Pumpkin Caramel Oatmeal Cakes, Could Breakfast Get Any Better?
What? Me make breakfast? LOL. Yes, believe it or not I, 100%, suck at making breakfast items and cooking dinners. My husband won’t let me near his usual breakfast plate or let me assist in his weekend waffle makings. I am really not quite sure why I can’t shake a good breakfast recipe or two out of my arsenal.
And preparing dinner? Ugh, it’s usually burned, over cooked, or way over sauced. Seriously, I belong on that show on Food Network, “Worst Cooks In America”. How I am able to dream up successful, dessert recipes and combinations, but not figure out what flavors go well together to dress up a chicken breast? I’ll never understand! I fantasize over sweet treats in my head and have visions of different cupcakes, cookies, and brownies all day long. But when it comes time to plan breakfast or dinner, I draw a blank and I grow quite intimidated. Anyhow, my sweet little ladies have enjoyed a few of my breakfast trials the past few weeks. I’m becoming so irritated with my breakfast and dinner issues, it’s truly absurd.
Here’s the funny part, I saw that Bob’s Red Mill is hosting a contest “Spar For The Spurtle”, which is a contest for the best steel cut oats recipe! You can probably tell by now, I have become majorly addicted to baking and recipe contests. It has been a lot of fun creating and actually writing down recipes, instead of keeping them all in my head and selfishly to myself! I seem to be entering a contest at least once a week. I’m giggling inside when I pull up web addresses and see my deliciously, beautiful dessert sitting on the line up to be judged! Now do you see my frustration with being breakfastly impaired? I wanted in on the Bob’s Red Mill contest, so to the drawing board I go. The catch to this Spar For The Spurtle contest is that you are only allowed to use 2 stove-top burners as equipment, no oven, no blenders, no microwave, etc. Umm, wow, that’s a hard one for me because ALL I do is bake and I always want to turn things into cake or cookies. Without the use of an oven my idea of cookies flew out the window (just as quickly as some of my dinners go in the trashcan). A few days and batches, of what I thought were good ideas, passed and then as I’m waiting for the oats to cook, BAM! Homemade caramel sounds good on top of oatmeal! I get out my pot and start making the base of my simple homemade caramel sauce. Again, I’m thinking hard about what would be a warm, comforting food in the morning to eat? I went through a few flavor combinations the day before, so I am scavenging the baking pantry for a gleam of hope in what is left on my barren shelves…I literally jump up and down when I move a can to the side and happily see canned 100% pumpkin! YES!!!! That is it!!! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE pumpkin on and in any dessert. What if I take this pumpkin and turn it into a caramel sauce on top of my cooked oats? Then add a little crunch with gingersnap cookies and almonds?!! Are you following me? I’ve never seen or had a pumpkin caramel before, to me the idea in itself is unique. I am stoked with what I am about to share with you. This will be on your fall and winter gift giving list for every friend, teacher, and coworker you can think of! I can’t even tell you how amazing Pumpkin Caramel Sauce is on vanilla ice cream.
Here is a little update: My Pumpkin Caramel Oatmeal Cakes made the Bob’s Red Mill judges’ job very difficult. My recipe was a finalist for one of the top 3 spots and I was told that they had to make an extension on decision day because there were some amazing recipe submissions. I didn’t win the grand prize, but received a wonderful email from a Bob’s Red Mill staff member stating how decadent and delightful my recipe was. She also continued to tell me that the judges insisted on creating a 4th place position for my dish (there were only monetary payouts for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places). I received a $100 gift card in the mail a few days later!
Pumpkin Caramel Oatmeal Cakes
Yields: 3-1/2 cup oatmeal cakes
1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut Oats
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup salted butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/8 tsp salt (pinch)
7.5 ounces canned pumpkin (half of the can and NOT pumpkin pie mix)
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
For the garnish:
6 crushed gingersnaps
12 whole almonds
1. In a medium pot, boil water and add oats immediately. Cover and reduce to low and cook 18-20 minutes until thick and aldente. No water should be visible, we want these fully absorbed.
2. Set oatmeal aside. Prepare Pumpkin Caramel Sauce. In another pot on medium high heat, melt the butter and brown sugar. Stir until in comes together and becomes smooth.
3. Add canned pumpkin and be careful because it will spurt. Mix well and slowly stir in heavy cream this too may spurt and bubble.
4. Stir in cinnamon and nutmeg. Continue stirring for 5-7 minutes and mixture is slightly bubbling.
5. Remove pumpkin caramel sauce from burner. Set aside a few minutes until warm or slightly hot. Add vanilla.
6. Using a 1/2 cup dry ingredients measuring cup, scoop and pack oatmeal and place in a bowl.
7. Ladle warm pumpkin caramel sauce over oatmeal. Your choice how little or much!!!
8. Scatter crushed gingersnap cookies and 4 whole almonds on top of each dish.