Welcome to Direct Your Dining! This cooking series will introduce you to energy efficient recipes full of tips to keep your meals delicious without using every appliance in the kitchen. Preparing recipes with energy efficiency in mind at least once a week will make cooking a little easier, and may even help reduce your monthly electricity bill. Check in every week for a new recipe full of flavor and creativity that will surely impress your friends and family.
This week’s low energy use recipe is a terrific breakfast dish featuring fall flavors like cinnamon, pumpkin, cream cheese, maple syrup, and spiced pecans. This yummy meal requires just a bit of mixing, some microwave time, and less than 2 hours in your slow cooker.
Don’t worry about whipping up a pancake batter from scratch for this recipe. Simply grab a box of your favorite “complete” pancake mix from grocery store (the kind that only requires adding milk or water). It will work perfectly alongside the pumpkin puree to give this breakfast bake a great texture. And because of that puree, you do not need to add the full recommended amount of liquid written on the box’s instructions. Just use ½ less cup of liquid and substitute the pumpkin puree.
If you are worried about making your batter too thin, check out the pictures posted below and follow the directions exactly. I’ll show you when and where to add half of the liquid, mix it in with the dry pancake mix, then mix in the pumpkin puree, and finally slowly add more liquid until it is typical pancake batter consistency.
You can also add one extra ingredient in this recipe that I did not use today if you like your breakfast a little extra sweet: mini marshmallows! Sprinkle some of those in the middle before pouring in the second half of the batter along with a few on top with the pecans for a great addition to this recipe.
Pumpkin and Pecan Breakfast Bake
- 4 tbsp. Butter (2 tbsp for pecans and 2 tbsp for the slow cooker)
- ½ tsp. Cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. All spice
- 1 tbsp. Packed light brown sugar
- ½ c. Chopped pecan pieces
- 3 c. Dry complete pancake batter mix
- 1 ¾ c. 2% milk (or water)
- 1 c. Pure pumpkin puree
- 8 oz. Cream cheese
- ¼ c. Maple syrup
1) Turn the slow cooker on high. You want it to heat up while you prepare the ingredients as directed above.
2) Add two tablespoons of the butter to a microwave-safe bowl along with the cinnamon, all spice, and brown sugar. Microwave for 30 seconds.
3) Add the pecan pieces to the bowl and toss them until they are coated in the butter/spice mixture.
4) Remove the cream cheese from the packaging and place it in a microwave-safe container. Microwave it for 30 seconds to soften it. Mix until smooth.
5) Add the maple syrup to the cream cheese, and mix to combine. Microwave for another 20 seconds to where it is easily poured.
6) Add the dry pancake mix to a large mixing bowl. Pour in half of the liquid and mix together.
7) Add the pumpkin puree to the pancake mix. Whisk until smooth.
8) Slowly add the second half of the liquid while whisking until the ingredients are fully combined.
9) Melt the second two tablespoons of butter in the microwave. and add them to the hot slow cooker.
10) Pour in the first half of the batter. Spoon/pour in the first half of the cream cheese mixture in a zig-zag pattern. Sprinkle on the first half of the nuts.
11) Pour in the second half of the batter. Spoon/pour in the second half of the cream cheese mixture in a zig-zag pattern. Sprinkle on the rest of the nuts.
12) Use a knife to swirl through the batter to distribute the cream cheese evenly.
13) Put the lid on the slow cooker, and let cook on high for 1 hour. Turn the heat to low and let it cook for 30 more minutes.
14) Serve topped with a drizzle of more maple syrup.
While this recipe is great for breakfast any day of the week, I like preparing it on Thanksgiving morning next month for an easy breakfast everyone can enjoy. Even better, using the slow cooker lets you use the oven and stove for your staple Thanksgiving feast recipes.
Check back in every week for more Direct Your Dining recipes to help reduce your energy use in the kitchen while getting creative with delicious dishes!
Recipe and Images by Stacie Morgan