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Breakfast snacks for those who get peckish first thing in the morning.

Wake and Bake: Oatmeal with Cranberry Orange Hazelnut Compote

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[Photograph: Carrie Vasios]

We're officially in oatmeal season, and that means I'll be eating oatmeal more mornings than not. Here's a nice change up from the usual maple syrup/molasses/brown sugar/honey roster—a sweet-tart, fresh cranberry compote with oranges and hazelnuts.

The compote comes together easily. Sugar, water, and cranberries are combined in a saucepan over medium high heat. As they cook, the cranberries will pop open, a sign it's time to turn down the heat and simmer the mixture until its reduced by half. Then I add orange puree—that's a whole seedless orange, skin on, that I blitz in the food processor. I like including the rind because it gives the compote extra texture and because it adds some more tartness back into the sauce. (The cranberry-sugar mixture becomes pretty sweet when it reduces). Finally, some toasted chopped hazelnuts add crunch and some toasty, nutty flavor to the fruit forward compote.

I put this compote on everything, which is why the recipe instructs you to make a full batch. It's good on yogurt, ice cream, toast, and even as a side for roast meat. But definitely try it stirred into your oatmeal, where it will take a ho-hum bowl of oats and make it sweet, tart, citrusy, and nutty.

About the author: Carrie Vasios is the editor of Serious Eats: Sweets. She likes to peruse her large collection of cookbooks while eating jam from the jar. You can follow her on Twitter @carrievasios

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