When my little family lived in North Carolina, one thing I ALWAYS looked forward to in our visits “home” to Milwaukee was a morning (or five) at Colectivo Coffee Roasters. I love everything about Colectivo: the coffee, the atmosphere, the friendly staff, the coffee, the baked goods, the music, the coffee, the COFFEE, the COFFEE.
Then we moved back to Wisconsin and rented a little duplex. We loved our location because of the walkable proximity to a number of great spots, not the least of which was our neighborhood Colectivo Cafe.
*Cue angel choir*
I try to live by a pretty strict budget, but when my daughter was born last May, I confess that there may have been more than one morning a week I would load up the kids in the stroller and walk us over to Colectivo for my caffeine needs and a treat for my toddler. Usually I could get by with something small and inexpensive for him to munch on during our “special coffee dates,” until the day my husband gave him a taste of his baked oatmeal.
Have you tried Colectivo baked oatmeal? HOLY YUM. The rich, sweet, nutty, fruity warm-your-belly goodness is almost too much to handle. Served with seasonal fruit and a serving of milk on the side, once you’ve had Colectivo’s baked oatmeal, you’re absolutely hooked. And, much to my dismay, this was the case with my two year old.
From that first taste forward, any mention of going for a walk resulted in a hopeful plea, “MOMMY! CAN WE GET SPECIAL OATMEAL TODAY!??!”
And as much as I would love to indulge my sweet son every time he asked for his bowl of oatmeal, we really don’t have the budget for us to go out for coffee and oatmeal every morning (or even really once a week), nor should I be that caffeinated. PLUS, if you’ve had a two-year-old boy, you know they can eat about as much as a high school football team. One bowl of oatmeal was rarely enough for him. So I began to scour the internet for a recipe that would hold a candle to the Colectivo delectability. I tried dozens. They were never quite right. Too mushy, not sweet enough, too crumbly, too fruity, etc…it seemed no one had mastered the recipe.
Then, a few months ago, our pastor was preaching a sermon on something (I’m ashamed to say I haven’t a CLUE what the message was about that day) and he mentioned having mastered the art of copying Colectivo’s baked oatmeal recipe, at HOME. I was thrilled. He was kind enough to share his recipe, and with a few tweaks of my own, I have finally tricked my son into thinking we are getting *THE* “special oatmeal” at home, every weekend!!
Besides the obvious trickery, the best part? You prepare the entire recipe the night before, add eggs in the morning, and in 40 minutes you have an entire pan of the stuff to eat on all weekend long.
- 3 cups old fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 1/2 cups milk (my husband prefers when I use buttermilk, but it gets too rich for my personal tastes that way - use what you like!)
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
- 1 ripe banana, mashed
- 2 eggs, beaten
- Combine all ingredients, with the exception of the eggs, in a large bowl.
- Cover and refrigerate overnight, or at least one hour.
- Add beaten eggs and any extra fun fruitiness you desire (my family loves craisins, peaches, or blueberries in their baked oatmeal).
- Pour into a prepared 8x8 pan or other similarly sized dish and bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes. It will be similar to a soft cookie consistency when finished.