Vermont Journal

from the B&B and around Vermont

Chinese Chews : The Best Of Both Chewy and Crunchy

Chinese Chews

Stirring it up!

These bars are quick and easy to make, perfect when you need a little something to go along with an afternoon cuppa. Dates add a special sweetness and walnuts give a nice crunch to each bite. This recipe does not call for any butter or shortening.


Chinese Chews - cookie
Tempting Chinese Chews.
  • 2/3 c. all purpose flour  (80g)
  • 1 t. baking powder  (5ml)
  • 1/4 t. salt  (a good dash)
  • 3/4 c. sugar, white  (150g)
  • 1 c. dates,  pitted and chopped (100g)
  • 1 c. walnuts, chopped  (150g)
  • 2 eggs, well-beaten  (2 eggs!)
  • 1/2 t. vanilla  (2-3 ml)
  • confectioners sugar

Stir the flour, baking powder and salt together.

Add sugar, dates and nuts, then stir in the eggs and vanilla.

Spread about 1/2″ (15mm) thick in a well greased or parchment lined 9″ x 9″  (25cm x25cm)square pan.

Bake at 325°F  (160°C)  for 25 to 30 minutes.

Cut into small squares while still warm and dust with confectioners sugar.

Dishing it out:

Apparently this recipe was first published in Good Housekeeping magazine in 1917 but by all accounts, why the name Chinese Chews, remains a mystery. While this recipe may not be the same as the early version, my mom made these from a recipe in her trusty Five Roses Flour cookbook,  A Guide to Good Cooking. My copy of the same cookbook is filled with annotated recipes on well worn pages, several of which are held in the book with tape.  The recipe actually called for the squares, once cool enough to handle, to be rolled into balls then dusted with sugar. I never remember having them rolled but no matter the shape, the taste is great and they are chewy! One drawback though, they are so good they won’t last long!

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