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 kosher 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.

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  1. noymid sydney joined 4/17 & has 1 comment

    hi maangchi we tried your recipe today but we don’t like the honey taste much so we are going to try with Silan ( date syrup) next time will let you know how they turn out :)
    we really love your site we are very new to Korean food and having alot of fun with the new tastes and also with shopping for the ingredients we found 2 Korean supermarkets last week and with your help we felt so good being able to find things and ask the right things we also made the crispy chicken and the potato pancake and i hope to talk my wife into making the donuts next weekend :)

  2. annavdb The Netherlands joined 11/16 & has 1 comment

    We picked chestnuts a few weeks ago, but think we have another type of chestnuts here, because they were way smaller. I couldn’t scoop them out so I had to peel them but i couldn’t get the little skins off. I also used a food processor instead. They came out a lot different than yours hahaha, but they taste really good so it’s still a success. I also experimented with topping so a bit!

    See full size image

  3. adlez27 Singapore joined 5/16 & has 2 comments

    Mine don’t look nearly as pretty, but they still taste good!
    (Maybe I should put in more effort next time…)

    See full size image

  4. beckaivans joined 10/15 & has 21 comments

    What kind of wood is your cutting board? It looks so beautiful, especially next to the chestnuts!

  5. Lynnjamin New York joined 11/14 & has 31 comments

    I made these today and it was so much fun. I must admit, it was a lot of work and took some serious elbow grease to mash the nutmeat through the strainer. And I had to save one chestnut so I could look at it in order to mold the cookies to resemble a chestnut slightly. But they are delicious and super earthy tasting. This recipe does not exist anywhere else! It’s awesome what Maangchi is doing for us.

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

  7. SirGiulio Italia joined 3/14 & has 1 comment

    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 ;-)

  8. Jacob United States joined 7/13 & has 17 comments

    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?

  9. Eileen77 Norway joined 1/14 & has 1 comment

    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…

  10. Kesther Maryland joined 1/14 & has 2 comments

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

  11. CherryKissxoxox Germany joined 1/14 & has 1 comment

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

    • Toto Bonn, Germany joined 6/10 & has 37 comments

      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! ;)

  12. Toto Bonn, Germany joined 6/10 & has 37 comments

    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?

    • Lynnjamin New York joined 11/14 & has 31 comments

      According to the Korea Tourism website, tea confectionery is called Dasik. They say it means “tea and food”. There are so many cool, beautiful little tea treats in Korean cuisine! I hope we see more here, don’t you?

  13. lu-iseu phillipines joined 6/13 & has 2 comments

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

  14. lu-iseu phillipines joined 6/13 & has 2 comments

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

  15. zipurlip2 USofA joined 7/11 & has 20 comments

    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

  16. alvinfcl Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia joined 6/10 & has 1 comment

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

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