Chinese Chews - a very old recipe for a traditionally southern Christmas bar cookie featuring nuts and dates.
I remember my mother and grandmother making Chinese Chews every Christmas when I was a girl. They were and still are a tradition.
I did some searching on the internet for the origin of this recipe and it seems to have first appeared in the early 1900s. However, no one really knows why they're called Chinese Chews. There's nothing particularly Chinese about them.
Maybe back in that time, the dates seemed exotic and anything exotic was perhaps associated with the Far East? I dunno.
What I do know is that these little bar cookies are very delicious. And they're another recipe that has firmly withstood the test of time.
How to Make Chinese Chews
Start by preheating your oven to 325 degrees. Generously butter an 8x8 pan and set it aside.
In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, dates, salt, and nuts. I used walnuts this time, but I really prefer pecans. They just have a richer taste, in my opinion.
Add the eggs and, using a sturdy wooden spoon, stir until the eggs are incorporated. It takes a little effort :-)
Now spread the mixture into the pan you prepared at the beginning.
Bake for about 30 minutes and check for doneness. A knife inserted in the middle should come out clean.
Let the pan cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes. Then turn the whole thing out and cut it into small pieces. You want them to be about 1 to 1 ½ inches square.
Dust with powdered sugar.
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- ¾ cup flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup chopped dates
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
- 2 eggs
- Powdered sugar for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease an 8x8 pan and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking, powder, dates, salt, and nuts. Add eggs. Stir until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.
- Spread into prepared pan.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan, cut into small squares and dust with powdered sugar.
Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.