Charleston Chewies Recipe

If you’re looking for a deliciously sweet and nutty treat, Charleston Chewies are the perfect choice. This classic Charleston dessert combines the richness of brown sugar with the crunch of pecans, creating a chewy bar that is impossible to resist.

Charleston Chewies Recipe

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The Origins of Charleston Chewies

Charleston Chewies have a long history in the South, particularly in the Gullah community. The Gullah Geechee community are descendants of enslaved Africans who live in the Lowcountry region of South Carolina and Georgia. They have preserved much of their African cultural heritage, especially their culinary traditions.

The recipe for these pecan brown sugar bars has been passed down through generations, variations of it appearing in community cookbooks and at family gatherings. The main ingredients—brown sugar, butter, and pecans—are staples in Southern baking, and contribute to the delicious flavor of these Charleston Chewies!

Recipe Tips for Perfect Charleston Chewies:

  • Room Temperature Eggs: Ensure your eggs are at room temperature before adding them to the mixture. This helps create a smoother batter. Bring cold eggs to room temperature quickly by setting them in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes.
  • Watch the Oven: Because oven temperatures can vary, start checking the chewies at the 25-minute mark to avoid overbaking.
  • Cooling Time: Let your Charleston Chewies cool completely before cutting ensures they hold their shape better.

I love to serve my Charleston Chewies on a pretty silver platter with a cup of tea. They’re delightful for luncheons, teas, holiday gatherings or just a sweet treat for a neighbor or friend.

Charleston Chewies

Whether you’re a lifelong Charlestonian or simply a lover of good food, these bars offer a taste of the city’s rich culinary past. So, whip up a batch of Charleston Chewies and enjoy a sweet, chewy slice of history!

More Southern Desserts You’ll Love!

Charleston Chewies Recipe

Charleston Chewies

A delightfully chewy bar with brown sugar and pecan flavors that's a popular treat in Charleston, SC.
SERVINGS 24 bars
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • 1 9×13 baking pan


  • 1 cup butter - (2 sticks)
  • 3 large eggs - room temperature
  • 1 16 ounce box dark brown sugar - (2 1/4 cups)
  • 2 1/2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans - chopped
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 cup confectioner's sugar - for dusting


  • Preheat oven to 325℉.
  • Line a 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper or grease and flour to prevent sticking.
  • In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat.
  • Add in brown sugar. Stir and cook for 1 minute.
  • Remove and allow the butter-sugar mixture to sit for a few minutes to cool.
  • Slowly whisk in eggs and vanilla extract.
  • Stir in flour and chopped pecans.
  • Pour Charleston Chewies batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 25-30 minutes. Edges should be set but middle may still be slightly soft. Oven temperatures vary so watch closely.
  • Allow to cool. Dust with confectioner's sugar. Cut into squares. Enjoy!


Calories: 168kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 3gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 44mgSodium: 70mgPotassium: 50mgFiber: 1gSugar: 0.4gVitamin A: 274IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 12mgIron: 0.4mg
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  1. I hate to buy self rising flour for one recipe, is there something I can do to all purpose flour for this recipe? I keep Pillsbury and King Arthur on hand. I checked in your cookbook, which I have enjoyed, for the recipe in print but it’s not there. Thank you in advance for your help.

    1. Hi Jk! You can use All-Purpose Flour. Here’s a guide for substituting it that will help as you’ll need to add a few other things: For every cup of self-rising flour, substitute one cup of all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon baking soda

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