Apparently, when I want to feel fancy, I reach for a vanilla bean and a kitchen torch.  Again and again.  I hope my friends and loved ones don’t mind the repetition.  A kitchen torch never fails to impress, and a vanilla bean never fails to deliver its intoxicating aroma.  Add cute little ramekins to the mix and I believe world peace could be attained right here in this country kitchen.

I fought my instinct to add some kirsch or amaretto to this baked oatmeal.  If it’s a lazy Saturday or Sunday morning, I think you should add the booze.  I pulled this recipe together one Friday morning when we decided it was too foggy to drive into work.  The school buses racing by on the county road outside prevented me from glugging it in with reckless abandon.  Even when I take a day off, I rarely fail to relax.  I treat it as a day to accomplish as much as possible:  laundry, mopping, baking, photographing, grocery shopping, weeding, making stock with the vegetable odds and ends I throw in the freezer while I cook each night (thanks, Nat!), and the list goes on and on.  I’m hoping these decadent breakfasts we’ve been enjoying lately will make me pause and savor the moments before the sun peaks through the fog.

Other recipes in the 2012 Valentine’s Day Breakfast in Bed series so far:
Cheddar Biscuit Breakfast Sandwiches
Pina Colada Smoothie
Creme Brulee French Toast

To browse all of my small breakfast recipes, click here.

Cherry Vanilla Baked Oatmeal

Cherry Vanilla Baked Oatmeal

Makes 2 10-ounce ramekins.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rolled oats (not instant oats)
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (plus extra for greasing ramekins)
  • 1/3 of a vanilla bean, scraped of its black seeds
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 2 teaspoons sugar for bruleeing the top (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 and grease the ramekins with the extra butter. Add 1/4 of dried cherries to the bottom of each ramekin. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients (oats through salt). In a measuring cup, whisk the milk, egg yolk, melted butter, vanilla bean seeds. Divide the dry oat mixture between each ramekin, then slowly pour the milk mixture on top. Use the measuring cup to evenly divide the wet ingredients into each ramekin. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until puffed and slightly set. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of sugar on each ramekin and brulee with a kitchen torch for an extra touch. Serve warm.