Maejakgwa is a Korean traditional cookie that’s really popular. The ingredients are very simple! The combination of 3 kinds of flavors make this cookie very special: ginger, cinnamon, and the pine nuts.
The best part of this cookie is that it’s very crunchy! If all family members sit around together after dinner and taste these cookies, the sound of crunching from each member will give so much fun! You can make this large amount of cookies in 1 hour if you use your food processor, longer if you have to knead by hand.
Flour, kosher salt, sugar, ginger, pine nuts, water, cinnamon powder, and vegetable oil.
- In a large stainless bowl, place 2 cups of all purpose flour, ½ ts kosher salt, 1 TBS sugar, 1 TBS ginger juice, and ½ cup water. Knead by hand for about 20 minutes.
*tip: If you use a food processor, kneading takes about 2 minutes. Be sure to change the blades on your food processor to dough-making blades!.
- Put the cookie dough in a plastic bag and set it aside at least for 30 minutes.
- Chop 2 TBS of pine nuts to garnish the cookies. Set aside.
- Take the dough out from the plastic bag and roll it out with a rolling pin, into a roughly rectangular shape (about 50 cm x 40 cm, and 2 mm – or 1/16 inch – thick).
- Cut the sheet of cookie dough into little 2 cm x 6 cm rectangles.
- Put the leftover dough edges into a plastic bag to protect them from drying out.
- Make 3 slits in the middle of each piece of dough.
- Push one end of the dough through the center slit to a make ribbon shape.
- Take the leftover dough out and spread it on the cutting board with the rolling pin. Cut it into any of your favorite shapes: triangles, squares, whatever – or use a cookie cutter.
- Heat up vegetable oil in a wok or frying pan.
- *tip: Put a sample of the cookie dough into the heated oil to check if it’s the right temperature. The dough should float slowly on the surface of the heated oil.
Place ½ cup sugar and ½ cup water into a pot and bring to a boil over low heat for about 20 minutes. About half of the water should evaporate, so the syrup is nice and thick.
- Turn the heat off and add 1 ts cinnamon powder and stir it well.
- Gently toss the cookies with the syrup to lightly coat them.
- Sprinkle the chopped pine nuts on top of the cookies.
- Serve it with tea.