Discover Korean Food 90: Dr. Sook-Ja Yoon’s “Yakgwa, Deep-fried Honey Cookies”

Yakgwa is a type of cookie made by kneading wheat flour with sesame oil, honey and refined rice wine. It is pressed into a square mold, or flattened with a mallet and cut into a square. It is then fried in oil and dipped in honey. This is the most luxurious and tasteful traditional Korean cookie. It is served without fail on festive days, at ceremonial feasts and memorial services.

[Ingredients & Quantity]
151 g (1 cup, 8 tbsp) wheat flour (medium viscidness), 26 g (2 tbsp) sesame oil
10 g (1 tbsp) pine nuts, 8 g (2 ea) jujube, 2 g pumpkin seeds
680 g (4 cups) edible oil
Honey cookie seasoning : 38 g (2 tbsp) honey, 30 g (2 tbsp) refined rice wine, 1 g (¼ tsp) salt, 8 g (½ tbsp) ginger juice, 0.1 g ground white pepper, 0.5 g (¼ tsp) cinnamon powder
Honey syrup : 300 g (1 cup) honey, 0.5 g (¼ tsp) cinnamon powder

[Preparation]
1. Sieve wheat flour, mix with the sesame oil thoroughly and sieve again.
2. Add seasonings to the wheat flour, mix thoroughly and knead it softly like as making a snowball.
3. Roll the dough flat with roller, fold over three times, roll and fold again. Finally roll it down to 0.5 cm-thick, cut it into 3.5 cm-square and make 5~6 holes with a chopstick.
4. Blend honey syrup.
5. Remove tops of the pine nuts, wipe pine nuts and pumpkin seeds with dry cotton cloths. Wipe jujube with damp cloths, cut the flesh round and make it flower shape.

[Recipe]
1. Pour edible oil into the pan and heat it up for 5 min. on medium heat. When oil temperature comes up to 85~90 ℃, put the cookie dough, oil-fry for 15 min. When the dough float on the surface, raise the heat to high heat. When oil temperature comes up to 140~145 ‘C, fry it for another 10 min. until the both sides color turns to brown.
2. Drain oil on a strainer for 5~10 min, dip in honey syrup for 5~6 hours, put them on a strainer again for 2 hours.
3. Garnish with pine nuts, jujube and pumpkin seeds.

[Recipe]
* Do not knead too strong. Soft kneading like as folding will make the cookies non-sticky and crispy.
* Citron syrup may be added into the honey syrup upon taste.

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