Today I am introducing you to a delicious, sweet, crispy Korean dessert: a sesame peanut candy called kkae-ttangkong gangjeong. This is my version of a traditional Korean candy made with sesame seeds (called kkae-gangjeong) or peanuts (called ttangkong-gangjeong). I wanted to make these traditional candies more pretty, nutritious, and delicious so I combined them and added freeze dried strawberries and raspberries from an American grocery store.
The end result is sweet, crispy, light, delicious, easy to make and irresistible, especially when made with my homemade toasted sesame seeds. It’s not gooey at all: it’s a little brittle and breaks apart in your mouth, and the fruit gives it a tangy kick.
The recipe looks very simple but I actually spent a lot of time getting the measurements and the technique just right. This candy is not only delicious but it never goes soft or soggy, even if you leave in on the counter uncovered for a few days.
Try it out, and you can substitute peanuts or sesame seeds with either sesame seeds or peanuts, and you could experiment with other types of dried fruit, or just leave them out. The key point is to get everything ready before you make the syrup, because once that is ready and the nuts go in, you need to mix and spread quickly. Otherwise, the mixture will get hard in a few minutes, so it will be difficult for you to spread.
Try out the recipe and share it with your loved ones!
- 1 cup toasted sesame seeds (store bought or home-toasted
- 1 cup roasted unsalted peanuts
- ¼ cup freeze dried strawberries (optional)
- ¼ cup freeze dried raspberries (optional)
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
For the syrup:
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup rice or corn syrup
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon water
- Put the sesame seeds and peanuts in one bowl and the freeze dried fruit in another.
- Spread the vegetable oil on the cutting board with your hand. Massage some into a rolling pin with the oil.
- Put the sugar, syrup, kosher salt, and water in a small, heavy saucepan and cook over low heat.
- Let it boil for about 4 minutes until small bubbles come up around the edges of the pan. Don’t stir it, but lift the pan and tilt it so the syrup melt evenly.
- When the sugar is all melted, stir it with a wooden spoon. Keep stirring and lifting the wooden spoon in the air until you see sugar threads come off the syrup on the spoon.
- Add the sesame seeds and the peanuts to the syrup and mix well with the wooden spoon until it forms a big lump.
- Remove it from the heat and put the lump on the oiled cutting board. Quickly spread it out with the wooden spoon and add the freeze dried fruit.
- Roll it out with the rolling pin to a rectangle about 8 x 9 inches. Cut it into bite sized pieces about 2 x 1 inches with a sharp kitchen knife.
- Let cool and transfer to an air-tight container or plastic bag. You can keep it up to 1 week at room temperature and 3 months in the freezer.