Ginger Cookies Dipped in Honey (Yak Kwa)

Ginger Cookies Dipped in Honey (Yak Kwa)
Ginger Cookies Dipped in Honey (Yak Kwa)
Deep-fried and then drenched in a honey syrup, yak kwa are a traditional Korean sweet flavored with sesame oil and fresh ginger juice.Helen Rosner

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

Ginger Cookies Dipped in Honey (Yak Kwa)
Deep-fried and then drenched in a honey syrup, yak kwa are a traditional Korean sweet flavored with sesame oil and fresh ginger juice.
Yield: makes 20 cookies

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.