I must say that it's just ever so nice to be back. It’s been a long and, at times, harrowing six weeks here in the Circle B Kitchen, and yes, I owe you a whole bunch of recipes, and I wish I could post one every day for the next two weeks to say thank you to all of you who have been so kind, thoughtful and supportive while I’ve been otherwise engaged in my father’s recovery from 2 surgeries and weeks on end in the hospital. He’s back home with Mom now, and still has quite a bit of healing to do, but life is slowly returning to normal for us. And that means my joyous return to the kitchen and getting to share my favorite stuff with you all. And this overnight oatmeal is most assuredly some of our favorite stuff.
Not having time to cook much of anything recently, this overnight oatmeal was a godsend. I could throw everything in the slow-cooker before bed and wake up to a gloriously scrumptious breakfast; when I remembered to actually get it assembled the night before. This continues to be the most challenging part of the recipe for me. :)
Now, slow-cooker oatmeal recipes have been around for like ever, but this, my friends, is a whole other animal. My first favorite thing about it is the way the kitchen smells upon entering first thing in the morning... like apple pie baking. My other first favorite thing is how easy it is to make. And my other first favorite thing about it is its incredible deliciousness. If I hadn’t known better, I would have thought I was dipping my spoon into a dish of bread pudding. With brown-sugar caramelized apples. This is what I like to wake up to in the morning.
And in the off chance it’s what you might also like to wake up to, here’s the recipe…
OVERNIGHT APPLE-CINNAMON OATMEAL
My rice cooker has a slow-cook setting with a shut-off timer, so I can set it to cook for 8 hours and it will keep the oatmeal warm until we're ready to eat. Nice feature. The apples and brown sugar caramelize on the bottom, which is what makes this recipe so great. If you don’t have a crock pot or slow-cooker, I have added some guidelines at the bottom for doing this in the oven, but you might have to experiment with your oven and pan to recreate just the right slow-cooked method. As for the apples, the best ones for this are those that hold up well when cooked. You don’t want your apples going mushy. I’ve had great success with Fujis, but gravensteins or any baking apple will be good here. Also, if you like raisins in your oatmeal, add them after the oats cook as they tend to burn and turn bitter with long cooking time. Enjoy!
1 apple chopped (peeled is optional)
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt (I add a pinch more)
¼ cup brown sugar
1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup milk
1 cup water
Place ingredients in slow cooker in above order. Do not stir. Cook on low overnight. May add cream or milk and chopped nuts to serve.
Alternate Oven Method
This method isn't quite a reliable as using a slow cooker or crock pot, as there are many more variables to consider. If your oven temperature doesn't go as low as 170, the brown sugar has a tendency to burn. The heavier the pot, the better.
Place ingredients in a heavy pan, baking dish or casserole with a lid in the order listed. Do not stir. Cover tightly with the lid. If your lid doesn’t fit really tight, cover the pan with foil, and place the lid over the foil to make a tight seal. Place in a 170- degree oven and let cook overnight (about 7-8 hours).
The success of this recipe seems to depend on your crockpot and the varying heat settings of different makes. Christy left a comment that I think might be really helpful for those of you have difficulty with this overcooking. She placed a heat-proof bowl inside her crockpot and filled the crockpot halfway with water, creating a gentle water bath for the oats to cook in overnight. Great idea!!