Wednesday, July 18, 2007

"Culinary Concertos" by the Long Beach Symphony Association" - O'Henry Bars

Date I made this recipe: July 15, 2007

Culinary Concertos by the Long Beach Symphony Association
Published by: The Long Beach Symphony Association
© 1977

Recipe: O’Henry Bars – p. 119 (submitted by Maxine Foster)

Like everyone, I’ve been busy running around like a madwoman this summer. For some reason, I thought I made something in between my last posting at the end of June and no, but sadly, no.

Part of the reason I’ve been so busy is because my community band, The Calhoun-Isles Community Band, plays several outdoor concerts in the summer and last week, I had concerts on Monday, Tuesday and then Sunday. Whew!

Our band has always thrown a pot-luck picnic on one of the nights that we have a concert, and this year, it was on Sunday, July 15th, right before we played a concert at Centennial Lakes in Edina, MN. This year’s picnic actually morphed into a baby shower; one of our members adopted a baby boy named Henry from Ethiopia. Henry shows great musical promise already and we hope that when he grows up, he’ll become a full-fledged member!

So anyway…I wanted to find something from a “musical” cookbook to bring to the party but alas, there are no community band cookbooks in my collection. I did have, however, this Long Beach Symphony Association cookbook that was given to me by a CICB member so I think that counts.

And wouldn’t you know, as I was leafing through the book, I came across this recipe for O’Henry Bars. Well, people, I just had to make these in honor of little Henry (who is absolutely adorable, by the way). It's like the recipe was just calling to me....

Many of you might remember the O’Henry candy bar. I knew that the bar contained peanuts and chocolate but I remember the peanuts being rather chunky. But this recipe calls for peanut butter, not whole peanuts, and the peanut butter gets mixed in with the chocolate making it much easier to assemble.

I thought that the base of the bar might be kind of sweet given that the recipe calls for ½ cup light syrup and 3 teaspoons vanilla, but the bar was just right—and the hit of the picnic. I think even (O) Henry enjoyed them. Hope you will, too.

O’Henry Bars (no yield given but I’d say it made about 3 dozen small squares)
4 cups oatmeal
½ cup light syrup
1 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup melted butter
3 teaspoons vanilla

1 6 oz. package chocolate chips, melted
2/3 cup peanut butter (I used smooth)

Mix together the oatmeal, syrup, brown sugar, melted butter and vanilla. Pat down flat on cookie sheet or jelly roll pan. Bake 12 minutes at 350.

Combine the chocolate chips and peanut butter and spread on top of baked cookie dough after bars are slightly cool (just until firm). Cut into bars after chilled. Store in the refrigerator.

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