Chinese Chews

This recipe for Chinese Chews was a first for me. Until now, the blog has featured recipes that I have either made before or eaten before. This one was new to me, but it sounded interesting, and as there are going to be many more unknown recipes as I work my way through these books, I may as well start somewhere.

My recipe book calls this ‘Chinese Chews’ but I’m rather stumped by this as I can’t see what exactly makes them Chinese. It must be some reflection of the time the recipe was created and the use of nuts and dates, perhaps. If you know any more on this, please let me know in the comments.

The recipe simply states ‘nuts’ as one of the ingredients, leaving you free to choose your favorite. I had cashews, so I used cashews. Walnuts or pecans would work equally well here, I think.

Now, while this was in the oven, I started to question the recipe as it only states the use of ‘flour’. Not plain flour, not self-raising flour, just flour. So, I was worried these would end up a little on a heavy side without any raising agent. Luckily they didn’t. Perhaps the addition of some baking powder would have transformed them from just tasty to fabulously tasty. We shall never know, unless I bake this again sometime. If I do, I’ll let you know.

These were still a little warm when I cut them up and my husband descended on them like a vulture and declared them to be the best bake yet. Sadly, my four year old did not agree. Everyone’s a critic. Especially preschoolers.

I did cut my dates up pretty small, so I didn’t get a lot of ‘chew’ from this traybake, so next time I might leave some of the pieces a little larger, but it was still tasty.


8oz/220g dates

4oz/110g nuts

3oz/85g plain flour (all-purpose flour)

3oz/85g butter

4oz/110g sugar

2 eggs

1-2 drops almond extract


1.  Chop the dates and nuts into small pieces.

2.  Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix the eggs together with the almond extract and beat into the butter/sugar mixture, a little at a time.

3.  Fold in the flour. Then add the chopped dates and nuts. And it’s as simple as that.


4.  Spread the mixture into you tin of choice (mine is a 23cm/9″square tin). I tend to line my tins with parchment paper as it makes it much easier to lift out the traybakes for ease of cutting and food photography, so you can do this, or simply grease your tin as suggested in the recipe.

5.  Bake at 180C/350F for 25-30 minutes. Cool in the tin and then cut into pieces. Dusting with icing (powdered) sugar is optional, but does make it look pretty.