I guess we’re having a vintage-y kind of Christmas around here! First I made some Graham Cookie Bars, then Haystacks, and now this old, old recipe for Chinese Chews. 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 1900’s. 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.
Start by preheating your oven to 325 degrees. Generously butter an 8×8 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 done-ness. 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 1/2 inches square.
Dust with powdered sugar and…
Other recipes for bar cookies you might enjoy:
- Homemade Girl Scout Cookies: Samoas Bars from Baking Bites
- Snickerdoodle Bars from Bake or Break
- Date Squares Bar Cookie from Eating Out Loud
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars from Brown Eyed Baker
- Chewy Cookie Crunch Bars from Amanda’s Cookin’
- Hello Dolly Bars from Smitten Kitchen