Yakgwa (Korean honey cookies)

Try Yakgwa, these yummy Korean honey cookies! They’re crispy outside and sweet inside, with sesame oil, honey, and a bit of sake making them extra tasty. After a golden fry, they take a dip in ginger syrup for a warm kick. Perfect if you want a special dessert or to taste Korean treats.

What is Yakgwa?

Yakgwa is a traditional Korean dessert that’s like a crispy, sweet cookie. It’s made by frying dough in shapes like diamonds or flowers. They use sesame oil, honey, and a bit of sake to make it extra tasty. After frying, the cookies take a cozy bath in ginger-flavored syrup, making them super flavorful.

Yakgwa is like a special treat in Korea, perfect for celebrations. Whether you snack on it with tea or have it after a meal, Yakgwa brings a burst of deliciousness with its unique mix of textures and flavors. It’s a sweet reminder of the rich tastes you find in Korean cooking!

What does Yakgwa taste like?

Yakgwa tastes good! It’s like a crispy, sweet cookie with a bit of nutty flavor from sesame oil. The honey makes it sweet and yummy, and there’s a hint of something special from the sake. After frying, it takes a cozy dip in ginger syrup, adding a warm and slightly spicy taste.

So, it’s crispy on the outside, sweet on the inside, and just delicious! It’s a special treat that’s different and yummy, especially if you like cookies with a twist.

Is Yakgwa healthy

While Yakgwa is a tasty treat enjoyed in moderation, it is not considered a healthy food. The deep-frying process adds calories and can make it higher in fat. Additionally, sweet elements like honey contribute to its sugar content. As with many traditional desserts, Yakgwa is best enjoyed as an occasional indulgence rather than a regular part of a balanced diet. If you have specific dietary concerns, it’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice.

How to make Yakgwa (Korean honey cookies)

Yakgwa Ingredients

For the Cookie Dough:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1⁄4 cup sesame oil
  • 1⁄4 cup honey
  • 1⁄4 cup sake
  • 1⁄4 cup water

For the Syrup:

  • 1⁄2 cup rice malt syrup
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 small piece of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

For Frying:

  • 3 cups vegetable oil (or as needed)

For Serving:

  • 1⁄4 cup chopped pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

Instructions

Prepare the Dough:

  1. In a large bowl, place the all-purpose flour.
  2. Add sesame oil and combine by hand, rubbing the flour between your fingers.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together honey, sake, and water.
  4. Add the liquid mixture to the flour and gently knead to form a dough.
  5. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes.
  6. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to a thickness of ½ inch.
  7. Cut the dough into 1-inch strips, forming diamond, rectangle, or flower shapes.
  8. Use a fork or toothpick to pierce a small hole in the center of each cookie. Set aside.

Prepare the Syrup:

  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine rice malt syrup, honey, and ginger.
  2. Bring the mixture to a simmer and promptly remove from heat.
  3. Carefully pour the syrup into a dish or pan large enough to hold the cookies in a single layer.

Fry the Cookies:

  1. In a deep fryer or saucepan, heat enough vegetable oil to submerge the cookies (at least 2 to 3 inches).
  2. Heat the oil to 212 degrees F.
  3. Fry the pastries in small batches, turning them until they puff and float.
  4. Increase the oil temperature to around 300 degrees F and continue frying until the Yakgwa turns golden brown.
  5. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cookies from the oil to the ginger syrup.
  6. Repeat the frying process for the remaining cookies, ensuring all go through the two oil temperature stages.
  7. Once all cookies are in the syrup, turn each one over to coat evenly.
  8. Allow the cookies to soak in the syrup for 2 to 3 hours, then transfer them with a slotted spoon onto a parchment-lined dish.

Serving:

  1. Sprinkle the cookies with chopped pine nuts and toasted sesame seeds.
  2. Indulge in these delightful Honey-Sesame Cookies, a perfect accompaniment to tea or a sweet conclusion to any meal.

FAQ

Can I make Yakgwa without deep-frying?

While deep-frying is the traditional method, you can experiment with baking for a healthier twist. Keep an eye on the cookies until they achieve a golden brown color.

Can I substitute sesame oil with another oil?

Sesame oil contributes to Yakgwa’s unique flavor, but you can use a neutral oil if needed. Keep in mind it might alter the taste slightly.

How long does it take to soak Yakgwa in ginger syrup?

Let the cookies soak for 2 to 3 hours to absorb the ginger syrup’s delicious flavors. The longer, the better for that perfect infusion.

Can I store Yakgwa for later?

Absolutely! Keep them in an airtight container at room temperature for several days. However, for the best texture, enjoy them within a couple of days.

Are Yakgwa suitable for vegetarians?

Yes, Yakgwa is vegetarian-friendly. The main ingredients are flour, sesame oil, honey, and sake.

Yakgwa (Korean honey cookies)

Recipe by Wasian CookeryCourse: DessertCuisine: KoreanDifficulty: Medium
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

20

minutes
Cooking time

20

minutes
Calories

100

kcal
Total time

40

minutes

Yakgwa is a traditional Korean dessert that’s like a crispy, sweet cookie. It’s made by frying dough in shapes like diamonds or flowers. They use sesame oil, honey, and a bit of sake to make it extra tasty. After frying, the cookies take a cozy bath in ginger-flavored syrup, making them super flavorful.

Ingredients

  • For the Cookie Dough:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1⁄4 cup sesame oil

  • 1⁄4 cup honey

  • 1⁄4 cup sake

  • 1⁄4 cup water

  • For the Syrup:
  • 1⁄2 cup rice malt syrup

  • 1 cup honey

  • 1 small piece of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

  • For Frying:
  • 3 cups vegetable oil (or as needed)

  • For Serving:
  • 1⁄4 cup chopped pine nuts

  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

Directions

  • Prepare the Dough:
  • In a large bowl, place the all-purpose flour.
  • Add sesame oil and combine by hand, rubbing the flour between your fingers.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together honey, sake, and water.
  • Add the liquid mixture to the flour and gently knead to form a dough.
  • Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes.
  • Roll out the dough on a floured surface to a thickness of ½ inch.
  • Cut the dough into 1-inch strips, forming diamond, rectangle, or flower shapes.
  • Use a fork or toothpick to pierce a small hole in the center of each cookie. Set aside.
  • Prepare the Syrup:
  • In a saucepan over medium heat, combine rice malt syrup, honey, and ginger.
  • Bring the mixture to a simmer and promptly remove from heat.
  • Carefully pour the syrup into a dish or pan large enough to hold the cookies in a single layer.
  • Fry the Cookies:
  • In a deep fryer or saucepan, heat enough vegetable oil to submerge the cookies (at least 2 to 3 inches).
  • Heat the oil to 212 degrees F.
  • Fry the pastries in small batches, turning them until they puff and float.
  • Increase the oil temperature to around 300 degrees F and continue frying until the Yakgwa turns golden brown.
  • Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cookies from the oil to the ginger syrup.
  • Repeat the frying process for the remaining cookies, ensuring all go through the two oil temperature stages.
  • Once all cookies are in the syrup, turn each one over to coat evenly.
  • Allow the cookies to soak in the syrup for 2 to 3 hours, then transfer them with a slotted spoon onto a parchment-lined dish.
  • Serving:
  • Sprinkle the cookies with chopped pine nuts and toasted sesame seeds.
  • Indulge in these delightful Honey-Sesame Cookies, a perfect accompaniment to tea or a sweet conclusion to any meal.
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