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July 07, 2005



Now, this sounds like and interesting square, especially if it is not too sweet. I love the story behind it and might just give it a try.


I must admit that this is pretty sweet, Ana. In fact, it's practically candy. But my mother, who is no sweet tooth, likes it anyway.

Sheila O

What are "pressed" dates? Are they the dried dates we have pre-packaged here in the US?
I'd like to try this recipe, well half of it anyway.


I am in the USA! Pittsburgh, Pa, to be exact. I get these at my local Giant Eagle. They are "Sun Date" brand "Pitted-Pressed Baking Dates." I find them in the produce section, in a clear plastic oblong packet weighing 13.2 oz. The pkg sort of feels a bit squishy. You will probably find them in your supermarket too. Hope you like the Chews.


I get these at my local Giant Eagle.

That would be pronounced "Jynt Iggle," correct? ;)


Oh, my word, Lindy, you were not kidding at all. Since I decided to stay inside and bake a focaccia today -- hey, it's only 90 degrees in NYC this weekend! -- I asked my fella to pick up some dates and an extra pound of butter. I made the full recipe and yes, we do have about a million cookies right now. I've just eaten about 10,000 of them, though, because they are just...so...wonderful.
This recipe is a keeper. Thank you, Lindy! :)


Yikes, this is what comes from not hitting preview. I made the focaccia *and* the chews. I didn't combine them all into one big date focaccia. Although now I wonder... ;)


Sure makes quite a few cookies, doesn't it? Luckily, Bakerina, they do keep well.


When I was a little girl my mom and I would make loads of cookies and one of them was the Chinese Chew. Years ago before my mom passed away I asked her for the receipe and she couldn't find it. She use to roll them instead of making them bars though. Thanks to the internet I've found a receipe I can try. Can't wait to make them. Thanks for bringing back memories.


I am looking forward to making this recipe and roasting the nuts first. I havent tried that before. I was a cafeteria manager for years and we always put shredded coconut (instead of nuts) in them and also , right as they came out of the oven, we would put a basic icing over them..because they were hot, it would more or less run off of them to make a very thin layer of icing on them and then when we cut them, the top layer would crackle and then we would dust them in the sugar but lots of times, the kids preferred them without the frosting. Another great school recipe to get ahold of is the peanut bar chews :)

Dale Marie

Thanks so much for this recipe. I recently asked my mother for her "Chinese Chew" recipe because of a memory I had of enjoying these cookies as a child..(now 51 y.o.) My mom couldn't recall the exact recipe because she hasn't made them in years and misplaced her recipes during a move several years ago. I tried this recipe and it is a dead ringer for her chews I enjoyed back in the 60's. Many thanks!


Wow, I can't believe you found this! This looks like the one my grandmother used to make every Christmas in New Orleas. I've been looking for this forever--I'm going to try it real soon. Thanks so much for posting this!


I meant New Orleans. I was so excited, I couldn't type. LOL Thanks, Lindy, you may have revived an old family tradition!


Debbie, Janet, Dale Marie, and Renee: Isn't it interesting that this recipe is a nostalgic one for all of us? You have inspired me to go make a batch for New Years. I love these cookies!


How delightful to read your story about rediscovering the Chinese chews! My Mom always made them at Christmas, all through the 50s, 60s, 70s, & 80s! Then I took it upon myself to keep this amazing treat in the family. Our grown kids still adore them!

Janet Knight

When I was a little girl, I used to bake Chinese Chews with my grandmother (also a depression-era wife and mother) - I have searched for the something similar to that recipe she used, the original from an old 1950's promotional cookbook done in laminated green and white, and lost during my divorce and subsequent move. That was heartbreaking to me, losing something that made her so tangible. Thank you for sharing your story - it brought back some of the nostalgia of my youth and a bit of Grandma for my Christmas baking traditions.

Merry Christmas!


This recipe comes from James Beard's cookbooks! FYI :)

Craig "Popaye" Schweisinger

Lindy, I love you girl. I have been searching the hundreds of books and note pads my mom left when she passed, looking for "chinese Chews". I graduate from grade school in California in 1959. I recall making chews with mom on so many occasions. I was one of the very few kids that actually loved dates. While at Costco I bought a ton of pressed dates and wow, I will be making some chews. Thanks so much.

Holly Masterson

Thank you so much for your thoughtful recreation of this childhood memory of mine. I lived in New Jersey, growing up and adored these "family treats" as a very special gift from my mother. I will now bake these goodies for my 9 grandchildren.
I live in Santa Fe, New Mexico and recently bought a TON of dates in anticipation of finding the recipe.
Adore you and Chinese Chews!
Holly Masterson


You are so welcome, Holly. Thanks for the kind words.


I'm so excited to find this recipe and try it. I grew up in New Jersey like Holly and my Grandmother made these every year for Christmas. When we moved to Texas, I always looked forward to our shoebox of Chinese Chews! I can't wait to try out the recipe.

Chinese Traditional Recipes

I love chinese cooking but it's so hard...

Cindy Ball

OMG...this is a life saver. I got this recipe from a coworker nearly 20 years ogo. And I love, love, love it. It has be a staple at christmas ever since. A couple of years ago however. I misplaced my recipe. Last year I came up with my "idea" of the recipe and struck gold! Well I didn't write it down and I can't remember all the ingredients and my measurements. My recipe did not have as many ingredients as this one. But I'll manage. WooHoo!!! Going to bake them right now!

Invention Marketing

Its sound like yummy square, it has really yummy test i have made it last week, your given story was also cool.


I have been serching for this recipe for years now... I'm not a big sweet eater.. I made this in cooking class years ago and loved it..I moved 3 years ago and seem to have misplaced the recipe and have been searching since for it ...I knew it had china as a title somewhere... can't believe I found the recipe... Thanks so very much...All my friends loved it....

Joanne Scrace

Dear Lindy,
My sister made your recipe up and it tastes like the childhood chinese chews we had. However I have the original one from my mum and the quantities are very different and may have been possible with rationing (post war not during the war) i think. Here is our version

1 oz butter
3 oz sugar
1 egg
½ tsp vanilla essence
2 oz SR flour
3 oz dates
2 oz walnuts
1 oz icing sugar

Oven 190C
• Cream the butter and sugar together
• Beat in egg and vanilla
• Mix in flour
• Chop dates and nuts and add to the mixture
• Turn into greased 8” sandwich tin
• Bake for 15 mins
• Cool in tin
• Cut into fingers
• Dust in icing sugar

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