Butterscotch oatmeal is a twist on the classic oatmeal breakfast choice. Similar to caramel but more flavorful, butterscotch combines butter, brown sugar, and other flavorings to create a sweet, viscous liquid. The basic butterscotch ingredients are usually combined with rolled oats or quick-cooking oatmeal to create a warm butterscotch-flavored dish. Oatmeal and butterscotch can also be combined to create butterscotch oatmeal cookies, bars, and muffins.
In addition to rolled oats or quick-cooking oatmeal, milk, eggs, brown sugar, and butter or margarine are essential for butterscotch oatmeal. Spices like cinnamon may occasionally be added. Although traditionally made butterscotch often includes vanilla extract, butterscotch oatmeal usually does not. A few versions may add actual butterscotch chips or morsels instead of butter.
Although butterscotch oatmeal can be eaten plain, it often includes a topping. Raisins are frequently used to top the finish dish, but sliced fruit, such as bananas, is also an option. Additionally, chopped nuts, most often walnuts, can be used as a topping.
The butterscotch flavoring is usually mixed first. The eggs are whisked with the milk and sugar, and then the mixture can be heated. Some versions will add the oats before the liquid mixture thickens, and some will boil the liquid first and only add the oats after it begins to thicken. If the mixture is boiled without the oats, it must be stirred constantly until the oats are added to prevent scorching. After the oats are added, the mixture can simmer until it is thick.
After the oatmeal has completely cooked, the butter is included. Once stirred into the still hot oatmeal, the butter will melt quickly and complete the butterscotch flavoring. The dish can then be topped with a chosen fruit or eaten as is. The finished oatmeal is usually a pale peach color.
It is important to note that the butterscotch flavoring in this dish is not created in the same way as actual butterscotch. Making true butterscotch involves caramelizing the brown sugar and normally uses a heavy cream rather than milk. It is also a lengthier and more hands-on process. The process used for butterscotch oatmeal simply gives the oatmeal the sweet and buttery butterscotch flavor.
Butterscotch oatmeal cookies, bars, and muffins include many of the same ingredients as the breakfast dish as well as traditional baking ingredients, such as flour. They normally include butterscotch chips or morsels as well. Some may also add a butterscotch syrup topping.