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Cherry Chews from Jubelt's
Cherry Chews from Jubelt's.

Jubelt's Bakery in Litchfield has the best Cherry Chews. They are a bar cookie rolled in powdered sugar.

 - Carol Tickner, Alton

"We make a big variety of cookies that you don't see in bakeries any more," owner Jeanmarie Jubelt said. "Lots of people seem to have their favorites."

Her grandfather, Paul Jubelt, and two of his brothers opened the family's first bakery and restaurant in 1922 in Mount Olive. The family opened several shops over the years across west-central Illinois; the sole remaining location is in Litchfield.

Jeanmarie Jubelt bought the Litchfield shop in January 2008. "My mother, Iris, still helps out and is really still active and a big support," she said. One of the bakers has worked there for more than 40 years.

"This recipe came from a shortening company," Jubelt said. "Many of our older recipes came from the manufacturers of bakery ingredients. I think many bakers use recipes that came from these sources."

Because the original formula called for candied cherries, Jubelt recalls that Cherry Chews started as a special offering for the holidays. Jubelt says that dried cherries are a good substitute.

These Cherry Chews are really more like a blondie (non-chocolate brownie). "These could be cut into small bite-size pieces for a yield of 32, or into larger bars for a yield of 12," Jubelt said. "My mom thinks we used to bake these in 18-by-26-inch pans," Jubelt said, making batches about four times as large as this recipe.