April 20, 2017

Oh Henry Oatmeal Bars (and a sugar free option too!)

O' Henry Bars.  These hold a special place in my little ol' childhood heart.  We didn't eat many sweets in our home but at church events or at school functions where there was punch and cookies after, I would search the cookie table for two treats;  pumpkin bars and O'Henry Bars!  It was like a mini Christmas.   I could never make these myself as a young little cook as we only had 1 'recipe box' of hand written index cards and 1 cookbook; a Fanny Farmer cookbook given to my Mother at a bridal shower in 1968.  It had neither recipe of course.

As an adult I'm thrilled for the availability of millions of recipes at our fingertips through cookbooks, magazines, websites, smart phone apps and more.  But even with all these fabulous recipes at my fingertips, my family's favorite, number one, all time 'bar' is O' Henry Bars.

This week I made them but I made 2 batches.  One regular, the way Grandma made them and a second, half batch in which I used natural sugar substitutes.  I used Ideal Brown Sugar and Just Like Sugar as it is what I had on hand.  We also have natural peanut butter on hand that is only 3 grams sugar and the chocolate chips I used were Hershey's Sugar Free.  They turned out wonderful!  Links will be available at the bottom of the post.

O' Henry Bars

2/3 c butter, soft but not melted
1 c brown sugar or Brown Sweetener:  by Just Like Sugar
4 c oatmeal
1/2 c corn syrup or sugar substitute w/ just enough water to make it thick
2 t vanilla
pinch salt
1 c chocolate chips or sugar free chocolate chips
2/3 c peanut butter

Mix the soft butter with the brown sugar with a spoon.  When incorporated, add the oatmeal, corn syrup, vanilla and salt.  Press into a lightly sprayed or greased baking pan of your choice.  9X13 is a great size.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes (less for a really dark pan).  Cool.  Melt chocolate chips and peanut butter.  Spread on bars.  Chill or let set until the chocolate sets up.  I like to store in the refrigerator to keep the chocolate nice and firm as we currently live in the deep (hot and humid) South! 

You might be interested in some of the products I used to make the bars in the photo above;

***NOTE:  Ideal stopped making their brown sugar version (which is sad because it was the BEST brown sugar version on the market.  Try this one instead:  Brown Sweetener:  by Just Like Sugar

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