Quickie Cookie Baked Oatmeal
When I have the pleasure of some one-on-one time with my 3-year-old niece, I like to think of a project or activity she will really enjoy. Whether it’s making homemade play dough (has to be blue!) or a simple walk to the playground, I have at least as much fun as she does.
After making this recipe for speedy, single serve baked oatmeals, it occurred to me that this would be an ideal recipe for her to help make. I remember when my kids learned to crack an egg — in preschool. At the time, I marveled that it had never occurred to me to let them try, although they were able to do it quite well. And it was so much fun for them. Since this recipe required minimal time and ingredients (and included an egg), I figured it would be perfectly suited to what could be a short attention span. The fact that she could bring home breakfast for the next day–a breakfast that she made herself–was an extra bonus.
For a twist on the original, we made a chocolate chip cookie version. While it sounds decadent, the sugar content is low and the recipe does not rely on butter or other added fat to taste great. The base is whole grain oats with the added benefit of an egg for protein and fruit for good measure. A single-size instant oatmeal packet provides a pre-measured shortcut, but a half cup of quick oats works equally well. While old-fashioned oats could be used, the texture would be a bit heavier.
The microwave option makes these a cinch to whip up although the conventional oven method does offer a slightly better texture. When microwaving, it is easier to overcook, so check early the first time as all microwaves cook a little differently.
When baking, I often prepare several at once. After cooling, cover and store at room temperature overnight or in the fridge for 4-5 days. For slightly gooey chocolate chips, I like to reheat very briefly in the microwave before eating. My kids prefer the crunch of the chocolate chips when cold.
- 1 packet (1/2 cup/50 grams) instant plain oatmeal or 1/2 cup (45 grams) quick oats
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup mashed, very ripe banana (in a pinch, substitute applesauce)
- 1 teaspoon each brown sugar and granulated sugar (see notes)
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda (optional; see notes)
- 1 tablespoon chocolate chips plus a few extra for sprinkling on top
- In a medium bowl, mash the banana with a fork. Whisk in the egg, sugars, vanilla, and baking soda (if using). Stir in the oats and chocolate chips until thoroughly combined.
- Transfer the mixture to a well greased, microwave or oven-safe ramekin or bowl, and smooth the top with the back of a spoon or spatula, dotting a few more chocolate chips over the top. (I have used 8- and 16-ounce dishes as well as mini loaf pans; note cooking time variation below.)
- Bake in an oven preheated to 350 degrees F for approximately 15 minutes for a 2-cup ramekin or mini loaf pan, or 18 minutes for a 1-cup ramekin. The center should be just cooked through.
- Conversely, microwave for 1 minute 45 seconds to 2 1/2 minutes, or until the top of the oatmeal is slightly firm to the touch. (If microwaved too long, the oatmeal will become tough. Check on the early side until you know how long this takes in your microwave, extending the time if your microwave tends to cook more slowly.)
- See comment section above for serving and storing suggestions. Other delicious options include stirring a few chopped nuts into the batter or spreading the cooked oatmeal with peanut butter and a few slices of banana. The oatmeals can be popped out of the baking dish and enjoyed like a muffin or topped like traditional, stovetop oatmeal. Feel free to create your own version of this speedy, whole-grain, protein-rich breakfast!
I usually make instant baked oatmeals with honey or maple syrup but used the two sugars this time in keeping with the chocolate chip cookie theme. Feel free to use a natural sweetener, if preferred.
My original recipe uses no baking soda or powder. I have experimented with various options and found that the addition of 1/4 teaspoon of either of these creates a little more rise. Some people may be aware of a slight aftertaste from baking powder, so I prefer the soda here. The difference in flavor and texture is minimal, however, so feel free to omit or try both ways.
This recipe was shared at Moonlight & Mason Jars.