For as long as I can remember, there has been an "ancient" recipe in our family for this great dessert that has been dubbed "O'Henry" bars.
Growing up, my Mom or one of my four older sisters ... seemed to always be whipping up a batch of "O'Henry's".
Theoretically - O'Henry Bars are intended to be a "dessert" type of thing, kind of like a chocolate chip cookie. But my problem has always been that whenever there are O'Henry's around - I tend to eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Because of my inability to walk past a refrigerator that I know holds O'Henry bars - and the fact that my metabolism has slowed down to a crawl (or, perhaps it has to do with my inability to go to the gym and work off any extra calories I pack in) ... I don't make O'Henry's too frequently, anymore.
The one exception was during the time I was nursing. I was told that oatmeal helped to boost breastmilk supply ... so I ate a tray of O'Henry's a week. And then I have the audacity to be confused why my body proportions are way off. Go figure...
Since I've been married to Charlie, I have introduced him to the wonderful world of the O'Henry bar. Our children, however, have not yet been privvy to this ancient family treat.
I am also sharing this ancient family recipe with all of you ... the 60 or so people** who read my blog every day. You can find the recipe at the bottom of the post.
Charlie appreciates this dessert, I just don't believe that he has the same obsession for O'Henry bars that I do. Nor ... does Charlie have the same obsession for O'Henry bars that our children apparently do.
Today was most definitely a day of firsts.
- The kids had their first taste of O'Henry bars, which they absolutely LOVED.
- The kids learned how to take off their shirts.
- The girls wore the new nightgowns that Kathleen and Poppa Alex sent.
- The kids learned how to take off their diapers. While in their crib.
- I learned that O'Henry bars - containing oatmeal & Karo syrup which act as laxatives - are not the ideal food to serve a toddler. Who are wearing nightgowns. And can take off their diapers. While in their crib. When I'm out of the room.
With time, the name of this dessert has taken on an Irish twist.
But trust me ... there's nothing "Irish" about these bars. Or if there is ... it isn't luck.
At least not for the person who discovers two toddlers with dirty diapers in their hands.
**I suspect that 55 of my 60 daily readers are family members and since you already have this recipe committed to memory (along with your name and my birthday) ... this is for my other five readers. Apparently, one of those five readers is Lynn Bartee. Is that right?! If so ... here's the "shout-out" I promised to Lorie. I hope you have a great day & enjoy your morning cup of java!
Jen's Ancient Family Recipe for O'Henry Bars:
1 stick butter
3/4 c. brown sugar
3 tsp. vanilla
4 c. oatmeal
3/4 c. Karo syrup
Mix above ingredients together. Spread in to ungreased cookie sheet (I find that dabbing my hands with water helps the "mashing" process). Cook in preheated oven (350) for 8-10 minutes or until bubbly. Don't overcook, or the bars will be too hard! Remove from oven and let cool.
In a sauce pan, melt ~1 c. of chocolate chips and ~1/2 c. of peanut butter - mix until smooth. (Taste to be sure that you have the peanut butter/chocolate ratio to your liking.) There should be enough of the mixture so that it sufficiently covers the bars when poured on. Pour the peanut butter/chocolate chip mixture over the top of the cooled bars.
Stick in the fridge until cooled, cut in to 2"x 2" squares and serve (with a BIG glass of milk!)