I know, I know, it’s Monday, not Sunday. And you all thought I forgot you. Yesterday I ran a half marathon. So while I did bake, I was a little bit too exhausted to think about uploading pictures and typing a post. But not to worry, I’m here, on a Monday, to tell you all about Oh Henry Bars!
So quick shout out to Sandy for the recipe – she’s been endlessly supplying me with recipes for things, but since I hadn’t tried this one before, and it was chocolate and peanut butter (the best combination ever), I figured I’d give it a shot.
They are a remake of the candy bar by the same name, and super easy in theory. However, as I’m sure you all know, baking adventures do not always end up with perfectly frosted lil elephant cookies. I may have had a mishap or two, but I do think that you can learn from the couple of mistakes I made, so here we go!
First thing’s first: grease the pan. I did so with some of the butter I was going to melt.
Then, melt the butter! Usually I melt butter on the stove, but I didn’t want to dirty a ton of pans, so I melted it in the microwave. When you do this, make sure you set your power level to 50% and only microwave for 30 seconds at a time. This will prevent the butter from burning/splattering the entire interior of your microwave. Butter really is a wonderful shade of yellow.
Now, this is where I made my first mistake. I just went ahead and put the oats, brown sugar, butter, karo syrup, and vanilla all in the greased pan and mixed it there, which looked something like this:
I was mildly delirious and not thinking through my decisions. I realize this seems like a ridiculous thought process. Instead, I would say you should probably mix all of those ingredients in a separate bowl and THEN spread them in the greased pan. Seems intuitive, but clearly I wasn’t seeing it.
Anyways, once spread in the pan, it should look like this:
Then, bake it at 350°F for 12 minutes. It won’t look done and it will be bubbly, but according to Sandy, take it out anyways. I believe her – she’s made this far more times than I have. Once you’ve baked the base, you can leave it on the stove to cool while you melt the chocolate and peanut butter.
I used dark chocolate and chunky peanut butter because I love dark chocolate and I thought the extra crunch from the peanut butter would do well. I still stand by that decision, but if you’re a milk chocolate and creamy peanut butter person, that would be truer to the candy bar and I wouldn’t hold it against you. But I do have a great series of pictures showing the process of melting chocolate and peanut butter goodness:
And a little more melty.
And even more melty.
And completely smooth (except for those peanuts).
How can she possibly be taking pictures if both of her hands are in the shots?? That would be thanks to my sous chef of the week, seen measuring vanilla extract below. Thanks for the help!
So before that creamy chocolate melts, make sure to pour it over the cooled base and spread it evenly to coat.
At this point, depending on the time you have, you can either pop it in the fridge to set (you have plenty of time) or the freezer (you may have to be somewhere, with these bars, far too soon).
Once they harden, you can remove them and let them warm to room temperature, or just below it, before cutting into 1″x3″ bars.
Now, this is where I made mistake number two.
It was all but impossible for me to remove the bars in one piece. However, I’m fairly certain that was because I didn’t mix the base together before spreading it in the pan. So as long as you grease well and mix BEFORE spreading, you should be OK. I’d also recommend using a slanted spatula to lift the bars from the pan. Once I did that, it started going a little better.
The bars can be stored in the freezer and stay there for a good long time, waiting to be eaten whenever you need a small (or large, I’m not judging) treat. If you find any other good ways to make the bars give up their grip on the pan, post it in the comments!
Oh Henry Bars
- 2/3 cup butter
- 4 cups instant oatmeal
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/2 cup karo syrup
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 2/3 cup peanut butter
- Grease a 9″x13″ pan.
- Melt butter and mix in bowl with oatmeal, brown sugar, vanilla, and karo syrup.
- Spread mixture in greased pan. Bake for 12 minutes at 350°F and remove from oven while still bubbly. Allow to cool.
- Melt chocolate chips and peanut butter in saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly until smooth. Spread mixture over cooled base.
- Refrigerate or freeze until set. When ready to cut bars, allow to come to room temperature or just under. Cut into 1″x3″ bars. Store in an airtight container in the freezer until ready to eat.