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Playing Gullah Brown-Sugar Pecan Chewies

These old-fashioned nut candies are Southern food blogger Kardea Brown’s version of Charleston Chews.

"Gullah is a term used to describe a distinct group of African Americans living in the coastal areas of South Carolina and Georgia. Gullah people are the only group of African Americans that have managed to preserve much of their West African language, culture, and cuisine," says Kardea, who is from a small island on the coast of Charleston called Wadmalaw.

Her grandmother taught her how to cook Gullah dishes that were passed down from her mother.


  • 1/4 cup butter, plus softened butter for pan
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting


Serves: 16


Preheat oven to 350˚F. Butter an 8-inch square baking dish with softened butter. In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Turn off the heat, then add the brown sugar and vanilla and almond extract, and stir until smooth. Stir in egg.

Whisk together flour and baking powder, then fold into the brown sugar mixture. Fold in pecans. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes. Let cool, then sift confectioners' sugar on top. Cut into 16 squares.