These are a take on my MIL’s Oh Henry!® bars, a fantastically chewy and flavorful bar cookie, that gives off plenty of the caramel/peanut/chocolate vibes of the actual candy. That is due to a slightly nutty oat base that is briefly cooked on the stovetop, baked, and then topped with a chocolate glaze. They were on regular rotation when my husband was growing up and I’m still jealous about that. Here, I’ve given them a little tahini makeover (usually they call for peanut butter) and I’m pretty darn excited about it.
- Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch square cake pan with cooking spray or softened butter. Line the bottom with a long sheet of parchment paper that extends up and over two opposite sides of the pan.
- To make the base, cook the butter, tahini, sugar, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally with a flexible spatula, until the mixture just begins to boil. Off the heat, add the oats, vanilla, and kosher salt and stir to combine. Scrape the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan, creating a solid, even layer, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating at the halfway point, until the entire surface is bubbling and lightly browned. Remove from the oven and let cool while you make the topping.
- To make the topping, microwave all the topping ingredients in a small, microwave-safe bowl in two 15-second bursts, stirring after each with a fork, until melted and smooth. Pour the topping over the baked oatmeal base and, using a small offset spatula or the back of a spoon, spread it smoothly and evenly. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until the topping is set. Remove the bars from the pan, using the parchment overhang to lift them out. Run a butter knife around the edges if there’s resistance. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt, slice into squares, and serve. Keep the bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Jessie Sheehan is a baker, food writer and recipe developer. She is the author of The Vintage Baker and the co-author of Icebox Cakes (both published by Chronicle Books). She blogs at jessiesheehanbakes.com, can be found on Instagram at @jessiesheehanbakes, lives in Red Hook, Brooklyn and has a soft spot for chocolate pudding.