Monday, January 24, 2011

Korean YakGwa, Fried Honey Cookie (약과)

YakGwa (약과) is a traditional Korean dessert literally translated to medicinal confectionary due to the use of honey and sesame oil. Made predominantly of wheat flour and sesame oil, this cookie or biscuit is then deep fried. Then it receives a luxurious honey and cinnamon bath, soaking for 5-6 hours.

I'm going to be completely honest here. These are just, ok. I was expecting the same taste and texture of the store bought yakgwa's. You know when you're expecting something to taste a certain way and it doesn't, you get a bit disappointed. They're worth trying though. Who knows you may love it.

Printable Recipe
Adapted from
Sesame Oil Flour
1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
2 tbsp Sesame Oil

Honey Cookie Seasoning
2 tbsp Honey
2 tbsp Rice Wine, refined
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 tbsp Ginger Juice, shred a large knob of ginger and then squeeze the juice out into a bowl or 2 tsp Ground Ginger
Dash of White Pepper, Optional
1/4 tsp Cinnamon Powder
4 Cups Peanut Oil
Pine Nuts

Honey Syrup
1 Cup Honey
1/2 Cup Water
1/4-1/2 tsp Cinnamon Powder

1. Sieve the wheat flour & baking powder combo over a bowl two times.

2. Combine the honey, sesame oil, rice wine, salt, ginger juice, white pepper and cinnamon and mix well.

3. Pour the honey mixture over the sesame oil flour mixing and kneading lightly to form into a ball.

4. Roll out dough using a cookie cutter, I used my linzer cookie cutter to cut my cookies. Heat your oil to 85º-90ºC then place all of the cookies in the oil and fry for 15 minutes. When the dough floats raise your temperature to high, flip the cookies over and fry for an additional 5 minutes until brownish in color.

5. Allow the oil to drain for 8 minutes on a strainer and soak in the honey/cinnamon mixture for 5-6 hours. Allow the honey to drip in a strainer for about 2 hours. Garnish with pine nuts.

These treats are served on certain holidays or celebrations and can be found at your local Korean grocers. Enjoy!

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9 Reactions to this post

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  1. Federica said... January 24, 2011 at 2:04 PM

    wowwwwwwwwwwwwwww che meraviglia!!!!!!!!!!!
    chissà che buono!!! complimenti!un abbraccio!!!!!

  2. Just a French Girl... said... January 25, 2011 at 3:08 AM

    I would have never known they were fried?

  3. Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said... January 25, 2011 at 5:01 PM

    Haha I'll submit to taking this type of "medicine" anyday! Looks so pretty, Lisa!

  4. Alina said... January 25, 2011 at 5:33 PM

    Sounds wonderful to me, especially that seasoning. I love all things soaked in honey :)

  5. anna said... January 25, 2011 at 6:51 PM

    Even if they're not what you were going for, I'm glad you posted these. They're new to me and sound exactly like something I'd enjoy! I'll have to look for them.

  6. A little bit of everything said... February 3, 2011 at 11:32 PM

    i'm sorry to hear these didn't turn out as you expected. they do look delicious

    have a wonderful rest of the week Lisa

  7. Ardentgailla said... June 22, 2011 at 10:12 AM

    This recipe is worth a try. I was also looking for something that tastes more like the store bought ones, but perhaps I won't be disappointed if I know not to expect them to be exactly the same.

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