Scrumptious Oatmeal Recipes for Breakfast and Dessert

Change your menu for Oct. 29; it’s National Oatmeal Day! As breakfast foods go, oatmeal is like Bo Jackson, Anthony Hopkins or a little black dress – a marvel of versatility. Oats can crust a chicken, top a cobbler or hold a cookie together.

Oatmeal is also a nutritional star with concentrated nutrients and fiber to keep you healthy and feeling full for longer. In study after study, oats have been linked with lower cholesterol levels (with just one bowl a day), reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and increased immune levels.

Try the two recipes below for new takes on old dishes. The Breakfast Surprise is an update to the version my mom used to make in the 1970s to trick me into eating a hearty breakfast before heading out for the day – a struggle I now have with my own kids. Meanwhile, the oatmeal cookies replace their traditional accompaniments of raisins and nuts with the flavors of gooey butterscotch and crunchy toffee. They’re a crowd-pleaser.

But don’t throw your party hats away just yet – January is National Oatmeal Month and April 30 is National Oatmeal Cookie day. Take that Cream of Wheat.

Breakfast Surprise

6 servings

  • 2 1/2 cups oats
  • 1 1/2 cups diced apples (approx. 2 apples)
  • 1 cup chopped, unsalted nuts (I used half slivered almond and half chopped walnuts)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Milk


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a casserole dish.

2. Cook oats according to package directions.

3. Put all ingredients including cooked oats into a medium bowl and stir until combined. Pour into prepared casserole dish.

4. Bake in oven for 20 minutes.

5. Serve warm with milk.

Possible substitutions: Don’t love cranberries? Try raisins, dried cherries or blueberries. For richer flavor, use molasses instead of brown sugar.

Breakfast Surprise Oatmeal  |

Toffee and Butterscotch Oatmeal Cookies

Makes 30 cookies

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup butterscotch chips
  • 1/2 cup toffee bits


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare two cookie sheets by coating with nonstick baking spray, covering with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat (i.e., Silpat).

2. In a medium bowl, cream together butter, white sugar and brown sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time. Stir in vanilla.

3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Stir into the butter mixture. Add oats, butterscotch and toffee and gently stir to combine.

4. Roll or scoop the dough into walnut-sized balls and place 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets.

5. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes; pull from oven when the edges are brown but the middle is still soft – cookies will continue to bake on pan after removed from oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack. Enjoy.

Toffee and Butterscotch Oatmeal Cookies  |


Pin this post for later:

Breakfast Surprise Oatmeal with cranberries, nuts, apples, honey and more  |

More from Make It Better:

  Who We Are       NFP Support       Magazine       Programs       Donate