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Chinese Chews (VRP 014)

Chinese Chews (VRP 014)

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Chinese Chews

Chinese Chews

Chinese Chews Origin

The “Chinese Chews” recipe appeared in the June 1917 issue of Good Housekeeping.

From what I can find they are also made with coconut and with and without dates.

They are also called Chinese Chews Cookie Bar, Chinese Chews Cookies, Chinese Chews Balls, Chinese Chews Candy, Coconut Chews, and Chinese Chews Haystacks.

It appears the recipe was submitted by Mrs. L. G. Platt of North Bend, Oregon. I wonder if Mrs. Platt named them Chinese Chews or they existed before her recipe was published?

Of course, the family history stalker in me had to go find about the submitter, and by using to search for Mrs. Platt and I found that she was Caroline A. DAVIS Platt (born 1877 in Nebraska – 15 May 1963 in Clackamas, Oregon) who married Leighton Gill PLATT. This would make her about 40 years old when she submitted the recipe to Good Housekeeping.

June 1917 Good Housekeeping Magazine Cover
June 1917 Good Housekeeping Magazine Cover

I have searched the internet and read numerous pages about the origins of this recipe and nobody can figure out why they are called Chinese Chews.

Through my research in trying to find the history of the Chinese Chews recipe, I have seen a pattern that people use this type of recipe for the holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Which of these vintage dessert platters would you use for this recipe?

Other old-fashioned recipes to enjoy:

Chinese Chews

Chinese Chews Card Recipe Card Front

Front of the recipe card for Chinese Chews.

Chinese Chews

Chinese Chews Card Recipe Card Back

Back of the recipe card for Chinese Chews.


  1. The recipe notates that she uses black walnuts instead of pecans
  2. This recipe is very similar to the one published in Good Housekeeping with the amounts of flour and salt varying

Vintage Recipe Box 014

There are lots of fun recipes to read in the box this recipe for Chinese Chews was with.

Click here to read the history of  recipes.

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Chinese Chews Recipe

If you make this Chinese Chews recipe, please share your photos and comments below!

Chinese Chews
Yield: 5 dozen candies

Chinese Chews

Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes


  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup pecans or walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1 cup dates, finely chopped
  • Powdered sugar


  1. Beat eggs and add sugar
  2. Beat well
  3. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt
  4. Add flour mixture to the creamed mixture
  5. Blend in nuts and dates
  6. Spread the mixture thinly over well buttered baking sheet
  7. Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees
  8. Cut in 1" squares while hot
  9. Roll in powdered sugar to form balls

Chinese Chews Resources

Chinese Chews

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Pat Learmonth

Sunday 20th of December 2020

My grandmother made Chinese Chews as well, and we have had the every Christmas of my life. Our recipe is very similar - but she cut bars and then rolled them in sugar to make small logs. I have no doubt she was making these during the time my mother grew up from the mid-1920's onward.

Robin Macarthur

Friday 3rd of April 2020

Chinese chews was one of the fist recipes I was taught growing up! I’m 56; and I still make them, I teach my grandkids to make them too. They are my husbands favorite cookie!!!❤️❤️❤️

Steve B

Sunday 22nd of December 2019

We've been eating my grandmother's "China Chews" in my family for about 70 years. My mother remembers them as a child. At one point my MawMaw had PawPaw make her a specific sized pan for hers 91/2"x10".. I made a batch for Thanksgiving & will be making a batch for Christmas.

DNP - Billie

Sunday 22nd of December 2019

Thank you for stopping by and sharing this story. This helps us "age" the recipe.

Friday 25th of October 2019

I believe the name is used because they have taste and similar texture of a soft fortune cookie


Friday 25th of October 2019

I have not heard that one before - thank you for sharing!!!

Suzanne Donnelly

Wednesday 4th of September 2019

Hi, we grew up with my Grandma's version of Chinese Chews. They had chocolate icing instead of being rolled in icing sugar. Also had cocoa powder in the mix along with a special ingredient that I assume the 'Chinese' description came from. Chopped crystallised ginger. Enjoy Suz D aka Ma Baker NZ

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