Monday, May 18, 2015

Genevieve Makes Candy Bars

In the spirit of helpfulness and I'm-so-grown-up-compared-to-this-wee-little-sister, both children have been cooking up a storm.

They made Saturday morning pancakes all by themselves after I talked through the recipe with them the night before.  They frequently fry eggs for themselves for breakfast.

And Genevieve lobbied to make candy, most particularly pulled taffy, by herself.  I had enough spirit to say no and enough spirit to say yes when she found the "Candy Bars" recipe in Mennonite Country-Style.  Then I promptly lost my temper when she asked a question about butter. Once the peace was restored and I went out to the sofa where I belonged, she quite handily turned out these delicious bars.

The recipe note says that they taste like "the O'Henry bars" which I have never eaten or even seen for sale, so I'm assuming that's a rather vintage candy bar and I like the recipe all the more for it.

The bars themselves are buttery and crunchy on the bottom with that delicious peanut-butter chocolate layer on top.  They are pretty difficult to cut nicely, especially if you are  sleep-deprived and desperately in need of calories (hangry) from feeding a chubby baby.  Great food to have around the house!

Candy Bars - tweaked a bit from Mennonite Country-Style

Stir together until thoroughly mixed:
2/3 cup melted, salted butter
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
4 cups quick oats

Press mixture in bottom of 9x13 baking pan to form even layer.  Bake at 360 F for 12 minutes.  Set aside to cool.

When cool, melt over low heat on stove or in microwave:

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Add 1/2 cup coarse or chunky peanut butter.  Stir well.  Pour and spread gently and evenly over bottom oat layer in pan.  Allow to harden in refrigerator.  Cut into small bars - they're rich!  Makes 2-3 dozen small bars.


1. Genevieve used homemade peanut butter, which is coarsely ground.  I suggested that she could add some chopped peanuts if she wanted to approximate chunky peanut butter.

2. I think some or all of the corn syrup could be replaced with honey, although the flavor will change and I'm not sure honey would keep the flexible-yet-firm texture that corn syrup seems to give.  Corn syrup is the standard ingredient of all old candy recipes.  I welcome your thoughts and suggestions here (although I'm not opposed to a bit of corn syrup in homemade recipes because we're not eating much commercially processed food in this house, the problematic source of corn syrup in the American diet).

3.  The obligatory baby Phoebe photo.  One week old here, and getting ready for her first bath (she was insulted).  Phoebe is very alert and communicative, so much fun.  Photo by Genevieve.


Lisa said...

1. Genevieve's shoes!!
2. I wonder if golden syrup would also do; but, as you say, if you're not eating lots of pre-made junk food, it shouldn't be any problem.
3. When you said Phoebe was communicative, I was reminded of a woman I know who'd come into the library looking for a book on sign language for babies. And she did end up having basic communications with her little one before she could speak! Have you heard of that, Margo? (I'm sure you have nothing better to do than look into it, LOL)

Jennifer Jo said...

I'm savoring that baby photo. Genevieve did a great job (and with the bars, too, of course)!

Alica said...

Look what all that teaching has done for you and your have such great helpers! :) Wishing you rest and energy as you care for that adorable new baby, and energetic siblings!

Anonymous said...

Yum! Those look like a crisped rice bar that my sisters and I love. We try to save it for family gatherings as it's quite rich and the temptation to eat a few more than your fair share is great. :) I've seen health food/crunchy types of recipes that use brown rice syrup in place of corn syrup. I don't care for the flavor, and, like you said, corn syrup isn't so much evil as it is in everything processed. If you aren't eating a ton of processed food, i would stick with good old karo.


Lana said...

We ate O Henry bars as children and for the life of me I cannot remember what they taste like now but it is easily 45 years since then. I am loving the shoes and of course the delicious baby pic.

Lisa-our oldest daughter did basic sign language with her oldest. We used to crack up every time he came over because he would sign 'eat' to me the entire time he was here. He knew that his Nana would feed him whatever he wanted. :)

jenny_o said...

We still have O Henry bars in Canada; I thought they were everywhere! They are one of the very few bars I choose if I have to eat from a vending machine because they have so many peanuts in them - surely the protein counts for something! I am so glad you included the recipe here.

Phoebe is so sweet - and compared to the photo of Genevieve, so very tiny ... when did G get so tall??

jenny_o said...

Oh, my - I just scrolled back up through the photos and realized G was wearing heels! That's how she got taller so suddenly :)

Hazel said...

Great chocolate bars and photo Genevieve :)

And lovely children Margo :))

Rebecca said...

I keep a bottle of organic corn syrup in the cupboard for just such emergencies. Not that corn syrup is ever going to be a health food but at least I'm avoiding GMOs, pesticides and HFCS. Heck, darned near a health food.

Becky said...

I have a similar recipe I make from time to time. I figure since we don't eat processed foods regularly, a little corn syrup here and there is okay.

Zoë said...

Oh my. I miss the couple-week-old stage already! And in another year or so, I'm going to miss being able to eat an extra serving of such things as candy bars! G did a good job...I need to step up my cooking game with Jada this summer when school is out!

And that footwear. What a good choice when a few extra inches are handy to have!

Anonymous said...

O'Henry's are so yummy!! They are sold in Canada.

Polly said...

Mm, the candy bars look good. Your children's culinary endeavors are inspiring!

Frankly I am relieved to see a picture of Phoebe. I was scrolling through the post and thought "no way, no way could she possibly post something and not put a baby picture somewhere." I am so glad you did, otherwise I would have had to fuss!! She is beautiful, so sweet! So tiny! Annie hated baths for the first year of her life--they really are quite insulting, aren't they?!

Shauna said...

I was going to echo the comments about o henrys in Canada - and they seem to be, in my experience, often a favorite of men. If I buy my husband a chocolate bar, which would be once a year for his stocking, this is always the one. And what a sweet baby!

BLD in MT said...

She cooks in style, I see. I can remember O'Henry's, but don't see them these days--of course, I am not often looking at the candy bars either. Oh, that cute tiny baby! Goodness!

Camille said...

Hopped over from Jennifer Jo's place. Congrats on your precious newest. So sweet! And, I live in Canada...O'Henry bars are still here...they are not vintage. However, they are yummy. Hugs, Camille

Sew Blessed Maw [Judy] said...

Baby is adorable..
Your children are just adorable..How wonderful that they are cooking and helping you out.
The candy bars look so good. I will try the recipe..thank you for sharing.
I had O Henry candy bars when I was younger. I am 60 now. I haven't seen one in years..
Have a blessed day.
ps love Miss Grown up Genevie in her heels. so cute.

Unknown said...

Kids learning to cook is the best!!! Sena has just started and it's great and I regret not implementing it earlier.