Some foods are best homemade. Others are best left to the experts. I’ve found that the more specialized and ethnic a food, the harder it is to replicate in the home kitchen. But that doesn’t keep us from trying, does it?
These cookies are classic Korean cookies. Made from a sweet cookie dough that is pressed into special molds, they are then fried in oil and submerged in sweet syrup. The result is a sticky sweet and slightly chewy cookie that is in a category all its own.
Yakgwa (Korean Flower Cookies)
2 cups flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
3 TB honey
1 TB fresh ginger juice
3 TB water
2 TB sesame oil
2 TB canola oil
1 cup barley malt syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
3 cups vegetable oil
crushed or whole pine nuts
Whisk together the flour, salt, and cinnamon. Add the honey, ginger juice, water, and oils and mix until thoroughly combined. Add more water, by the tablespoon, just until the dough comes together. Gather into a flat disk, wrap with plastic, and let it rest 10-15 minutes.
Cut the log into pieces big enough to fit into a Korean flower cookie mold. Alternatively, roll the dough out and cut out shapes with a flower cookie cutter.
Heat the barley malt syrup in a medium saucepan. Add the cinnmon.
Heat the vegetable oil to 320-350F. Fry each cookie until golden brown on each side.
Add the cookies to the syrup to absorb, about 1-2 minute for each cookie. Take the cookie out and let it sit to harden slightly. Serve sprinkled with crushed or whole pine nuts on top.
Much like baklava, these sweeties are best served in conservative portions. Or, with a tall glass of milk.