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.
Why you’ll love it: These bars are easy to make (only 6 ingredients!) and are always a hit.
How long it takes: less than a half hour with additional time to chill
Equipment you’ll need: 9×13 inch pan, oven, microwave
Servings: 36 bars
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.
About Oh Henry Bars
Oh Henry bars are candy bars with layers of peanuts, caramel and chocolate. These homemade bars are a copycat of the candy bar.
There’s a cute story about how Oh Henry candy bars got their name. According to Wikipedia, a young man named Henry visited George Williamson’s candy shop on a regular basis and became friendly with the young girls working there. They soon started asking favors of him, saying “Oh Henry, will you do this?”, and “Oh Henry, will you do that?” Mr. Williamson heard the girls pestering poor Henry so frequently, that when he needed a name for his new candy bar, he called it OH HENRY.
Oh Henry! Will you make these bars for me?
I’ll get you started on the recipe here and give you lots of helpful tips. As always, look for the printable recipe card near the end of the post for complete instructions, measurements, and nutrition information.
What You’ll Need
- Rolled Oats: Healthy oats comprise the base of these bars. You can use old-fashioned oats or quick oats. Do not substitute steel cut oats or instant oats.
- Sugar: The oats are sweetened with two types of sugar: brown sugar and granulated white sugar. The sugars give the bars a caramel flavor along with the butter.
- Butter: You’ll need 2 sticks of butter, unsalted preferably, to mix with the sugar and oats.
- Peanut Butter: Choose creamy or chunky, it’s your choice. My grandma usually used creamy. Choose a peanut butter like Jif or Skippy, not a natural peanut butter that separates. Sun butter, made from sunflower seeds, is a good substitute.
- Chocolate Chips: We usually use semi-sweet chips but milk chocolate chips are fine, too.
How To Make This Recipe
Oh Henry bars aren’t difficult to make. Combine the rolled oats, melted butter, brown and granulated white sugar and press the mixture 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 this layer for 12 minutes; cool briefly to let things firm up a bit.
Meanwhile, melt together the 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!
As far as I can tell, Oh Henry bars were discontinued in 2019, making it all the more imperative to bake your own copycat version of these favorite candy bars.
These classic candy bars were first manufactured in 1920 by the Williamson Candy Company of Chicago, which was eventually purchased by Nestlé in 1984.
The Oh Henry candy bar had layers of caramel, chocolate, fudge, and peanuts.
Make It Your Own
- Peanut free option: 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.
- Do you love the peanut butter/chocolate combo? Try Buckeyes, a peanut butter treat dipped in chocolate. Peanut butter fudge brownies are a really decadent treat. No bake peanut butter bars taste just like Reese’s peanut butter cups.
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.
More Bar Recipes
Candy bars can’t hold a candle to homemade goodies. Try:
- M & M peanut butter bars
- The best Rice Krispies treats
- Easy Snickerdoodle bars
- Peanut butter cookie bars (5 ingredients!)
- Vanilla bean cookie bars
- Pay Day bars
- Frosted Oreo cookie bars
- Fruity Pebbles no-bake bars
Did you make this? Be sure to leave a review below and tag me @rachelcooksblog on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest!
- 4 cups old fashioned oats (or quick oats)
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
- ¾ cup chocolate chips
- ¾ cup peanut butter, almond butter, or sunflower seed butter
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. If desired, for easier cutting, line pan with parchment paper and spray lightly with nonstick spray, leaving wings on each side to lift out the bars.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together oats, brown sugar, white sugar, and melted butter. Press firmly into a 9×13 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 or colored sprinkles over the chocolate layer before it hardens.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
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