Oh Henry Bars are pure magic. A crunchy granola type base is covered with a combination of peanut butter and chocolate. It’s a recipe that’s as simple and uncomplicated as childhood. Sweet, salty, crunchy, creamy goodness that’s ready in minutes. They travel well for bake sales, potlucks, and picnics.
Ingredients needed: old fashioned or quick oats – not instant, sugar, brown sugar, butter, peanut butter, chocolate chips
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Oh Henry Bars and Other Recipes We Grew Up On
I have my mother’s old Better Homes and Garden’s cookbook, circa 1939… or something like that. It’s crazy old.
It’s got a lot of vintage recipes, the stuff I grew up on, but there is something I like better. Stuffed in the pages is a treasure trove of papers that Mom cut, collected, and procured for seven decades.
There are recipes that were my grandmother’s, aunts’, and ancestors unknown. There are recipes from brands that no longer exist and brands that are still around.
There is the apple cake recipe I tore out of Seventeen Magazine in 1972, the best brownie recipe ever is nothing but a note scrawled on a Howard Johnson’s napkin… Memories. Memories with all of them.
This recipe for Oh Henry Bars is in there, faded, stained, and kind of frazzled looking but it’s appearance attests to the popularity of the recipe, don’t you think? I mean, I am hesitant to try recipes that are totally clean and new looking.
Bar Cookies and Growing Up in the 60’s
So many recipes from my childhood are becoming popular again – like they’re being pulled through the decades by some weird time machine.
And they are, thanks to the popularity of shows set in the 1960s. Bar cookies were super popular back then because they were so easy to throw together – presumably so you could get back to your soaps faster.
All of this Mad Men nostalgia has kicked up my own nostalgia into high gear. I had never realized how really cool it was to grow up in the 1960s until I saw my childhood replayed once a week on the Wonder Years. Then other shows set in the 1960s and 1970s began to appear and I realized how really magical it all was… because it really was like that.
When I watch Mad Men, or Wonder Years, or even That 70’s Show I find myself pulled back a couple of decades. It’s how it really was – at least how I remember it.
So, I am about to celebrate my 55th birthday and I can’t help but think about all of the birthdays that have come and gone in the meantime.
Back in the 60s you dressed up for everything. It must have been my 4th birthday, or maybe my 5th, when I can remember being so angry at my mom because I had to come inside, in the middle of a game of Rat Patrol, y’all, and get my hair curled in ringlets a la Shirley Temple.
And a dress. I had to put on a dress because it was my birthday and Mom had planned a party, in the back yard as I recall.
We didn’t have the kinds of parties then that kids do now. My mom made a cake (from a mix) slapped some frosting and candles on it and bought a carton of ice cream.
I think there was balloons. There were no clowns or ponies, there was no gift registry at Toys R Us, and there was not much other than pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey. It was great.
More Cookie Recipes You Might Remember
Vintage recipes have a way of bringing back our memories with each nibble. I love making the dishes that I loved as a child and sharing them, along with the memories that go with them, with my kids and grandkids.
Here are some of my favorites –
- Buckaroons are butterscotch and oatmeal cookies that are crunchy, crispy, and chewy. They’re the perfect lunch box cookie as far as I’m concerned.
- No Bake Haystack Cookies are so cute for Easter but they’re yummy any time! You don’t even have to bother making the nests.
- Peanut Butter Molasses cookies are the real deal. Just add milk.
- Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies with pecans should be a regular addition to the cookie jar. I mean, how long can you go with out a good chocolate chip cookies?
- Molasses Cookies are the best thing ever when they’re right – chewy, slightly spicy, crisp edges… Trust me, these are right!
- Hoosier Peanut Bars weren’t as well known as Oh Henry Bars, at least not where I lived but the crispy meringue on that salty sweet bar was addictive.
- Coconut Cranberry Blondie Bars aren’t as traditional as the rest of this collection but they sure are good!
And these Knock You Naked Blondies from I Am Baker look amazing.
You May Need…
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When you show up at the next church potluck with these Oh Henry Bars stacked inside this retro carrier you’re going to feel just like Mrs. Cleaver… or Aunt Bee. Hey, party like it’s 1965, right?
Oh Henry Bars Recipe
These Oh Henry bars are quintessentially the 60s. They are simple, easy to make, with ingredients you probably have on hand. They aren’t stuffed with Oreos, bacon, or the flavor du jour but just wholesome goodness.
Most of the bar cookies from back then are exactly that. Easy. Simple. Straightforward.
If you love this recipe please give it 5 stars!
Oh Henry Bars! RecipePrint Add to Collection Go to Collections
- 4 cups oats, , old fashioned was used in this recipe but quick will work. Don’t use instant.
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup melted unsalted butter
- 6 ounces chocolate chips
- 1 cup peanut butter
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Grease 13" x 9 ” pan.
- Mix oats, sugar and brown sugar in large bowl.
- Pour melted butter over and mix well.
- Press into pan firmly and bake for 20 – 25 minutes.
- Melt chocolate and peanut butter together stirring to blend.
- Spread over cooled cookie base.
- Chill 1 hour…IF you can wait that long.
- Cut into 2 dozen bars.
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