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"How to Make Squid Game Inspired Cookies: A Step-by-Step Recipe"

Updated: May 26

The South Korean series 'Squid Game' captured the world's attention not only with its thrilling storyline but also with its unique use of traditional Korean candy, Dalgona, also known as ppogi. This article delves into the cultural significance, behind-the-scenes details, and the art of making the now-iconic Squid Game cookie, exploring its rise to international fame and its influence on pop culture. We'll also share insights from the contestants of 'Squid Game: The Challenge' and offer a guide on how to craft the perfect Dalgona candy at home.

Key Takeaways

  • Squid Game's Dalgona

  • candy, known as ppogi in Korea, gained international fame, becoming a pop culture phenomenon and inspiring various creative interpretations.

  • Behind the scenes, contestants of 'Squid Game: The Challenge' revealed strategies and teamwork, while the candy itself was described as having a toasty toffee caramel flavor.

  • The traditional recipe for Dalgona candy involves simple ingredients, but achieving the ideal consistency requires precise techniques, as outlined in a step-by-step guide.

  • The Dalgona game is a test of precision and patience, with rules and objectives that demand skillful carving of shapes, as recounted by successful contestants.

  • Dalgona candy has transcended its street vendor origins to become a global sensation, with modern twists and festive uses, illustrating its versatility and enduring appeal.

The Cultural Impact of Squid Game's Dalgona Candy

Rise to International Fame

The release of 'Squid Game' in September 2021 marked a turning point for the traditional Korean treat known as Dalgona candy. The show's global success catapulted the candy to international stardom, with its distinctive honeycomb texture and the high-stakes game associated with it captivating audiences worldwide. The series not only broke language barriers but also became a cultural phenomenon, influencing various aspects of media and lifestyle.

The hashtag #squidgame exploded on social media platforms like TikTok, amassing over 27.5 billion views in a matter of weeks. This viral trend was a testament to the show's widespread appeal and the curiosity it sparked about Korean culture and its confectionery delights. Merchandise inspired by the series, including apparel and collectibles, began trending, further cementing the Dalgona candy's place in pop culture.

Influence on Pop Culture and Media

The cultural phenomenon of Squid Game has extended far beyond its narrative, influencing various facets of pop culture and media. Merchandise inspired by the series, such as apparel and collectibles, has flooded the market, catering to the global fanbase. Squid Game-themed items are now staples in online and physical stores, with products ranging from clothing lines to action figures.

The dalgona candy challenge, a pivotal element of the show, has sparked a trend across social media platforms, with countless users attempting to recreate the intense experience. This trend has transcended borders, becoming a viral sensation and a testament to the show's widespread impact.

The show's influence is also evident in the entertainment industry, with references and parodies appearing in various TV shows, movies, and even radio segments. Squid Game has become a part of the cultural lexicon, its themes and iconic imagery recognized and replicated across different media.

The Traditional Korean Ppogi

Before its appearance on the global stage through Squid Game, ppogi was a beloved street snack in South Korea, known for its sweet, toasty flavor reminiscent of caramel. This traditional candy, also referred to as Korean honeycomb or sponge toffee in different parts of the world, is distinctive for the imprinted shapes at its center, which are not just for aesthetics but also play a crucial role in the game depicted in the series.

The process of making ppogi involves a simple combination of sugar and baking soda, which gives it a unique texture that's both crunchy and melt-in-your-mouth. The candy's simplicity belies the skill required to craft it perfectly, a testament to the street vendors' expertise.

While the Squid Game has catapulted ppogi to international fame, its roots run deep in Korean culture, where it has been a staple treat for generations. The candy's recent surge in popularity has led to a renewed interest in traditional Korean confections, showcasing the enduring appeal of this simple yet captivating sweet.

Behind the Scenes of Squid Game: The Challenge

The Reality of the Cookie Game

The cookie game, as seen in Netflix's Squid Game: The Challenge, transcends the screen to become a real-world test of dexterity and nerve. Contestants are tasked with the delicate operation of carving shapes out of brittle Dalgona candy, a challenge that requires a steady hand and acute focus. The stakes are high, as the game's outcome can mean the difference between staying in the competition or facing elimination.

  • Teamwork is often key, with players devising strategies to aid one another.

  • The tension is palpable, as the slightest mistake can shatter the cookie.

  • The flavor of the candy, while secondary, adds an element of enjoyment to the nerve-wracking task.

Strategies and Teamwork Among Players

In the intense atmosphere of the Squid Game, the Dalgona challenge brought out not just individual cunning but also the emergence of collective strategies. Players quickly realized the value of collaboration, forming impromptu alliances to increase their chances of success.

The dynamics of teamwork were particularly evident as participants shared techniques and timed actions to perfection. For instance, a group might decide on a rotation for licking the back of the cookie, a method that proved to be effective in weakening the candy's structure without breaking it.

While some teams opted for silent communication to avoid drawing attention, others were more overt, devising plans in plain sight, confident in their collective approach. The table below illustrates some of the common strategies employed by players:

These tactics highlight the intricate balance between individual skill and the power of teamwork in navigating the challenges of the game.

The Flavor Profile of the Dalgona Candy

The Dalgona candy, a simple yet delightful treat, is known for its unique texture and flavor. The airy brittle texture, a result of the chemical reaction between sugar and baking soda, provides a melt-in-your-mouth experience that is both sweet and slightly toasty. This traditional Korean candy, also referred to as ppogi, has a caramel-like taste that comes from the careful caramelization of sugar.

While the candy is predominantly sweet, the addition of baking soda introduces a subtle but distinct bitterness that balances the overall taste. This combination of sweet and bitter notes makes Dalgona candy not just a treat for the palate but also a fascinating subject for culinary enthusiasts.

Crafting the Perfect Dalgona Candy

Traditional Ingredients and Recipe

The quintessential Dalgona candy, a staple in Korean street food culture, is surprisingly simple to make, requiring minimal ingredients. The core components are white granulated sugar and a pinch of baking soda, which undergo a transformation through heat to create the candy's signature honeycomb texture.

  • :

  • 2 tbsp white granulated sugar

  • 1/16 tsp baking soda

The process begins by melting the sugar in a metal ladle over low heat, ensuring it doesn't burn. Once fully melted, the baking soda is added, causing the mixture to foam up. It's then quickly poured onto a flat surface, pressed into a thin layer, and stamped with a shape before it hardens. Precision in timing and temperature is crucial to achieve the ideal consistency and avoid a burnt or overly bitter flavor.

Step-by-Step Guide to Making Ppogi

Making traditional Korean ppogi, also known as Dalgona candy, is a delightful experience that brings a piece of the Squid Game phenomenon into your kitchen. The process is simple, yet requires attention to detail to achieve the perfect result.

To start, you'll need a metal ladle, a chopstick (preferably not plastic), and a few other tools such as a hotteok press or a flat-bottomed metal measuring cup. Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat to place your candy on once it's ready.

The basic ingredients are straightforward: white granulated sugar and a pinch of baking soda. The sugar is melted until it reaches a toasty toffee caramel flavor, reminiscent of brown butter toffee cookies. Once the baking soda is added, the mixture will foam up, creating the honeycomb texture that ppogi is known for.

Using small cookie cutters, you can press shapes into the center of the candy, a signature feature that adds a playful challenge to enjoying this sweet treat. With patience and a steady hand, you'll craft a Dalgona candy that's not only delicious but also a testament to your culinary precision.

Tips for Achieving the Ideal Consistency

Achieving the perfect consistency for Dalgona candy is crucial for both taste and the game's challenge. The key is to find the right balance between sugar and heat. Too much heat and the sugar will burn, too little and it won't melt properly. Here's a quick guide:

  • Start with a clean, dry metal ladle to heat the sugar.

  • Keep the heat medium-low and be patient; it should take about 3-5 minutes for the sugar to fully melt.

  • Once the sugar melts, add a pinch of baking soda and stir quickly. This will cause the mixture to puff up, giving it the right texture.

  • Immediately pour the mixture onto a parchment paper or silicone mat to cool.

Remember, practice makes perfect. Each attempt will bring you closer to the ideal Dalgona candy that's crisp yet melts in your mouth.

The Dalgona Game: A Test of Precision and Patience

The Rules and Objectives of the Game

The Dalgona Game, as featured in the hit series Squid Game, is a test of meticulousness and steadiness. Players must carefully extract a shape from a brittle honeycomb candy without breaking the delicate outline. This challenge is not only about having a steady hand but also about employing the right technique and a dose of patience.

  • Objective: Successfully carve out the pre-stamped shape from the Dalgona candy.

  • Tools: A needle or a pointed object is typically used for this task.

  • Time Limit: Players are usually given a short time frame to complete the challenge.

The game has simple rules but is notoriously difficult to master. It requires a combination of concentration, a gentle touch, and strategic scraping. The pressure of the ticking clock only adds to the intensity of the task at hand.

Techniques for Successfully Carving Shapes

Mastering the art of carving shapes into Dalgona candy is a delicate process that requires precision and a gentle touch. Simple shapes with straight edges are easier to carve and have a higher success rate of being released without breaking. Complex designs, such as stars or umbrellas, pose a greater challenge and demand more skill.

  • Start with the candy thickness between 1/8” and 1/4” for optimal carving.

  • Firmly hold the shaping tool in place for a count of five before removing.

  • Gently press a small cookie cutter into the center without piercing through.

  • Allow the candy to cool completely before attempting to remove the shape.

Selecting the right tools can also make a significant difference. A hotteok press or a flat-bottomed metal measuring cup can be used to flatten the sugar mixture, while a variety of small cookie cutters can be employed to imprint the desired shapes. Remember to lightly grease your tools to prevent the sugar from sticking and hardening.

Anecdotes from Successful Contestants

The Dalgona challenge in Squid Game has not only tested the dexterity of contestants but also their ability to strategize and collaborate under pressure. LeAnn's experience highlights a collective effort where contestants surrounding her devised a minute-by-minute plan to tackle the circle-cutting task. This camaraderie was a stark contrast to the solitary struggle of Spencer, who, despite his meticulous efforts, met with a snap that ended his journey.

Trey, a fan of reality TV, was taken aback by the unexpected solidarity among players. As the game progressed and the stakes rose, the spirit of unity persisted, drawing parallels to the early days of reality television where strategy and alliances began to shape the genre.

Dalgona Candy in Everyday Life

From Street Vendors to Global Sensation

The humble beginnings of Dalgona candy as a street vendor's treat have been transformed into a global craze, thanks to its pivotal role in the Netflix series 'Squid Game'. This simple yet addictive sweet has transcended its traditional roots, becoming a symbol of nostalgia and challenge across the world.

The candy's journey from local markets to international fame is a testament to the power of media in catapulting traditional delights into the limelight. The boosting business for candy makers is a direct result of this newfound popularity, with many seeking to recreate the experience at home or purchase it from those who have mastered the craft.

Creative Variations and Modern Twists

The traditional Dalgona candy has undergone a remarkable transformation, evolving from a simple street snack into a versatile culinary canvas. Chefs and enthusiasts alike have taken to experimenting with the basic recipe, infusing it with new flavors and presenting it in imaginative forms. For instance, some have introduced chocolate or fruit essences, while others have crafted Dalgona into whimsical shapes beyond the classic flat discs.

The creativity doesn't stop at flavors and shapes. The internet has seen a surge in Dalgona-inspired desserts, such as the playful 'Choco Squid Cookie' and the festive 'Funfetti Reindeer Cookies'. These inventive takes not only pay homage to the candy's origins but also cater to a global audience with a sweet tooth for novelty.

Moreover, Dalgona candy has found its way into party scenes, with recipes like 'Spiked Cotton Candy' and 'Hard Candy Dalgona Games in Tin' becoming popular choices for adult gatherings. These variations showcase the candy's potential to transcend cultural and generational boundaries, making it a treat enjoyed by all ages.

Incorporating Dalgona into Festive Occasions

The versatility of Dalgona candy has transcended its origins, becoming a delightful addition to various festive occasions. From Halloween treats mimicking the iconic shapes seen in 'Squid Game' to Christmas ornaments made of hardened sugar, Dalgona has found its way into the celebratory customs of many cultures.

Incorporating Dalgona into festivities not only adds a touch of sweetness but also a playful element that encourages participation and engagement. For instance, during birthday parties, guests can be challenged to recreate their own Dalgona shapes, turning a simple dessert into an interactive game.

Below is a list of occasions where Dalgona can be featured, along with creative ideas to integrate this treat:

  • Halloween: Crafting spooky shapes and incorporating them into a Dalgona challenge.

  • Christmas: Using Dalgona as edible decorations or sweet gifts.

  • Birthdays: Organizing a Dalgona-making contest for guests.

  • Valentine's Day: Creating heart-shaped Dalgona candies as symbols of affection.

  • New Year's Eve: Serving Dalgona as part of a dessert buffet to sweeten the countdown.


As we wrap up our exploration of the Squid Game cookie, or Dalgona candy, it's clear that this simple treat has transcended its street vendor origins to become a global phenomenon. The candy's brittle nature and the challenge of carving out shapes without breaking it has captured the imagination of audiences worldwide, thanks to the gripping depiction in Netflix's Squid Game series. Whether it's the toasty toffee flavor that entices you or the thrill of the game that beckons, the Squid Game cookie is more than just a sweet—it's a symbol of camaraderie, strategy, and the sweet taste of survival under pressure. As players in the Squid Game: The Challenge have shown, even in the midst of competition, there's room for secret alliances and shared victories. The cookie may crumble, but the spirit of the game endures.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Dalgona candy and why did it become popular?

Dalgona candy, also known as ppogi, is a traditional Korean treat made from melted sugar with a toasty toffee caramel flavor. It gained international fame after being featured in episode 3 of the Netflix series Squid Game, where it was used in a challenge.

How does Dalgona candy taste?

Dalgona candy has a sweet, toasty toffee caramel flavor reminiscent of brown butter toffee cookies. It's a simple yet delicious treat that has been traditionally sold by street vendors in South Korea.

What was the cookie game in Squid Game: The Challenge?

In Squid Game: The Challenge, players had to carefully etch out shapes from brittle Dalgona cookies without breaking them. Teamwork and strategies were essential, as players secretly helped each other to ensure more contestants could advance in the game.

Can you describe the cookie game challenge from Squid Game?

The cookie game challenge involved contestants attempting to carve out a specific shape from a brittle Dalgona candy without breaking the shape. It tested the players' precision and patience, and became a pivotal and memorable part of the show.

Are there any tips for making the perfect Dalgona candy at home?

To make the perfect Dalgona candy, use traditional ingredients and follow a step-by-step recipe. Pay attention to achieving the right heat for melting the sugar and be patient while it cools to get the ideal consistency.

How did players in Squid Game: The Challenge help each other during the cookie game?

Players in Squid Game: The Challenge helped each other by devising a plan to tackle the cookie game. They shared strategies, like licking the back of the cookie after a certain time, to increase their chances of success.

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