Kardea Brown’s Chewies Recipe

published Feb 7, 2023
Chewies Recipe
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Credit: Sully Sullivan

You can’t talk about classic Gullah food without mentioning some of the sweet stuff! Chewies, which look like sugar-dusted brownies but taste like rich molasses, are a sweet-lover’s dream. These delicious bars are made with many familiar baking ingredients and get a lovely crunch from the chopped pecans. You can only imagine the amazing aromas that’ll be coming from your kitchen once you get these in the oven!

Chewies Recipe

Makes 16 squares

Nutritional Info


  • 4 tablespoons

    (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, plus additional softened butter for the baking dish

  • 1 cup

    packed light brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon

    almond extract

  • 1 teaspoon

    vanilla extract

  • 1

    large egg, lightly beaten

  • 3/4 cup

    all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon

    baking powder

  • 1/4 cup

    chopped pecans

  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan.

  2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Turn off the heat and let the butter cool slightly, then add the brown sugar, almond extract, and vanilla extract and stir until smooth. Stir in the egg.

  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder, then fold the flour mixture into the brown sugar mixture. Fold in the pecans. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and bake until set around the edges but still loose in the center, about 20 minutes. Let cool completely, then sift confectioners’ sugar on top. Cut into 16 squares.

Recipe Notes

Excerpted from THE WAY HOME by Kardea Brown. Copyright 2022. Amistad/HarperCollins