recipe

Korean Ginger Cookies: the Korean sweet confection recipe for making traditional maejakgwa

Total time: 40 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 8 people
By Cookist
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This is an easy recipe for Korean ginger cookies, also known as maejakgwa because of their shape.  Interestingly, “maejakgwa” is a very poetic name.  Mae is from maehwa, a type of Asian plum tree, jak means sparrow, and gwa means sweet confection!

It’s often served on holidays or special occasions. It’s made by deep-frying ribbons of dough, then dunking it in a simple syrup, and sprinkling it with nuts. Because it’s fried and contains nuts, it’s super crunchy, with just the right amount of sweetness from the simple syrup. The ingredients are very simple. It only takes flour, sugar, ginger, and hazelnuts to make these delicious Korean sweets!

Korean Ginger Cookie Ingredients

Flour – use all-purpose wheat flour.

Sugar – use granulated sugar (not superfine sugar).

Ginger – use fresh ginger.

Nuts – use hazelnuts, or see our suggestions below for other nuts.

How To Make Korean Ginger Cookies

The Dough

Start by making your ribbon dough for the cookies. Mix together the flour with salt and water to make a smooth dough. Cover and set aside while making the syrup.

The Syrup

Boil together the water, ginger, and sugar, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Keep the syrup warm.

Creating the Cookies

Now for the fun part! Roll out the dough on a floured surface. Cut off the edges to make a rectangle, then cut the dough into 16 strips.

Fold each strip in half and make 4 cuts on the folded ends. Unfold the dough again and push the ends through the holes, to create a folded ribbon. Repeat this until all the strips are used.

Fry in until golden yellow and drain on towel paper. Transfer to the warm syrup and stir to coat. Sprinkle with chopped nuts.

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Tips

Besides ginger, you can also flavor the syrup with lemon zest, orange zest, cinnamon, or star anise.

If you don’t have hazelnuts, use crushed pistachios, almonds, or walnuts.

For a flavored syrup, use honey instead of sugar.

If you prefer, make the dough in a food processor. Take care not to overmix the dough.

You can also give the cookies a dusting of cinnamon before serving.

How To Store Korean Ginger Cookies

Store the Korean Ginger Cookies in an airtight container (at room temperature) for up to 5 days.

Ingredients
Flour
2/3 cup
Water
1/3 cup
Salt
a pinch
Sugar
1/4 cup
Water
1/4 cup
ginger, sliced
1 tsp
hazelnuts, chopped for serving
Vegetable oil for frying

Instructions

Mix flour with salt and water to make a smooth dough. Cover and set aside.

Make quick syrup by boiling water, ginger, and sugar together until sugar dissolves.

Roll out the dough on a floured surface.

Cut off the edges to make a rectangle.

Cut the dough into 16 strips.

Fold each strip in half and make 4 cuts in the middle.

Unfold and push one of the ends inside. Repeat with other strips.

Fry in preheated oil for 3-4 minutes (until golden yellow) and drain slightly.

Transfer into the warm syrup.

Stir to coat and serve sprinkled with chopped hazelnuts.

Notes

Use a neutral oil suitable for frying at higher temperatures. These include: canola, peanut, sunflower, or corn oil. If you want to reuse the oil, allow it to cool, and strain it. You can reuse it to make more batches of ginger cookies. To test the temperature of the oil, place a small amount of dough in the oil. If it sizzles and rises to the top, then the oil is ready.

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