4.2 from 5 votes
Nanna's Chinese Chews
Prep Time
12 mins
Cook Time
38 mins
Total Time
50 mins
My mother-in-law's Chinese Chews are buttery, chewy blondies with dates and walnuts, dusted in confectioners sugar. An old family favorite!
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chinese chews, date nut bars
Servings: 16
Calories: 225 kcal
Author: Cooking with Mamma C, barely adapted from my mother-in-law's recipe
  • 8.5 ounces pitted dates (chopped)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 8 Tablespoons salted butter (melted)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • confectioners sugar for dusting
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare an 8x8 pan by lining it with parchment paper and folding it over the edges of the pan to make for easy removal and cleanup. (If you don't have parchment paper, use foil and grease it well.)
  2. Chop your dates in a food processor or blender. (They are really sticky to chop by hand.) If starting with walnut halves, chop them until you have one cup.
  3. In a glass bowl or other microwave-safe bowl, melt your butter in the microwave, covering it with wax paper to prevent splashing. Stir in the sugar.
  4. Add the eggs and vanilla to your bowl and mix with a spoon until blended. Add the flour and salt and stir. Stir in the dates and nuts until blended.
  5. Pour the batter into your baking pan and use a spatula to even it out. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the top is golden. A toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center should come out clean.
  6. Let the pan cool on a rack for 10 minutes. Then lift out the Chinese Chews by grasping the parchment paper and transferring everything to a cutting board. Cut into squares (I did 16 large ones, but smaller squares work well, since they are rich tasting.)
  7. If you're not planning to freeze them, dust with confectioner's sugar. Transfer the bars to a rack to finish cooling. They taste best when completely cooled. Store at room temperature in an airtight container. You can freeze them without the confectioner's sugar and add the sugar when they are thawed.
Nutrition Facts
Nanna's Chinese Chews
Amount Per Serving
Calories 225 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Cholesterol 35mg12%
Sodium 94mg4%
Potassium 146mg4%
Carbohydrates 30g10%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 22g24%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 205IU4%
Vitamin C 0.2mg0%
Calcium 19mg2%
Iron 0.8mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.