This chewy recipe is for those delectable treats also known as Charleston Chewies or Pecan Chews. Whatever name they're called, these simple sweet bars are well loved for their buttery pecan goodness and pure, simple ingredients.
FEATURED COMMENT: "Moved to Charleston and had pecan chewies at a food truck and was instantly obsessed. Searched the web for a recipe and thought this one looked like the right mix to match that food truck goodness and sho nuff! So good!"
What is a Pecan Chewie?
Simple ingredients found in most pantries are what you find in a Charleston Chewy. They're made into golden brown bars that pair so well with a cup of coffee or a glass of milk. The predominant flavors are butter, pecans and brown sugar.
To keep it extra quick and easy we've used self-rising flour like we do in many of our recipes. It simply allows you to skip a step when assembling these treats. We use the same ingredients for Brown Butter Pecan Cookies.
Some sources in the lowcountry give the Gullah Geechee community credit for these goodies. We couldn't argue that case one way or the other, but we do love learning about the Gullah culture, and even have a Gullah Red Rice recipe and one for Sweet Potatoes here on our site.
- Brown sugar - we've only made this recipe with light brown sugar and that's what we recommend.
- Pecans - If you don't love pecans, but do love walnuts you could certainly substitute them, but what you end up with wouldn't be a "Pecan Chewie". I'm sure it would be tasty, but here in Georgia, and in South Carolina where this recipe originated, pecans are the king of nuts!
- Self-rising flour - It makes this recipe super easy, but if you don't have any on hand use the formula in our Easy Buttermilk Biscuits post.
For a full list of ingredients and proportions see the recipe card below.
How to make them
- Melt the butter over medium low heat.
- Mix brown sugar and flour in a mixing bowl.
- Pour the melted butter in and stir until well blended.
- Add the eggs, vanilla and pecans, stirring well.
- Bake in a prepared pan for 30-35 minutes at 325 degrees.
- Cool completely before cutting into bars.
- A parchment paper lined baking pan makes for easy clean up and extra easy release of the bars from the pan. Alternatively, you can use a baking spray.
- A dusting of confectioners sugar after baking gives your chewies a fun "polished" look.
- The recipe calls for salted butter, but if you only have unsalted just add one half teaspoon of salt.
They're originated in South Carolina and are commonly found in bakeries in the lowcountry, particularly the Charleston area.
Yes! They're an excellent choice for freezing. Wrap them up tightly, making sure to remove as much air as possible and freeze for up to three months.
Your chewies will be just fine sitting on the counter at room temperature for 3-4 days as long as they're tightly covered.
For a fun and quick look at this recipe be sure to check out the Google Web Story.
- Line a 9x13 inch baking pan with parchment paper or spray with non-stick spray.
- Melt butter over medium low heat.
- Mix brown sugar and flour in large mixing bowl.
- Pour melted butter into the large mixing bowl and combine. Add vanilla, eggs and pecans, stirring until well combined.
- Bake in prepared pan at 325 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Cool completely before dusting with confectioners sugar and cutting into bars.
- If self rising flour is unavailable, you can substitute according to the directions on our Buttermilk Biscuit post.
- Unsalted butter may be used. You will need to add ½ teaspoon salt to the dry ingredients.
- Sprinkle after baking with confectioners sugar for a dressed up look.