There is a fun range of Korean desserts and biscuits to bake and to also try out when travelling. One childhood favourite is Matdongsan (맛동산), a fried cookie coated in a sticky syrup and garnished with chopped peanuts. There were commercially created in 1975 by the Haitai company, which specialized in sweet treats in Seoul. However, there is a few recipes to try out if you love the though of making your own.

Although, the recipe was from Maangchi; which have made multiple appearances in many a Friday Food – Kkwabaegi and Jjajangbap, I must admit that personally I have very little experience in baking – aside from the childish box cakes with cartoon faces splodged on top. So to go from perfectly cooking hot meals to frying cookies, it was a fun but strange challenge – as you will see.

Luckily, all the ingredients are easy to pick up at a cheap price. I just invaded a local supermarket to pick up all the essentials you need; Flour, Sugar, Eggs, Baking Powder. Do bear in mind, Maangchi’s recipe does ask for All-Purpose Flour, so if you are gathering your ingredients, keep an eye for for Plain flour – which is the UK alternative.

After a sticky situation with how much flour to use, all the ingredients were easily mixed together into a dough and left to chill for 30 minutes.

In a similar method to the Kkwabaegi recipe, the dough then had to be rolled out into long stripes and cut into two-inch long segments. Luckily, the dough for this was similar to a shortbread or cookie recipe so rolling out is a lot more easier in comparison to donut dough.

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Now this is where things went a little south. The cookies have to be fried and baked in order for them to be “super crunchy”. However, instead of pan-frying – in fear of getting baking-beginner oil burns – I opted for using an actual frying, which caused the cookies to swell up and become similar to churros. However, being optimistic, I continued on and baked them until they were ready.

With a coating of honey and chopped peanuts, they were ready to eat. Not bad for a first attempt, right? Well, the downside was that the double-cooking made the cookies swell up to small nuggets unlike the cookies you can purchase in Seoul. Taste wise, the cookies were also quite dry but nevertheless, it was still a fun process for someone just starting baking.

You may wonder why exactly we posted a failed attempt in this recipe and also our Kkwabaegi article. Not every recipe will be perfect first time. That is the joy of cooking, you learn from your mistakes and enjoy the fun of the process itself. Don’t be discouraged to try out these recipes for yourself. Have fun with it and don’t worry about the end result – it always a wonderful feeling when something you make turns out delicious, and not like dry, crunchy cookies.

If you try out the recipe for yourself, let us know how they turned out and check out the world-famous Maangchi’s recipe right here!

Have you ever had Matdongsan? Will you be trying this recipe for yourself?
Let us know in the comments below!


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