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Deep-fried and then drenched in a honey syrup, yak kwa are a traditional Korean sweet flavored with sesame oil and fresh ginger juice. Our version of the cookie is adapted from Authentic Recipes from Korea

Yield: makes 20 cookies

Ingredients

FOR THE SYRUP:

  • 14 cup sugar
  • 14 cup honey
  • 18 tsp. kosher salt

FOR THE COOKIES:

  • (2″) peeled ginger
  • 2 cups flour, plus more for dusting
  • 18 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp. honey
  • 2 tbsp. rice wine or sake
  • Oil, for frying
  • Ground cinnamon, for serving
  • Crushed pine nuts, for serving

Instructions

  1. Make the syrup: Combine sugar, honey, salt, and ½ cup water in a 2-qt. saucepan. Bring to a boil; simmer for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and cool.
  2. Make the cookies: Blend ginger and 2 tbsp. water in a blender and purée until smooth. Pour through a strainer; set aside.
  3. Combine flour, salt, and sesame oil in the bowl of a food processor; pulse until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add ginger juice, honey, rice wine, and 2 tbsp. water; process until a smooth, pliable dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll it out into ¼” thick circle, about 12” wide. Using a cookie cutter, cut dough into 20 cookies.
  4. Heat 2” oil in a 6-qt. saucepan until a deep-fry thermometer reads 300°. Working in batches, carefully slide cookies into oil and fry, flipping once, until puffed and golden, about 3-4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a baking sheet with a wire rack. Dip cookies into syrup; transfer to a serving plate. Dust with cinnamon and pine nuts, if using.

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