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Friends 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.
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 Recipe
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
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened (salted or unsalted – remember it's foolproof y'all)
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour*
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups chopped nuts (I used pecans.)
- optional: powdered sugar for dusting
- Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
- In a mixing bowl, combine brown sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla, flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Add chopped nuts.
- Spread evenly in a 9x13-inch baking pan and bake at 350-degrees F for about 30 minutes, until crust begins to brown.
- Cool slightly, cut and serve.
- Dust with powdered sugar if desired.
*If you'd rather use self-rising flour, use 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour, and omit the baking powder and salt.
Sounds sooooo good. When it comes to comfort food, I am all about chewy, crunchy, sweet and salty. Oh, and warm. This gets my vote!
IT TASTE :):):):):):):):):):):)——————————->-_-
hey hun! I was a little confuzzeled at your comment!
I have made these before with the same ingredients in different amounts and there wonderful…thought I’d try this recipe. DO not cook them 30 minutes , they will be overcooked. Mine came out very dark, probably will have to throw them out, disappointing to say the least.
I just made these and they were AMAZING!!!!! I totally agree the edges are definitely my favorite ;o)
So glad you enjoyed them! My mom made another batch over Thanksgiving and I had to pretend they weren’t there.
Ok so I forgot to rate these…so I had to come back :o)
My mother made these during the holidays. She got the recipe from the newspaper, and we never could figure out where the name came from, either. I have sometimes just called them Brown Sugar Chews. 🤷♀️
You had me at cocoanut! Can’t wait to make them.
Can either dark or light brown sugar be used for these chews?
Yes you can, Betty. Dark brown sugar will have a deeper molasses flavor but either will work.
I have been making my grandmother’s recipe for Chinese Chews for years, so I will share this recipe.
Beat 2 eggs
Add 1 cup white sugar
Add 3 tbsp, melted butter
Add 1 cup chopped dates,3/4 cup slivered almonds, 1/4 cup chopped glazed cherries, 1/4 cup glazed pineapple, 3 to 4 chopped candied ginger
Add 3/4 cup all purpose flour mixed with 1 tsp. Baking powder and 1/2 tsp. Salt
Pour into grease 8 inch pan and bak at 350 for 20 to 25 min. Cool and cut and shape into balls. Roll in sugar. These are so delicious!
Here in southeast Georgia (Savannah area) we have the same thing except we call it Chewy Bread. Crispy, crunchy “shell” and oh so soft & “chewy” (hence the name) on the inside.
I was perusing the Internet to find a recipe to replace the one I misplaced when I came across your picture. The name, Chinese Chews definitely threw me off but I was positive it was what I was looking for. The list of ingredients informed me that I was indeed on the right path! Thanks so much for posting this recipe because apparently Chewy Bread is not very popular. I wound up finding 3 recipes online (I know, the place you expect to be bombarded with hundreds of not thousands of recipes, but only come out with 3!).
Around here, you can find these little wrapped golden jewels in a basket by the register at many BBQ restaurants. We make them through out the year, usually about 3-6 batches at a time being they seem to disappear the moment they come out the oven….🤷🏼♀️.
Thank you again for posting, I’m off to scour my cabinets for the fixings of this rare, crusty southern treat!!
Hello! I can’t wait to try this recipe! I realize it was posted over 7 years ago so you might not even get notifications of posts on this site anymore, but on my hunt to find a recipe for the date bars I grew up on, I happened upon both your page as well as an article from the Chicago Tribune from a reader searching for a recipe for “Chinese Chews”, a product that their mom used to buy at a grocery store in the 70s. You mentioned that you weren’t sure where the name came from, so I thought I’d at least drop the link to that article in hopes of connecting a dot or two for you. https://www.chicagotribune.com/dining/recipes/ct-date-bar-cookies-recipe-20150309-column.html
My mum used dates in place of its. My favourite growing up!
My mother used to make these during the holidays as well. She got the recipe from the newspaper. Never could figure out where the name came from, either, so I started calling them Brown Sugar Chews.
I made these today and they turned out PERFECT, DELICIOUS AND JUST AS I REMEMBERED!!! I’ve been looking for this recipe for a long time trying other recipes that weren’t quite IT. Thank you so much!!! Such wonderful memories of mom in these.