Oh Henry Bars – with nut-free option
A family favorite, these homemade Oh Henry bars are based on a candy bar made by Nestlé. You’ll love the sweet chewy oat base, topped with rich peanutty fudge.
I think this recipe for Oh Henry bars is one of my grandma’s all-time favorite recipes. Whenever she was asked to bring cookies or bars to a church event or family get-together, she would almost always bring these Oh Henry bars. Soon, it became a standing order: Please bring your Oh Henry bars. She probably felt she wouldn’t be able to get in the door if she wasn’t carrying a pan of these bars.
And you know what? There were never any left over to bring home. Poor Grandpa! He had to compete to get his fill of these delicious treats.
My grandma doesn’t do any cooking or baking anymore but her grandkids remember those delicious treats she made and the recipes are passed from family to family. I’m glad to share this one with you and hope you like it as much as we do.
PS: There’s a cute story about how Oh Henry candy bars got their name. According to the Nestlé website, “…there was a little candy shop owned by George Williamson. A young fellow by the name of Henry who visited this shop on a regular basis became friendly with the young girls working there. They were soon asking favors of him, clamoring Oh Henry, will you do this?, and Oh Henry, will you do that? So often did Mr. Williamson hear the girls beseeching poor young Henry for help, that when he needed a name for a new candy bar, he called it OH HENRY! and filed a trademark application the following year.”
Oh Henry! Will you make these bars for me?
About Oh Henry Bars:
Oh Henry bars aren’t difficult to make. Combine rolled oats, melted butter, brown and granulated white sugar and press into a 9×13 pan. If you have kids, they would enjoy doing this first step. I think my grandpa was often enlisted to make this first layer.
Bake for 12 minutes; cool briefly to let things firm up a bit.
Meanwhile, melt together chocolate chips and peanut butter in the microwave, stirring frequently until well blended. Spread this chocolatey mixture over the first layer. Make sure there’s some left on the spoon for you to enjoy. “Slicking” the spoon was always a special treat at Grandma’s.
Refrigerate until set.
Cut into squares and enjoy! So good!
How to make these bars your own:
- I usually make these bars with sunflower seed butter instead of peanut butter since my family has nut allergies. The “sunbutter” gives it a slightly different but still delicious flavor. You could also use almond butter if you can’t have peanuts, but you can have tree nuts.
- Substitute quick oats for the rolled oats. You’ll have good results with either.
- Sprinkle chopped peanuts on top of the chocolate layer. Do this right away before the chocolate has a chance to harden. Sprinkles are always fun, too!
- Use semi sweet, dark, or milk chocolate chips. You could also use butterscotch chips.
Oh Henry bars are best stored in the refrigerator. The bars will get a little soft otherwise, especially the chocolate topping. Oh Henry bars will keep up to a week stored in an airtight container. I best they won’t last that long though, unless you hide them!
You can freeze Oh Henry bars for up to two months. Place cut bars into a freezer safe container, with waxed paper or parchment between each layer so they don’t stick together.
Other delicious bar recipes:
Candy bars can’t hold a candle to homemade goodies. Try:
- 4 cups old fashioned oats (see note)
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
- 3/4 cup chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup peanut butter, almond butter, or sunflower seed butter
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together oats, brown sugar, white sugar, and melted butter. Press firmly into a 9x13 inch pan and bake for 12 minutes or until bubbly. Do not over bake. Let cool 15 minutes.
- In a medium mixing bowl, heat chocolate and peanut butter (or sunflower butter) over a double boiler or in 30 second intervals at 50% power in the microwave, stirring each time.
- Spread chocolate mixture over oats and cool completely in refrigerator before cutting. Store bars in the refrigerator.
- Use sunflower seed butter (I like unsweetened Sunbutter) to make this peanut free.
- Quick oats may be substituted for the old fashioned rolled oats. Do not use steel cut oats or instant oatmeal.
- Use semi sweet, dark, or milk chocolate chips. Or for a different flavor, use butterscotch chips.
- If you like, sprinkle chopped peanuts over the chocolate layer before it hardens.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 36 Serving Size: 1 bar
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 112 Total Fat: 5g Saturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 3g Cholesterol: 1mg Sodium: 33mg Carbohydrates: 15g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 8g Protein: 3g
Husband’s take: Truth be told, Ben doesn’t love sunflower seed butter but he’ll still eat these. Don’t have to twist his arm.
Changes I would make: None at all!