If you ask my kid what he wants for breakfast, he will say "The usual, please." Even at 4, he has fallen into a food rut.
The usual is a mix of several kinds of cold cereal. It is a morning routine he inherited from his dad, who has perfected the art of cereal blending.
Sometimes I will offer to make him some scrambled eggs. Sometimes we will do hot oatmeal.
But sometimes instead of giving him "the usual," I will surprise him with cereal in another form by making a batch of big, oaty biscuits flavored with a nice spice blend.
It happens often enough that he knows he likes them, but not enough for them to become routine, so they keep their status as something special.
These are somewhat like a scone, somewhat like a biscuit. There is flour, and buttermilk and some sugar. They get a textural twist from oats and a hint of warmth from spices.
Instead of measuring this and that and the other from the spice rack, I opt for pumpkin pie spice blend. It gives me the cinnamon and nutmeg I want, plus some extra spices. It all depends on what brand you buy. Some include cardamom or ginger, either of which is a nice addition.
Before the holidays, I bought my jar of spice blend from Trader Joe's. Once that goes, I opt for ordering online from Penzey's Spices. But it should be readily available all year at most grocery stores.
The spice is mixed into the dough and added, with a little sugar, to the tops before baking.
The biscuits are best fresh from the oven, but they will keep for a couple days in an airtight container. Or they can be frozen for up to a month and microwaved to reheat.
These are, to be sure, not something I can make on a weekday morning in the rush to get everyone started on their day. But they are simple enough and bake up fast enough to be a nice weekend treat.
My son likes to eat them with just a cup of milk on the side. But sometimes I will use them as a side for a veggie frittata to make a more rounded breakfast or brunch. The light sweetness is a nice complement to a savory breakfast.
It is a nice, easy way to get out of our rut.
OATMEAL BREAKFAST BISCUITS
Yield: 12 pieces
2 cups rolled oats (not the quick cooking type)
2 cups flour
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, divided
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into 6 to 8 pieces
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon almond extract
2 tablespoons white sugar
1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside.
2. In a food processor, pulse oats, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice to combine.
3. Add butter, pulsing until it becomes coarse crumbs.
4. In a small bowl, beat buttermilk, egg and almond extract lightly. Add to flour mixture and pulse until combined; it should form a soft dough.
5. Drop \-cup portions onto baking sheets. It should be six pieces per baking sheet. Flatten each portion to form rounds of about 2 1/2 inches.
6. In a small bowl, mix remaining 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice with two tablespoons white sugar. Sprinkle over top of each uncooked biscuit.
7. Bake about 15 minutes. Bottoms should be golden brown and tops should start to crack a little. Eat right away or store in airtight container.