Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Baked Oatmeal Cups

Do you know what happens when I actually get a good night's sleep?  I wake up ready to make breakfast!  What?!  You don't seem to be grasping the magnitude of this statement!  Oh, wait, I guess I should start with, I NEVER make breakfast during the week.  We keep cereal, fruit and a bevy of quick, frozen breakfast items on hand for the kids to eat before getting on the schoolbus, because mornings are just a mad dash around my house.  As for me, I don't eat breakfast at home.  I keep some breakfast bars, and such, at work, and eat when I get there.  Now do you see how huge this is?  Granted, I skipped my morning workout routine to bake these oatmeal cups, but we're not going to focus on that.  These are not only very tasty, but they are very healthy, so I do not feel guilty.  Not one little bit.  Nope.  Okay, yes, I do, but I shouldn't, and I'm trying to convince myself that it's okay.  Work with me, will you?

Over the weekend, I made those maple pumpkin doughnuts, and had pumpkin puree left over.  Quite a bit, actually, because I bought the big, honking can of pumpkin and didn't need all of it for the recipe.  So, what to do with pumpkin puree?  I am already planning on making the pumpkin pie bread this weekend, but it requires more pumpkin than I had leftover, which would require opening the other big, honking can of pumpkin in my pantry, which would leave some leftover.......do you see the problem here?  One of the things I was thinking about was a pumpkin vinaigrette.  I googled it because, of course, I am not the first person to think of this, and found a recipe to adapt.  It turned out more balsamic than pumpkin, which is okay because I love balsamic vinaigrettes, but wasn't pumpkin-y enough for me.  Then I remembered that my inbox has been hit with a flurry of baked pumpkin oatmeal recipes, as of late.  I started searching through and found one that suggested baking it in muffin cups for individual servings.  Brilliant!  I also liked how simple and healthy it was.  No sugar added, but sweetened with honey.  Guilt-free - gotta love that!  There were only a couple of things that I wanted to tweak:  some spices that I wanted to add and some quantities that needed adjusting.  Other than that, it looked wonderful, and I was all set to try it.  My intention was to wait until tonight to make them.  However, I woke up raring to go this morning, and decided I could get them made before going to work.  Boy, am I glad I did!  What a great way to start my day - pumpkin spice baked oatmeal cup in hand!

Here's you Cast of Characters.

3 Cups Old-fashioned oats
1/2 Teaspoon salt
2 Teaspoons baking powder
2 Teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 Teaspoon ground cloves
1 Teaspoon dried orange peel
1/2 Cup honey
3/4 Cup pumpkin puree
2 Eggs, beaten
1/8 Cup milk
2 Teaspoons vanilla
1/2 Cup chopped pecans (optional)
1/2 Cup craisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 375.  Spray 12 muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium mixing bowl combine oats, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and orange peel.

Add honey, eggs, pumpkin, milk and vanilla.

Mix well.

Add nuts and/or craisins, and fold in.  I didn't have craisins but wish I did.  They would have been fantastic in here.

Spoon into muffin cups.  Fill 3/4 of the way full.

I decided, last minute, to sprinkle a little cinnamon/sugar mixture on top (maybe 1/2 teaspoon).  I thought it added that little extra something, but you can leave it off, if you want.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until they are set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Best when eaten warm, or can be reheated in the microwave for about 30 seconds.  They are delicious just as they are!

Or you can put a little milk on them, too.

They would also be good with any of the following:  butter, brown sugar, honey or cream (or any combination of those).


*Note:  You can make these in a 9 x 13 cake pan.  Just bake for 30-40 minutes.  Also, I think these would freeze well.  I am going to make another batch this weekend, and freeze them as another quick breakfast for the kids.