[NOTE: We've moved this post from the discussion at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/712706 -- The Chowhound Team ]
Read through this post and was sorry to see no one had yet figured out or posted a recipe! I was trying to make some for my daughter after recently enjoying them on a trip to China. We brought some back and the package is labeled 牛皮糖
which reads niu pi tang or "cow leather candy". It has a jelly-like consistency (much easier to chew than cow leather!), some squares made with black sesame seeds and some with white. I see some similar candy at this site, but unfortunately not for retail sale: http://www.21food.com/products/soft-c...
I can find recipes online in Chinese but not in English. However, this Vietnamese recipe for Keo Me Xung looks very similar except for the peanuts. kitchentoworld.wordpress.com/2011/09/06/vietnamese-sesame-and-peanut-candy-recipe-keo-me-xung/
(I even found a video of a cooking show of how to make this, but it is in Vietnamese.) All these recipes include mixing a small amount of flour (tapioca flour or wheat flour or waterchestnut flour) into water, which is added to the sugar syrup while cooking. Perhaps this keeps it chewy?
If anyone has perfected a recipe, I'd love to hear it. I hope to soon try one of the ones I found.