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So let me tell you a tragic little tale about this friend I had in college. This friend of mine once needed a lot of help from one of her professors on a paper and he very graciously spent about 2 hours of time that he could have been doing whatever college professors do during their office hours helping my friend gather some information. Feeling indebted to her professor and also a little peckish, my friend made a batch of the most delicious oatmeal raisin cookies in the universe. The next day, she took the batch of cookies to school with her so she could take them to her professor as a thank you. But before she would have a chance to deliver the cookies, she had to work. At a computer. In an office. By herself. For four hours. I am sad to report that none of the cookies survived. And then, just to really knock the day out of the park, she skipped class and took a nap on the floor of the mother’s lounge next to her office. Sadly, the teacher was never properly thanked and the most tragic part of the tale is that the quality of the cookies was never replicated.
So yeah…this friend of mine kind of has a thing for warm, sweet, cinnamon-y oatmeal-raisin-y goodness and even though she’s tried to figure out what she did so right that one time (it was the recipe on the Quaker oatmeal container. And while we’re throwing all our secrets out there, my “friend” was me. Are you shocked?), she is consoled with this recipe which is also kind of her favorite breakfast of all time. Because as long as you serve this with bacon and orange juice, this baked oatmeal is totally breakfast (or breakfast for dinner). Just ignore the amounts of butter and brown sugar that set off your cookie radar. Unless your kids refuse to eat it. Then you can totally tell them it’s cookies for breakfast.
You’ll need oats (duh, right?! But don’t get the quick-cooking ones), milk, some kind of dried fruit (I love craisins, but raisins, cherries, coconut, or even dried apples are all good), eggs (these are not cookies), 3/4-1 cup of brown sugar (I do 3/4 c. and then if anyone wants more, they can add it themselves), cinnamon, baking powder, and butter (again…definitely not cookies!). I bet you could add some walnuts or pecans, too, and it would be awesome.
Also, in the spirit of not-cookie-ness, I bet it would be not disgusting if you left out the fruit and added some chocolate chips right before serving the oatmeal. If you can live with yourself for adding chocolate chips to your breakfast. And I think you guys know me well enough to know that I totally can.
Anyway. Preheat your oven to 350. In a large mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar, oats, dried fruit, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt.
See? Doesn’t that look wholesome and healthy? It just kind of makes you think of something warm and cozy you’d be whipping up in a snowy cottage after a morning of cross-country skiing or other strenuous and good-for-you activity. At which point you take out a smaller mixing bowl and melt a stick of butter.
Add your eggs, milk, and vanilla to the melted butter and whisk it to combine.
Then add the butter/milk/egg mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well. Pour this mixture into a deep 9″ or 10″ pie plate or an 8″x8″ or 9″x9″ baking dish. Or something similar. Just don’t get too big–I’ve found a 9×13″ pan makes things a little too dry.
Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
Don’t worry about cutting it–just scoop it into individual bowls and add a splash of warm or hot milk (cold milk is weird–everything becomes lukewarm, which isn’t really what you’re after). If you’re wondering what it’s like (besides awesome), it’s kind of a cross between regular oatmeal and a granola bar. Like (dare I say it??) a warm cookie that kind of falls apart with a spoon.
3/4 c. Craisins, raisins, dried cherries, or other dried fruit
1 c. milk
1/2 c. butter, melted (you can substitute applesauce for 1/4 c. of the butter if you want)
2 tsp. vanilla
Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and Craisins. In a smaller bowl, mis together the milk, butter, vanilla, and eggs. Add the liquid mixture to the dry mixture and whisk to combine. Pour into a deep 9″ pie plate or an 8×8″ or 9×9″ baking dish. Bake for 40 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Serve immediately with a splash of warmed milk. Serves 8.