wake children out of bed. It has to be one of the most perfect ways to start a blustery, cold day. The comfort factor of golden, maple-kissed baked oatmeal cannot be exaggerated. With the wintery weather we have predicted this weekend, I can promise a pan full of this will be greeting my kids on our breakfast table Saturday morning and I guarantee we’ll be warm enough to face whatever blows our way!

A tasty hint:

While the oatmeal tastes wonderful by itself, when you follow Erica’s advice and serve with a splash of heavy cream on top it becomes dreamy. There is no way I can recommend the addition of heavy cream highly enough. Do. It.

 

Baked Maple Oatmeal

Baked Maple Oatmeal

The comfort factor of this golden brown, maple-kissed, baked oatmeal reminiscent of cookies, granola, and cake cannot be exaggerated. There simply is no better way to wake up on a blustery morning than to a bowl full of this drizzled with cold heavy cream.

Recipe courtesy of Erica Berge of Cooking for Seven with gentle adaptations.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup (1/2 a stick) of butter
  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (do not substitute quick or instant or steel cut oats)
  • 1/2-3/4 cup raw or maple sugar preferably (You can substitute granulated or brown sugar if necessary.)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (you can substitute Golden Syrup if you prefer it.)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (or 3/4 teaspoon ground vanilla)

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350°F. While the oven is preheating, unwrap the butter and place it in an 8-inch x 8-inch or 9-inch x 9-inch baking pan. Place the pan on the center rack of the oven and let the butter melt as the oven heats. (As soon as the butter is melted remove the pan from the oven or the butter may scorch.)

Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Whisk together the milk, eggs and vanilla extract in a separate bowl, pour over the dry ingredients and mix together with a sturdy spoon until everything is evenly combined and wet. Scrape into the pan with the melted butter and stir until most of the butter is incorporated, but there are little pockets of melted butter still visible at the corners.

Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. Serve hot with a splash or a good glug of heavy cream.

http://www.foodiewithfamily.com/2012/01/13/maple-baked-oatmeal/

Comments

  1. Lisa says

    I have been making a similar baked oatmeal for a couple of years now. You can also soak the oats overnight in buttermilk or or homemade kefir and it increases the benefits (and flavor) of your oatmeal! ;-) We really like it with chopped apples and chopped candied ginger mixed in and chopped nuts sprinkled on top before baking.

    • da papa says

      Yes, sometimes all those dried apples, peanut butter, blueberries, sunflower seeds etc can be boring. Ha! There are so many ways to vary this and all are tasty.

  2. Kimberly :) says

    I have hated oatmeal my whole life. Like you, I made it for the family but I never ate it. It was slimy and tasteless. When I read that you added nutmeg I tilted my head slightly and considered making this. Then I saw “little pockets of melted butter” in the recipe and I was IN.

    Made it this morning. You! Were! Right! If the smell of cookies-in-the-morning doesn’t hook you, the chewy, nutty texture will. You’re my hero, Rebecca.

  3. Kimberly :) says

    Oh, and I cut the recipe in half because there are only two of us here. Big mistake. I won’t do that again. I think the original measures would serve 3-4.

  4. Michelle W says

    I made this on Monday and have really enjoyed it. It’s just the hub and me, so it’s been a few days of eating, but I just microwave the portion I’m going to eat and then splash on some milk. It’s kept me fuller and more satisfied until lunch rolls around!

    Next time, I think I might bake in some of the blueberries I picked and froze this summer. YUM!

    Thanks for the recipe!

    • says

      That is wonderful, Michelle. Blueberries would be awesome in this. I might have to make two batches next time: 1 with blueberries (for ME) and 1 without (for the no fruit/no veg club.)

  5. Christine says

    I’m looking forward to trying this as written, tho the apple version will be soon to follow! im stuck until i can afford to add the maple sugar to the grocery bill. Ive been considering the method etc here, and it seems it could be forgiving, but Im no expert- do you think i could sub in a half cup of maple syrup for the sugar? Ive never cooked with maple sugar, only maple flakes and the syrup of course.

  6. emily W. says

    Oh. Em. Gee. I confess I didn’t expect it to be this good. And it is really good. Made a craisin orange almond version that rocks. Thank you thank you!

  7. Emma says

    You make oatmeal sound amazing…a cross between a cookie and cake – who wouldn’t want this for breakfast. It sounds like it’ll beat cold cereal with maple syrup hands down.

  8. says

    Never again with the packaged stuff. Never again. I made this yesterday and it reheated beautifully this morning with a couple of tablespoons of water and a minute in the microwave. I feel like I started my day off with something wonderful instead of something I had to force myself to eat to get through the morning. Thanks, friend. :)

  9. Leah says

    I made this last night to be ready for this morning, but after smelling it baking, I had to sample it fresh from the oven. Wow! I love oatmeal, and eat it nearly every day but I’m not sure I can go back now. This morning, I topped it with blueberries and milk and a dab of honey. Wonderful! It was a cinch to throw together and it did reheat beautifully. A definite keeper. Thanks again Rebecca!

  10. Dawn says

    Hi, I wanted to type a quick post to you. LOVED IT!!!! That truely was the best oatmeal ever! Thank you so much. Also, I baked mine in a cast iron skillet, heating it up with the oven and butter. It actually carmilized a little, yummy!

  11. Nancy Harrell says

    Also a staple in our home. My 4 year old requests it specifically, and I oblige him as often as possible. Thanks for a delicious recipe.

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  1. [...] came Silk Soymilk. I love it. I can drink it… As in a glass of it. I pour it over my baked oatmeal, into my chai, on breakfast cereal. An interesting thing I discovered with the Silk Soymilk is that [...]

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