What’s the Deal With Dalgona Cookies From ‘Squid Game’?

Carving fragile toffee seems like an impossible task. And that’s the point.

October  5, 2021
Photo by Youngkyu Park/Netflix

First, it was viewers’ obsession with Netflix food documentaries like Chef’s Table and Ugly Delicious. Next, everyone was talking about the Boom Boom Lemon Drink from Netflix’s Kate.” And now the internet can’t get enough of Dalgona Cookies, a popular South Korean street food that has captivated Squid Game viewers. Netflix’s new dramatic television show follows hundreds of cash-strapped contestants who are invited to participate in a bizarre series of children’s games. The ultimate prize is tens of millions of dollars. Those who lose are faced with deadly consequences. But along the way, a sweet challenge awaits.

What Are Dalgona Cookies?

Dalgona, which means “honeycomb toffee” in Korean, is a type of candy that rose in popularity after the Korean War. Note: this is not to be confused with Dalgona Coffee, the viral whipped coffee drink that took TikTok by storm earlier this year. Rather, it's an inexpensive dessert that is made with just sugar and baking soda. TikTok User Cooking With Lynja tried her hand at making Dalgona Cookies—she starts by melting granulated sugar in a skillet over medium-high heat. She adds a little bit of baking soda, mixes it with the sugar until it starts to thicken and then pours the mixture into thin discs on a pre-lined baking sheet. She uses a bowl to flatten them even further, though you could certainly use a cup or plate. And then the real fun begins.

In Squid Game, contestants must carve shapes like circles, stars, and triangles into a piece of honeycomb toffee without letting it break. So Lynja tries it too. She uses a cookie cutter to no avail. Then she tries heating a needle with a lighter to carve the shape of a star but watches in terror as the cookie soon crumbles.

Already, retailers like Amazon have come out with kits to help you make perfect Dalgona Cookies. This one includes five different metal frames to help you craft the perfect star, triangle, circle, or umbrella. And hey, if you succeed, there may just be a $38 million prize waiting for you after your last bite. Even artisans on Etsy are selling homemade cookie cutters in the four staple shapes.

Have you tried to carve Dalgona Cookies? Let us know in the comments below!

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Former Food52 Staff Editor