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Walnut Oh Henry Bars

Walnut Oh Henry Bars. A scrumptious no-bake cookie bar with a caramely, nutty centre sandwiched between graham crackers and topped with sweet vanilla buttercream frosting.

Walnut Oh Henry Bars close up image of a single cookie bar

Walnut Oh Henry Bars

These Walnut Oh Henry Bars were a staple recipe in all the old church cookbooks I knew as a kid when I first started baking. Here in Newfoundland, like all across Canada, these congregation-member submitted recipe books have long been a popular fundraiser for church groups.

I remember the Anglican Women’s Cookbook from St. Luke’s Church in Port-de-Grave from 1974 when we lived there for a year, and my Mom’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Squares being published with her name right beside the recipe. I might have 3 cookbooks in print now but I guess it was Mudder who was the first published recipe writer in this family. HA!

Hazelnuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, walnuts and pecans for Ultimate Nut Fruitcake

Try another nut or combination of nuts in this recipe. Roasted hazelnuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, walnuts and pecans all could work well.

We also owned another couple of these cookbooks; I remember the United Church Women’s Cookbook in Coley’s Point as being one of them. Mudder probably still has them all at my parents house.

Walnut Oh Henry Bars on a serving platter

Walnut Oh Henry Bars

Some variation of this recipe always seemed to be in the “Squares” section of each book and it always confused me a little. The name Oh Henry Bar I assumed to be taken from the popular candy bar of the same name but the cookie bars are nothing like it. The candy bar has peanuts and no biscuit element, whereas this recipe uses walnuts and the filling is sandwiched between Graham Wafer Crackers.

I don’t know how that name came to be, but regardless they are still a favourite, especially at Christmas time, when there always seemed to be a batch in the freezer when I was growing up. 

The recipe is a bit flexible; if you don’t like coconut, omit that and add a few more nuts to the mix. Back when I was a kid, we used ground nuts in this recipe; I remember loving the old fashioned nut grinder with crank on the side that you turned to turn the nuts into crumbs.

Today I prefer to get the crunch of the nuts in the cookie bars so I only roughly chop them or even crack the individual nuts into large pieces by hand. As for the nuts, if walnuts are not your thing, any toasted nuts you like are easily substituted to personalize your own favourite version.

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Walnut Oh Henry Bars close up image of a single cookie bar
Yield: 36 cookie bars

Walnut Oh Henry Bars

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 4 minutes
Total Time: 24 minutes

Walnut Oh Henry Bars - a scrumptious no-bake cookie bar with a caramely, nutty centre sandwiched between graham crackers and topped with sweet vanilla buttercream frosting.

Ingredients

  • Graham crackers, enough to line a 9x13 pan twice
  • 1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups roughly chopped toasted walnuts
  • 1 1/2 cups dried unsweetened coconut, medium cut
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs

For the Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

  • 2 cups icing sugar, powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Instructions

  1. Line the bottom of a 9x13 pan with a single layer of the graham cracker, cutting them to fit around the edges. You will need another identical layer fro the top.
  2. Toast the walnuts in a single layer on a pan in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10 minutes. Toss them once at the 5 minute mark. Allow them to cool to room temperature before roughly chopping them with a chefs knife or individually breaking them into a few pieces each with your fingers. larger chunks are better in this recipe, I think.
  3. In a medium to large saucepan over medium heat, add the brown sugar, butter, milk and vanilla extract. Bring to a slow rolling boil for about 4 minutes. Turn the heat down if necessary. This should never boil too rapidly.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the nuts, coconut and graham crumbs.
  5. Spread this hot mixture evenly over the graham cracker base and then top with an additional layer of graham crackers.
  6. Allow to cool to room temperature before placing in the fridge for a couple of hours at least to set completely.
  7. Top with the vanilla buttercream frosting, cut in squares and serve.

To prepare the frosting

  1. Cream together all of the frosting ingredients until smooth and spreadable. It's okay to add a little more milk if needed but the thicker the frosting consistency the better. If it gets too soft, just add a couple pf heaping tablespoons of icing sugar.

Notes

For the graham crumbs I usually buy a large box of the crackers, hold back enough to use on the top and bottom layers and then grind the rest in the food processor to use in the filling. This keeps me from having to buy the crackers and crumbs separately.

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Nutrition Information

Yield

36

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 183Total Fat 10gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 15mgSodium 74mgCarbohydrates 22gFiber 1gSugar 18gProtein 1g

Rock Recipes a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Our product recommendations are almost exclusively for those we currently use or have used in the past.
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Olga

Saturday 27th of October 2018

I always used cut up cherries as well in my recipe,nice colour to the mixture.

Madge Bartlett

Friday 26th of October 2018

What is the equivalent to Graham’s crackers for the British menu.

Barry C. Parsons

Sunday 18th of November 2018

Ground digestive biscuits probably.

Kimberley

Sunday 26th of August 2018

Looks yummy! Do you think a layer of melted chocolate could replace the frosting? I’m not a fan of frosting. Thanks

Gloria

Wednesday 27th of June 2018

Love this

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