Do You Know Nutmeats? Orange Chewins Bars

Before I tell you the conversation that led me to the discovery of nutmeats, let me give you the background on our Orange Chewins. Straight up, these brown-sugared, orange slice candy-filled, coconut, crackly crusted bars are not my favorite. But they are one of my sister Heidi’s favorite Christmas treats that my mom makes.

My sister travels a lot in her corporate trainer job and doesn’t get much time to spend at home, this means no time to bake and a lot of time being exposed to candy bars with a 7-year gas station shelf life. So, being the (sorta) nice sister that I am, I wanted to bake Orange Chewins for Heidi one weekend when she was coming home.

But I didn’t.

Then during our family Christmas, my mom asked me if I had made them for Heidi that one time a couple of months back.

With my sisters, mom, and step-mom sitting around the tables, I said, “No, I didn’t make them because there was an ingredient in the recipe that I didn’t know what it was.”

My mom asked me what it was and I said I couldn’t remember – just that it was something that I wasn’t familiar with.

Perplexed, my mom said, “There’s not anything unusual in them – brown sugar, eggs, orange slices, coconut…”

But I knew that there was something on that recipe card that stopped me from baking Orange Chewins for Heidi that weekend. So I dug into my cupboard and pulled the card from my wooden recipe roll-top file.

“Nutmeats!” I exclaimed. “There are nutmeats in there and I don’t know what that is.”

“Those are nuts. Just the insides of nuts,” my mom said.

“Oh, THAT’S what they are. You can tell it’s an old recipe because they are just called nuts now,” I said trying to recover an ounce of scratch-baking pride.

A few weeks later, I baked Orange Chewins for the first time. But by that time, the coconut I had was gone. So I substituted oatmeal and sent them off to Heidi’s. She liked them that way so much that she said she’ll bake them that way from now on. I liked them this way too because I don’t like coconut, which is probably why I never really like these. Either way, coconut or oatmeal or a little of both, these could become a favorite at your house.

I thought it would be nice to share a family recipe that isn’t as widely recognized as grandma’s chocolate chip cookies.

But secretly, I’m hoping there’s at least one person out there who reads this and says, “Ha, I wouldn’t have known what nutmeats are either.”

Sweet wishes,


Orange Chewins

Staci at Random Sweets
These bars are loaded with orange slice candies. They remind me of my sister Heidi because they were one of her favorites on the Christmas cookie tray when we were kids.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 36


  • 1 15×10 pan


  • cups orange slice candies
  • 3 eggs, large
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup pecan pieces, nutmeats
  • ½ cup sweetened coconut
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour


  • Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 15×10 pan.
  • Cut orange slice candies into pieces and toss with a small amount of sugar to keep from sticking to each other. (Flour the kitchen scissors.)
  • Beat eggs with the water until foamy.
  • Add vanilla, brown sugar and salt. Beat well.
  • Stir in orange candy, coconut, nuts and flour. Mix well.
  • Pour into greased pan. Bake at 375°F for 20 minutes.
  • Cut before completely cooled.
Keyword Christmas baking, orange slice candy

All text and images © Staci Mergenthal • Random Sweets

Tried this recipe?Mention @RandomSweets and tag #OurSweetMidwestLife

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  1. Same…lol!! I have a recipe from my ex-husband’s grandma for “frozen salad”. She made it once when she came back from Florida, & it was heavenly!!! She was in this little cooking/social group when she was down there with all the old folks. It’s really cute! They print like 10 little recipe cards & set them ny the dish they made. So, if you liked it, you took the card. I’ve been divorced for 5 yrs or so, & tot was probably 5-10 yrs before thst that I ate this dessert ,& was stumped on what the neck is nutmeats?? & I’m not gonna just call her up & chit chat, lol!!! So, thank you!!! Awesome to know I’m not alone!!! In case you wanna try…its so easy & SO good!!
    1-8 oz pkg of cream cheese, room temp, whip until.
    Add 1 cup of REAL maple syrup
    When creamy, then add:
    1 can crushed pineapple, drained
    1 cup date, chopped small
    1 cup nutmeats
    1 LG cool whip
    Freeze & serve!!

    I’m drooling & am so happy I’m gonna make it tomorrow now that I know!!!

  2. Thank you! I am following my Grandmother’s old recipe and it has “nutmeats”. Now I know it’s just referring to nuts:) Thank you for the story! ajg

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