ingredients
  • Cookies
  • Brown sugar 160 g (5.6oz)
  • eggs, whisked 3
  • All purpose flour 330 g (11oz)
  • Rice flour 60 g (2oz)
  • packaged dry donut mix 100 g (3.5oz)
  • Vegetable Oil 1 tbsp
  • vegetable oil for deep frying
  • Syrup
  • Honey 300 g (10oz)
  • Water 1/3 cup
  • Brown sugar 2 tbsp
  • Ginger 3 slices
  • Cinnamon 1/2 tsp

Yakgwa (also known as yakwa or Korean honey cookies) are traditional Korean sweet cookies, enriched with a honey and ginger syrup. Most Koreans grew up with this snack, and now, you can also try it out. Unlike a typical cookie, these ones are fried and then dipped in a warm syrup. The flower design is typical of what you’d expect in most Korean recipes, but we also have other suggestions below. Interestingly, the name actually means “medicinal confection”, because yak refers to medicine and awa means sweet! Of course, the sweet comes form the honey, which is also known for its medicinal benefits. Today, while they may not be so common in everyday shops, you will find them in Korean tea houses (jeontong chatjip). Because the cookies are very sweet and slightly chewy, they are typically enjoyed as a dessert. We think you can enjoy them any time you like.

Recipe Notes and Tips

– The soaking time varies form one recipe to another. Some even soak as little as 20 minutes.

– You can finish the Yakgwa cookies off with a sprinkle any nuts you like.

– If you don’t have a cookie press, you can roll out the dough to about ¼-inch thick and cut the dough into diamond shapes.

– Traditional recipes include rice syrup in the honey-syrup mixture.

– You can also bake these cookies if you do not want to fry them.

How to Store Yakgwa

Store the Yakgwa cookies at room temperature for a few days or in the refrigerator for longer periods. If you want, you can also freeze them. We think they won’t last long, if you can stand the sweetness, you’ll want to finish them all!

How to make Yakgwa

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar together until pale. Add vegetable oil and mix again.

In another bowl, mix together the dry ingredients: donut mix, rice flour and plain flour.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well to combine.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and set in the fridge for one hour.

In the meanwhile, make the honey syrup. Bring al the ingredients to a boil, turn off the heat and leave to cool down until warm (not hot).

Use a decorative cookie press to press out flower-shaped cookies.

Fry the Yakgwa for 5-6 minutes in preheated vegetable oil (140°C/285°F) vegetable oil.

Pour the warm syrup over the Yakgwa cookies and set them aside in fridge for 24 hours. Use a slotted spoon to remove cookies from the syrup and place on parchment paper. Sprinkle a pinch of sesame seeds and pine nuts on top of each cookie.