Chinese Chews - a very old recipe for a traditionally southern Christmas bar cookie treat 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 and...
More Christmas Recipes on Never Enough Thyme:
- Quick and Easy Fudge
- Bacon and Pecan Topped Toffee
- Toffee Bars (a.k.a. Redneck Toffee)
- Homemade Marshmallows
- Pecan Pralines
Bar Cookie Recipes from Other Bloggers:
- Snickerdoodle Bars from Bake or Break
- Date Squares Bar Cookie from Eating Out Loud
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars from Brown Eyed Baker
- Hello Dolly Bars from Smitten Kitchen
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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.
Lana Stuart is the cook and occasional traveler here at Never Enough Thyme. Lana has been cooking since she was tall enough to reach the stove and started this blog in 2009 to share her delicious home cooking recipes. You'll find about 700 recipes here so there's sure to be something your family will like!
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