Chinese Chews

Chinese Chews RecipeFriends of ours from Texas just moved down the street. I thought it would be fun and a friendly to welcome them with a pie. The pie had different plans. What should have been a straight forward, chocolate pie, ended with a major fail. Twice. I’m not giving up though. Eventually I’ll get it right.

Until then, in order to regain my confidence in the kitchen (and still take something to our new neighbors) I opted to bake something that I knew I couldn’t mess up, something foolproof, but tasty too. So I decided on Chinese Chews. My mom makes these every year during the holidays, but they’re year round goodness if you ask me – like a blondie but with a crunchy shell, and a chewy inside. Not really sure where the name comes from, because, as far as I know, there isn’t anything inherently Chinese about these. If you know otherwise, please fill me in.

My favorite part, the crunchy edge piece.

Chinese Chews Recipe

It doesn’t get more basic than these ingredients, and the process is swift and sure. Perfect for a chocolate pie-challenged fool like me. Mark my words though, the chocolate pie hasn’t seen the last of me. I will master the chocolate pie! The chocolate pie will bend to my pie making prowess…just not this week.

Chinese Chews
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Simple dessert bars with a crunchy outside and chewy center. Adapted from Carole Radford's Hearts Go Home for the Holidays.
  • 1 pound brown sugar
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened (salted or unsalted – remember it's foolproof y'all)
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1½ cup all-purpose flour*
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups chopped nuts (I used pecans.)
  • optional: powdered sugar for dusting
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine brown sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla, flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Add chopped nuts.
  4. Spread evenly in a 9x13" baking pan and bake at 350°F for about 30 minutes, until crust begins to brown.
  5. Cool slightly, cut and serve.
  6. Dust with powdered sugar if desired.
  7. *If you'd rather use self-rising flour, use 1½ cups self-rising flour, and omit the baking powder and salt.