I had a glorious moment of discovery at the local farmer’s market a few weeks ago when I met the lovely couple behind Razz’s Shagbark Hickory Syrup. It’s a local product that looks like an amber-colored maple syrup, but brings a lighter, smokier, almost woody flavor to everything from sticky buns to salmon. I fell in love at first sample, and brought a bottle home.
Here’s what I found upon visiting Razz’s website:
“We use an environmentally friendly process. No harm is done to the trees. No chemicals or artificial colorings are used. Even the waste from this process is recycled back to the Earth. Since this process involves extract from trees of all ages, there may be a slight variation of batches. Due to this, all batches are sampled during the cooking process, allowing for adjustments to be made, in order to guarantee that they are all of the highest quality for our customers. As a small producer, we are dedicated to the best ingredients and techniques, making our product with passion and care.”
If you’re a foodie like me, and always on the lookout for something new and interesting, I urge (beg?!) you to check out their website for hickory syrup recipes and ordering information.
So, on to the next part of my story. Once you have a bottle of this wondrous syrup, what do you do with it? Well, with the end of summer coming, baked oatmeal has been on my mind a lot (and you know we breastfeeding moms love our oats!) So I started mulling over flavor combinations, and this is the one that won the honor of bathing in my precious hickory syrup. Featuring thick and hearty baked oats, salty maple bacon, rich peanut butter and that smoky sweet hickory flavor, this is a surefire win for any day of the year, but especially the impending first day of fall.
It’s like a comfy afghan in front of the fireplace…on a plate. Yum.
Peanut Butter & Maple Bacon Baked Oatmeal
with Razz’s Hickory Syrup
*adapted from onceamonthmeals.com
- 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats* (We love Bob’s Red Mill)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar*
- 1 1/2 cups milk (I used So Delicious Coconut Milk)
- 3 Tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 medium eggs
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/4 cup crushed salted peanuts (optional)
- 8 strips maple flavored bacon, cooked and crumbled
Combine all ingredients together (except peanuts and bacon) and pour into one 9×13 or two 8×8 pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Top with crumbled bacon and crushed peanuts and bake for approximately 10 more minutes, or until firm to the touch but still soft. (This will warm the bacon, and also give you the opportunity to leave it off some pieces, if desired.)
Serve warm in a bowl over a bit of milk, if desired. Before serving, drizzle with Razz’s Shagbark Hickory Syrup. (Order it online! Or, in a pinch, use pure maple syrup if you have to.)
(This can also be baked in individual muffins cups for single-serve portions. Just reduce baking time to 15–18 minutes.)
*A few notes: The old-fashioned oats provide a denser, chewier bite to this dish. If you’d like them softened, prepare the oatmeal an hour ahead of time and let it soak in the fridge before baking. The oats will soften a bit. Or, use quick oats and decrease liquid by 1/2 cup.
Also, sugar content will vary depending on whether you use sweetened peanut butter or a sweetened milk substitute. You may need to adjust brown sugar accordingly. I used unsweetened pb but my coconut milk was sweetened, so 1/2 cup of brown sugar made ours plenty sweet.