Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Dragon Beard Candies

I first learned of these candies from Buddakan's executive pastry chef. After I raved about finding the best hand-pulled noodles in Chinatown, she told me that I had a new food mission. My next quest: find Dragon Beard candies.

Once reserved only for Korean royalty, these candies are now served at a handful of places. (Shockingly, we were unable to find a single purveyor in Manhattan. The closest we got was a stall in Flushing, Queens.) But, while meandering through the Spectrum, an outdoor shopping mecca in Irvine (Orange County, California) we found a tiny cart parked next to the Ferris wheel. Lit by just a few camping lights and manned by one candy maker. This was it! We found the Dragon Beards! The candy maker was busy. New Years is his busiest time of year. Local Chinese and Korean families buy boxes and boxes at a time (each is filled with 8 cookie-filled candies).

The "beards" are actually sugar or honey threads that have been stretched and pulled into 16,000 strands. The sugary hairs are wrapped around a mixture of crumbled cookies. Oreos mixed with black sesame seeds or chocolate chip cookies with crushed peanuts. (We couldn't resist and sampled both!)

Watch the video below!

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