Chestnut cookies

Yul-lan 율란

Today we’re going to learn how to make a soft, no-bake Korean cookie made from chestnuts, called yul-lan. They are smooth and soft and have a very subtle, lightly sweet taste. They go great with tea. They are simple to make, but as you see in the video, it can take some time to boil, pound, and shape the chestnuts.

I love to eat steamed chestnuts as a snack. I Just boil  them, split them in half, scoop out the middle, and eat. You can also mix the insides of steamed chestnuts with milk to make baby food.

Yul-lan is a kind of traditional Korean confectionary called suksilgwa, which are made from cooked fruits and nuts and then reshaped, often to resemble the ingredients they were made from. It was traditionally something that was strictly for the upper classes and royalty during the Joseon dynasty (1392 to 1897), but these days they are enjoyed by all kinds of people.

Check out the recipe and the video, and give these cookies a try! Enjoy my recipe and let me know how it goes!



Ingredients (for 12 cookies):

  • ½ pound chestnuts
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons honey
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons pine nuts, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon green tea powder (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon roasted black sesame seeds (optional)


  1. Wash the chestnuts in cold water. Put them into a small, heavy pot and add enough water to submerge them.
  2. Boil for 15 minutes over medium high heat.
  3. Turn down the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Put the hot chestnuts into a strainer and rinse them in cold running water. Strain.
  5. Cut each chestnut in half lengthwise. Scoop the cooked chestnuts out with a small teaspoon and put them into a mortar or bowl.Chestnut cookies(yullan)
  6. Pound the cooked chestnuts with a pestle until there are no lumps.
  7. Put the wire strainer over a bowl. Add the pounded chestnut to the strainer. Press and push the pounded chestnuts down with a wooden spoon so they go through the strainer. It will make 1½ cup of fine, strained chestnut powder in a bowl. Set aside.Chestnut cookies (yullan)Chestnut cookies (율란)chestnut cookies (yullan: 율란)
  8. Add honey, cinnamon powder, and salt in a small pot and cook it over medium heat, stirring the sticky syrup until it’s well mixed.
  9. Pour the syrup over the pounded chestnuts and mix well with a wooden spoon. Then knead it by hand to make a soft lump of smooth dough.chestnut cookies (yullan: 율란)chestnut cookies (yullan: 율란)
  10. Divide the dough in half. Each half can be divided into 6 small pieces to make a total of 12 cookies. Cover the pieces with plastic wrap so they don’t dry out while you finish.
  11. Shape each small piece into a small chestnut shaped cookie.chestnut cookies (yullan: 율란)chestnut cookies (yullan: 율란)
  12. For each cookie, dip the larger end into honey and then into the chopped nuts or green tea and roasted sesame seeds. Dip them one by one and put them on a plate.chestnut cookies (yullan: 율란)chestnut cookies (yullan: 율란)chestnut cookies (yullan: 율란)chestnut cookies (yullan: 율란)
  13. Serve with hot tea.



  1. Feedmekoreanfood-please WA My profile page joined 3/14
    Posted March 30th, 2014 at 6:01 pm | # |

    밤통조림이 괜찮습니까? If you can’t find fresh chestnuts is it okay to use canned ones?

  2. SirGiulio Italia My profile page joined 3/14
    Posted March 2nd, 2014 at 1:58 am | # |

    Ciao Maangchi! Just to tell you that chestnuts are very popular in Italy where they were main food for poor people in past. We use to put a bay leaf and a pinch of salt when boiling chestnuts, this enhances the flavor. Hope you’ll try my secret, cheers from Rome ;-)

  3. Jacob United States My profile page joined 7/13
    Posted January 23rd, 2014 at 11:43 am | # |

    Out of curiosity, could you make these with almonds, instead of Chestnuts? Like if you buy a big bag of Almonds, that don’t have the shell?

    How would you go about making them? Would you just start at the pestle & mortar step? Is there a different recipe for almonds? Or can you substitute any nut for chestnuts?

  4. Eileen77 Norway My profile page joined 1/14
    Posted January 21st, 2014 at 1:14 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi!! I’m trying to make the chestnut cookies now and the inside of my chestnuts is kind of moist so I can not put it through a sift!! what to do what to do?? right now i’m trying to make it more dry after using the p&m by putti g the “meat” from chestnuts in low heated ovn…

  5. Kesther Maryland My profile page joined 1/14
    Posted January 20th, 2014 at 12:12 am | # |

    Is cinnamon traditionally used to make yullan or is it your own twist? Can I leave it out?

  6. CherryKissxoxox Germany My profile page joined 1/14
    Posted January 19th, 2014 at 7:41 am | # |

    Looove Chestnuts!
    Is it possible to do these cookies with pre-cooked chestnuts you can buy in stores ?

    • Toto Bonn, Germany My profile page joined 6/10
      Posted January 19th, 2014 at 1:41 pm | # |

      Das habe ich mich auch gefragt :D
      I did it with pre-cooked chestnuts and it worked out very well. The consistency was very good just the same as you can see in the video
      Viele Grüße und gutes Gelingen! ;)

  7. Toto Bonn, Germany My profile page joined 6/10
    Posted January 17th, 2014 at 9:51 am | # |

    Looks so delicious :)
    I love such desserts. You can easily control how much you want to make and there are always delicious :)
    Is there actually a term for Korean tea confectionery like wagashi in Japanese?

  8. lu-iseu phillipines My profile page joined 6/13
    Posted January 17th, 2014 at 6:48 am | # |

    I’ll make that in my birthday! so easy ,yet it’s delicious also,yum

  9. lu-iseu phillipines My profile page joined 6/13
    Posted January 17th, 2014 at 5:24 am | # |

    Maangchi,can I also use regular sesame seeds for decorating?

  10. zipurlip2 USofA My profile page joined 7/11
    Posted January 16th, 2014 at 11:15 pm | # |

    Love this recipe, Maangchi! You make everything look so easy to do that I’m not afraid to try. I love chestnut, but found it bothersome to peel. No one every showed me and I didn’t think to do it your way. I haven’t seen chestnuts in the stores yet, but when I do I’ll be sure to cook some up! : D

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted January 17th, 2014 at 10:34 am | # |

      ” No one every showed me…” haha, yes, some of my American friends don’t know how to cook and eat chestnuts. Boiled chestnuts have been my all-time favorite snack.

  11. alvinfcl Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia My profile page joined 6/10
    Posted January 16th, 2014 at 10:38 pm | # |

    Wowwww look beautiful!!! How long I can keep this cookies in the jar? :)

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