Oh Henry Bars Recipe

I’m going to let you in on a family secret.  The recipe for Oh Henry Bars.  Just ignore the fact that when I Google-d  these babies a bunch of recipes for Oh Henry Bars came up.  These, my friends, are the real deal.  They were my husband’s grandmother’s recipe, cut from an old almanac or newsletter, found in an old accordion filing envelope.   We think the recipe can be dated to sometime around the late 40’s or 50’s, possibly from a publication like the Rural Electric Association Newsletter of Anoka County, around what use to be called Soderville, MN and now called Ham Lake.  This was Lake Wobegon country.  In fact, my husband’s mother attended school with Garrison Keillor.  These bars were probably brought to picnics, potlucks, and church basements.  My Mother-n-law has been making these for years.  And, ultimately, even though you may try.  You won’t make them as good as she does.  She has a magic pan.  And, Oh Henry Bar skill from years of practice.   They are the perfect blend of crispy and chewy, sweet and salty.  These are the type of bar that will have you cutting off bits until a row is gone.  They are bars that will lure you into hoarding.  I know.  I’ve been there.  I was reminiscing about these with my friend Heidi, and she recalled cleaning out my fridge one day, many, many years ago and finding a package wrapped in tinfoil in the back, pulling them out, and asking, “what’s this?”  My confession.  My  Oh Henry Bar stash!  Yes, over the years, I’ve hid these babies– from my kids, my husband, my guests, and even the closest of friends!  Friends who could tell me to throw out my kitchen sponge now, or that my paring knife was more of a hazard then a help.  Friends, who knew where the unloaded dishes went…. they may have never nibbled one crispy chewy bite.  Friends, who went to my house to take the pot roast out of the oven when I had to run to the Emergency Vet Hospital with the dog.  Friends, who wrapped my Christmas presents.  Friends, who changed my children’s diapers.  These people, my people, may have never even heard the name Oh Henry.   I know it’s shocking.  So, for those with whom I never shared my treasure, here it is, the recipe.  Make them for yourself.  And, if someone asks you if you are hiding them in the back of your fridge– take the side of Garrison Keillor who once said, “sometimes you have to look reality in the eye, and deny it”.

Oh Henry Bars


2/3 Cup Margarine

4 Cups Quick Oatmeal

1 Cup Brown Sugar

2 tsp. Vanilla

½ Cup Light Corn Syrup


1 Cup Chocolate Chips (semi-sweet)

2/3 Cup Peanut Butter

  1. Melt Margarine.
  2. Add Oatmeal, Sugar, Vanilla, and Corn Syrup and stir.
  3. Press down oatmeal mixture firmly in a 10X15 jelly roll pan (original recipe says 9X13).
  4. Bake for 350degrees for 10 minutes (14 if insulated pan).  It will be bubbly when you take it out.
  5. Cool.
  6. Melt chocolate chips and peanut butter in microwave and spread over top.
  7. Refrigerate to set.
  8. Hide in a secret stash in the back of refrigerator and snack when no one’s looking.
  9. Or, share them with friends, LoveFeast style!

Join the Conversation!

  1. You’ve been holding out on me! I’ve never heard the words Oh Henry roll off your tongue…nor have I ever come across your stash when cleaning out your fridge! I thought we were good friends.

  2. O’kay so I’ve sampled the elusive Oh Henry Bar, but I never was privileged enough to acquire the recipe. I guess I have the blog to thank now! Yes, they are yummy and a perfectly packable picnic treat.

  3. I would need the picnic, since I don’t think I could stop with just one. Or two. Ok, my exercise would come from me racing away, pan clutched in my arms, while the horde of sugar deprived children track me down!

  4. Auntie Dorothy never comes without Oh Henry bars! In fact, I think just about every Brekhus memory I have involves Oh Henry bars. And to think I never had my hands on the recipe until today…

  5. from one food hoarder to another… LOL

    those oh henry bars have made their way to my “must try these” list.

  6. You have such a beautiful place here! Wonderful pictures and recipes!

  7. My dreams have been answered! I LOVE Oh! Henry bars! Thanks so much for making my dreams come true!

  8. YUM! Those look wonderful.

  9. Haven’t had a real Oh Henry in a long time. This is a nice way to get that taste. They look great.

  10. First: I ate O Henry candy bars when I was a kid and have very fond memories.

    Second: anything even remotely connected to Lake Wobegon and Garrison Keillor is okay by me.

    Third: they just look fabulous! Double yum!

  11. man this LoveFeast Table » Blog Archive » Oh Henry Bars Recipe is hot.
    This one is also must see site momrecipebook.com

  12. Chantelle says:

    Thank you so much for posting this recipe, even if it was a few years ago and I am just now stumbling upon it! I have been buying Oh Henry bars from a vendor at our local farmer’s market because I hadn’t been able to find a recipe that was close enough to hers. This one is a winner! One thing I added was peanuts to the chocolate mixture on top and YUM!

    • Chris Ann says:

      Chantelle ~ We are so happy to hear that!! It is one of our family favorites ~ tried and true!! We’ll have to try your version with peanuts ~ how fun!!

  13. Mmmmmm! Can’t wait to try!!

  14. Donna Scudder says:

    I made these in the 70’s for my kids. The recipe called for old fashioned oats. They were soooo good.
    Now start googling Eskimo Cookies, a no bake cookie from my childhood cookbook. Oats, butter and sugar balls rolled in powdered sugar and chilled. I live the old time recipes!


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