Hi Everyone, today, I will show you how to make a very delicious traditional Korean cookie called “maejakgwa” in Korean. These lightly ginger flavored cookies are very crunchy and are covered with a sweet syrup. Not only are they delicious, they look very pretty. The way of making the pretty shape is also fun. Try it someday.
Yield: 12 Cookies
Short Korean Lesson: *^^*
- GuMeong (구멍) = Hole
- GuSeok (구석) = Side, Point, Corner
- ⅔ Cup All-Purpose Flour
- ¼ Cup Water
- ½ tsp Grated Ginger
- 2 Tbsp Pine Nuts
- ⅛ tsp Salt
- Some Oil for Deep Frying
- ¼ Cup Sugar
- ¼ Cup Water
Grate a piece of ginger to get ½ generous tsp of it.
Mix ¼ cup of water and the grated ginger together. Set it aside while you are preparing the other ingredients.
To make the syrup, add ¼ cup of sugar and ¼ cup of water in a small sauce pan. Do not stir it. Cook it on high.
Once the sugar dissolves, boil it until the surface of the water becomes covered with bubble. Reduce the temperature to low.
Cook for 6 to 8 more minutes, or until the syrup becomes thicker, but is still runny. Do not stir it.
When the syrup is done cooking, remove the pan from the heat, cover it, and let it cool.
Obtain ⅔ cup of flour and ⅛ tsp of salt. I used Sempio’s flour for this recipe. Their flour is very fine and gives a nice chewy texture when cooked. The quality of Sempio’s product is very good. If you get a chance to try this product, I highly recommend you to try it. If you do not have Sempio’s flour, use all-purpose flour instead.
Sift the flour and salt mixture.
Strain the ginger water. You will get about 4 Tbsp of it.
Little by little, add the ginger water to the flour. Mix the flour and water to make a dough. At the end, you will use about 3½ Tbsp of the ginger water.
Knead the dough for several minutes, or until it gets nice elastic texture. Shape the dough into a ball.
Wrap the dough with some plastic wrap and set it side for about 10 minutes.
Roll the dough out into about a 9-inch circle.
Cut the rolled dough into 2-inch by 1-inch rectangle pieces. You will get about 12 pieces. You can use either a knife or a pizza cutter for this step. Cut the dough in half lengthwise, and then cut both ends 2 inches away from the center line. Turn the cutting board, and then cut the two big pieces into 1 inch strips.
In this step, preheat some oil for deep frying. Gently fold one piece in half lengthwise, and then cut 3 equally spaced lines into the dough, cutting half way down the length of it. The outer two cuts should be a little shorter than the middle cut.
Open the piece of dough back up and start to push the one end down through the center.
Continue to push down and pull it back out until the one side is completely upside down. The effect you get will be that the edges twist around.
You will get about 12 pieces along with some extra pieces from the edges.
To check the temperature of the oil, I use the leftover pieces. Put one of the pieces into the preheated oil, if it floats to the top in 2 seconds, the oil temperature is right. You do not want to have it on too high or low of a temperature. It was medium-high on my stove.
Put the pieces of dough into the oil one by one. After you put a piece to the oil, it will float. Then hold the shape of the cookie with chopsticks so that the shape does not get deformed.
Fry the cookies for about 3 minutes, or until both sides of the cookies become nicely golden brown. Take them out one by one.
Put the fried cookies on some paper towels to remove some of the grease.
Add the cookies to the syrup and cover them with syrup evenly.
Obtain about about 2 Tbsp worth of pine nuts. Remove the top parts of them.
Put the pine nuts in a zipper bag and smash them with a rolling pin or some other object to make crumbs.
Place the cookies on a plate and garnish them with some pine nut crumbs. If you want, you can also sprinkle some cinnamon powder on top.
Fry the left over cookie dough pieces until they become golden brown.
Dust the left over fried cookies with powdered sugar. My husband likes them with powdered sugar on top too. It reminds him funnel cakes.
These cookies look very fancy and delicious. If you have special guests, serve them these special Korean cookies. Enjoy!