On Netflix’s Squid Game, the extraordinarily popular South Korean show whose premise is that 456 contestants have to play children’s games for survival, making Dalgona candy cookies without breaking them can be the difference between winning a buttload of money or getting shot.
On Episode 3, competitors are tasked with making a very brittle and delicate cookie called Dalgona Candy without cracking it. On Squid Game, failure to produce a perfect treat results in the player’s demise. On TikTok, people are taking on the challenge themselves (with less lethal consequences). The videos feature posters showing off their cookie baking and cutting skills, and share whether or not they’d live to see another day if they were in the Squid Game.
Dalgona is a Korean dessert that’s also known as Korean Sugar Candy or ppopgi. If that name sounds familiar, that’s because Dalgona Coffee is named after the treat; the whipped sugar coffee mixture trended on TikTok back in early 2020 as everyone got used to lockdown. The traditional candy is made with only two ingredients and takes on a honeycomb, toffee-like consistency. When it hardens, it’s fragile and can crack easily — hence the high stakes of using a cookie cutter to carve out a shape like an umbrella or star without disturbing the temperamental confection.
When consumed in non life-threatening circumstances, the candy is apparently very enjoyable. Here’s how to make your own.
Dalgona Candy Ingredients
There is a very good chance you don’t have to go to the grocery store for this one — all you need is baking soda and sugar. Per Korean Bapsang, a Korean cooking blog, any kind of sugar will work, but you cannot substitute baking soda with baking powder.
How To Cook Dalgona Candy
This is a stovetop treat, so gather a pan or ladle, preferably nonstick, as this is a very sticky endeavor. You’ll also need parchment paper, a bowl or cup to use as a stamp, a cookie cutter, a rubber spatula, and something sharp to remove the cookie shape, like a knife. According to TikTok and Korean Bapsang, this is the best way to cook your candy:
- Heat a pan on low to medium low heat and add 1.5 tablespoons of sugar.
- When you notice the sugar melting around the edges, stir.
- Stir regularly to make sure that it melts evenly and doesn’t burn. If it gets smoky, take it off the heat and lower the temperature. Keep doing this until the sugar has melted completely. (If you’ve made caramel before, this’ll feel familiar.)
- Once it’s melted, take it off the heat for a few seconds to let it cool, then stir in three pinches of baking soda.
- Stir as hard as you can. When it’s ready, it should puff up and take on a whipped coffee appearance.
- Pour the mixture onto a piece of parchment paper with a rubber spatula.
- Let cool for about 10 seconds, then press a cup or bowl onto it to flatten it out. According to TikTok, this is the hardest part, as it’s very sticky.
- Stamp it with your cookie cutter quickly and remove.
- Now wait for the entire piece to harden, and poke out your cookie without cracking the inside shape.
Make this candy, and you’ll live to see another day and receive no prize money. However, you will win many accolades on TikTok.