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O’ Henry Bars

by on June 16, 2011 · 16 comments

Today’s cookie was inspired by a candy bar introduced in the 1920s called Oh Henry! Made with peanuts, caramel and fudge, some say Oh Henry! was named for a boy who frequented the Williams Candy factory in Chicago, where the bar was invented. Nobody really knows, but claims that it was named after the author or the baseball player have been refuted.

O Henry

As for this cookie, based on the one Oh Henry! bar that I ate out of some car wash vending machine in an unknown town in the murky past, it’s not really like the candy bar. Maybe the chewy texture of the oats and flavor of the peanut butter come together to mimic the flavors and texture of the bar, but this cookie is probably better. Plus there’s another bonus. Like yesterday’s cookie, it doesn’t contain any flour and is gluten free

If making these gluten-free, double check all ingredient list and make sure every ingredients is listed as gluten-free.

O’Henry Bars

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup dark corn syrup (I had to use Golden)
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups quick cooking oats (old fashioned would probably be too grainy) — Use gluten free if desired
1/2 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
1/3 cup good crunchy peanut butter

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line inside of an 8 inch square metal baking pan with foil and spray foil with baking spray.

Cream the butter, salt and both sugars. Stir in the syrup, vanilla and the oats. Press mixture into the pan and bake for about 18 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Let cool. It’s best to let it cool completely, but I’ll admit to putting the topping on while these were still warm.

Topping: put the chocolate chips and peanut butter in a small microwave-safe bowl. I like to use my 2 cup Pyrex measuring cup. Heat for 30 seconds. Stir until fully melted. Depending on the power of your microwave, you might need to heat for another 10-20 seconds to fully melt the chips. Pour the chocolate over the bars and forget about them until the chocolate sets. To speed things up, you can put them in the refrigerator. I thought these tasted better chilled. Lift from pan and cut into 16 squares. Makes 16

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Published on June 16, 2011

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

d.liff @ yelleBELLYboo June 16, 2011 at 4:02 pm

Man o’ man those look good! I haven’t made bars in a long time – but I did make some cookies the other day! Have you ever tried malted chocolate chip cookies? They were SO delicious and the perfect ice cream sandwich cookie! http://yellebellyboo.blogspot.com/2011/06/fathers-day-pws-malted-chocolate-chip.html

vanillasugarblog June 16, 2011 at 4:33 pm

yes those do look really good. these are a keeper anna.

Julia June 16, 2011 at 5:18 pm

everything that has peanut butter inside tastes delicious, i’m totally addicted to peanut butter.
i noticed that they have also oats, i think i’ll try to do them with those old fashioned, anyway, cause i love them more than quick cooking ones.
oooh, i became hungry. ;)

Ronda June 16, 2011 at 7:37 pm

My mother used to make these. I LOVE them.

Katrina June 16, 2011 at 7:51 pm

I’m sure you’ve got a real murky past, Anna. ;) I loved O’Henry bars growing up, but haven’t had one, well, since my murky past. ha

Louise June 16, 2011 at 8:09 pm

I’m not sure, but I think we can still buy O’Henry candy bars. But maybe I made that up. I’ll have to look in the candy aisle.

Gloria June 16, 2011 at 10:41 pm

I like chocolate and peanut butter frosting-these look addicting. Never had an O’Henry bar. Plus PB and oats are healthy so I consider this bar a “health” bar.

Lisa Ernst June 17, 2011 at 6:53 am

This looks great, and I see its also egg-free. With the peanut butter, oats and chocolate, this is another “must try” for me.

Jenny (@ The Housewife Project) June 17, 2011 at 6:54 am

I feel like I’ve made or eaten these bars before, but I can’t remember. Regardless, they sound delicious. I am bookmarking this recipe!

Barbara June 17, 2011 at 7:43 am

Good heavens! I’d completely forgotten about Oh Henry bars! This recipe looks great, Anna!

Mackenzie@The Caramel Cookie June 17, 2011 at 11:02 am

Never had an Oh Henry bar but these bars look very tasty :)!

Yvonne June 17, 2011 at 11:39 am

YumMm!
This is one of the “family” recipes that made it into my “going away” cookbook that mom made for me when I went away to college many years ago. We make up a batch at least a couple time a year and mix things up by using milk chocolate chips and creamy peanut butter. We use Karo syrup in place of the corn syrup, too.
Thanks!
-=^..^=-

Cookie Sleuth June 17, 2011 at 10:40 pm

These look delicious, and the story of their origin is really interesting.

natalie (the sweets life) June 20, 2011 at 1:41 pm

I *think* these are similar to some bars our college dining hall used to make that i LOVED! can’t wait to try!

Jennifer June 22, 2011 at 12:29 pm

I’ve never had an O’Henry bar, but these look delicious. Do you think they’d turn out using creamy peanut butter? My kids don’t like crunchy, so I routinely just buy creamy.

Julianne June 29, 2011 at 2:08 am

Oh wow, I discovered O’Henry bars when I went to Canada and for 2 weeks I became seriously addicted. To come back to the UK and do cold turkey was terrible ;-) I’m definitely going to give your recipe a go – thanks for igniting some wonderful memories!

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