Chinese Chews

Chinese Chews

Sorry for the long break! I seem to have been cooking things that I have already blogged about recently. I also attempted a sponge again I’ve made about three proper sponges in my life and all of them have flopped. I seem to be unable to produce an egg based sponge without baking powder. They always turn out as pancakes, no matter how gently I fold! So that challenge still remains to be conquered.

So onto something new. The other day my friend Beverly asked me to make a recipe that she made years ago. The recipe was for Chinese chews. Her friend in Australia sent her the recipe and said that they reminded her of Rocky Road Brownies. Beverly seems to recall them turning out differently and did not think that they were like brownies – she thinks she may have left the cocoa out or something. My batch came out and they are similar to a brownie in some ways. The coconut gives them a nice chewy texture. They are VERY sweet, a diabetics nightmare, but perfect for those with a sweet tooth. I may cut down the sugar in future versions.

Looking on the net, I discovered that Chinese or China man chews are a very old fashioned treat. Apparently “Chinese Chews” appeared in the June 1917 issue of Good Housekeeping, and the recipe was widely reprinted in newspapers and there are countless variations. It would seem that the recipe has nothing to do with China, other than perhaps exotic appeal. The original recipe featured dates and walnuts. This version has neither dates nor nuts in it, so who knows if it actually qualifies, but with me anything goes! Make these if you are looking for a serious sugar fix!


1 good cup of self raising flour

1 cup chopped mixed fruit – I used cake mix and dried cherries chopped

1 cup of desiccated coconut

1 cup brown sugar

¼ pound 114g melted butter or margarine

1 jumbo egg

2 dessert spoons of cocoa

1 teaspoon vanilla essence


8oz icing sugar

1 Tbsp cocoa

1 desert spoon melted butter

Enough warm milk to make a spreadable consistency.


Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl; add the softened butter and egg.

Mix well, it’ll be dry. The recipe says do not add more moisture, but ever the rule breaker I added a tablespoon of water as there was still lots of flour in my bowl.

Press into a shallow square – Lamington tray and bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 25 minutes.

Ice the base while still warm. Allow icing to set and cut into slices.


About michoenglish87

A wannabe foodie who loves trying new recipes and trying new ingredients. I hope to inspire people to try new things in the kitchen.
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3 Responses to Chinese Chews

  1. These look great – they remind me of a brownie – sort of. Bet they go down a treat with a cuppa.
    🙂 Mandy

  2. Tandy says:

    have you tried heating the eggs?

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