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!


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