I’m not a big breakfast person; I’ve really had to push myself to eat breakfast every day for the last few months (because, as we’ve all been taught, it really is important). I just don’t find myself waking up in the morning and craving anything that’s a typical breakfast food. That’s not to say I don’t like breakfast foods; I love having an omelette or pancakes or French toast—for dinner. That’s fun. And one of the benefits of living in NJ where diners are plentiful and breakfast can be ordered any time of the day (seriously – most diners around here are of the 24-hour variety).

A month or so ago, one of the breakfast food offerings in our company cafeteria was oatmeal pancakes. They actually looked really nice—dense and moist—so I got them. Yummy. Very much so. I was on a mission to find a recipe so I could make them at home myself. I found a few on the various recipe sites and tried them out one weekend.

It was a Goldilocks scenario: one batch was WAY too sweet and they ended up burning before they were cooked through because of the über-high sugar content (I was using low heat) while another required soaking of the oats and other nonsense beforehand which turned it into a 3 hour process to make some friggin’ pancakes. So I adapted the following from the recipes I found to create a pleasing final product that’s not too terribly sweet. And unlike your garden-variety buttermilk pancakes, these reheat quite well because they’re all kinds of moist and lovely.

You will need:

1 1/3 cups water
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats (the kind that come in the cylindrical container with the pilgrim on them or your personal fave) 5 tablespoons butter
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/3 cup toasted wheat germ or ground flaxseed (extra fiber-tastic)
2 eggs
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 cups diced apples or pears (blueberries ended up a little too wet for my liking, but they could work, too)

Note: I suppose you could use raisins instead of fresh fruit, too, and do a sort of oatmeal raisin pancake instead of an oatmeal raisin cookie. But I would cut back on the sugar if so since raisins pack a lot of sugar and that much combined could be too much and cause the burning.

What to do:

Combine the water, oats, and butter in a medium saucepan and heat over medium-high heat until the mixture comes to a boil. Cook until it’s very thick, stirring constantly (to prevent burning or sticking) for about 5 minutes.

Put the whole mess in a large metal or other heat-proof bowl and let it cool for 15 minutes. Add the flour, sugar, wheat germ/ground flaxseed, eggs, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and fruit, if you’re going that way.

Cook ’em up. I like smaller pancakes, so I used a smaller ice cream scoop to dole out the batter, but about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of batter for each pancake is fine. Spread the batter out a bit (since it is thick). Cook the pancakes until they’re golden brown and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side (YMMV depending on size and spread).

Eat. They don’t even need syrup, really, because there’s sugar and fruit inside and the oatmeal makes them moist. But you might want syrup, so who am I to tell you that you can’t have it?

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