Ginger cookies

Maejakgwa 매작과

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.



  1. 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!.kneading
  2. Put the cookie dough in a plastic bag and set it aside at least for 30 minutes.
  3. Chop 2 TBS of pine nuts to garnish the cookies. Set aside.
  4. 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).

  5. Cut the sheet of cookie dough into little 2 cm x 6 cm rectangles.

  6. Put the leftover dough edges into a plastic bag to protect them from drying out.
  7. Make 3 slits in the middle of each piece of dough.3-slits
  8. Push one  end of the dough through the center slit to a make ribbon shape.

  9. 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.cutter
  10. Heat up vegetable oil in a wok or frying pan.
  11. *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.

    Let’s Make syrup!
    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.syrup
  12. Turn the heat off and add 1 ts cinnamon powder and stir it well.
  13. Gently toss the cookies with the syrup to lightly coat them.
  14. Sprinkle the chopped pine nuts on top of the cookies.
  15. Serve it with tea.




  1. pebble joined 6/10 & has 1 comment

    Hello Maangchi,

    Can i put in the syrup if i want to keep the cookies in a container for a few days? Can i use the corn syrup instead? thank you for your lovely and easy recipe!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,023 comments

      no, after dipping the cookies in syrup, you have to take them out and keep them in an air tight container before putting them in the fridge. Otherwise, the cookies will get soggy.

  2. AnDy Canada ,Montreal joined 6/10 & has 9 comments

    hey Maangchi im trying doing it without the food processor by hands but the paste is not like yours it comes in allot of circle it doesn’t come as one what should id should i put more water

  3. Laury Tan rowland heights, california joined 3/10 & has 11 comments

    oh and maangchi is the pine nuts you were using raw?

  4. kennethmoore Washington, DC joined 2/10 & has 8 comments

    Maangchi! It took me so long to cook these. I didn’t actually use the full recipe, but I featured it in my Foodie Fight competition entry! I fried fun-shaped wonton wrappers and coated them in delicious syrup. Next time, I will follow your recipe–it must be more delicious to have the ginger in the dough, like you do!

  5. Laury Tan rowland heights, california joined 3/10 & has 11 comments

    i think i’m gonna make this for my boyfriend soon<3

  6. eg0550361 Los Angeles joined 4/10 & has 1 comment

    I tried this recipe last night, my whole family loved it! Im pleased that the ingredients are easy to find, and the c=recipes are clear. Ill be sure to try more of your recipes!

  7. tresor algeria joined 4/10 & has 1 comment

    we have something really similar in algeria too, it’s called “griwesh” (or chebbakiya, it depends on the region)
    we just don’t use ginger in the dough, but cinnamon powder or orange flower water, and in place of the pine nuts we use sesame seeds.
    some people use honey instead of syrup
    and we serve it with mint tea :p
    even the way we cut them is similar !!! (we make 4 slits and we do a double ribon :))
    it’s a cookie we make for celebrations.
    thank you so much for your work on this blog :)

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,023 comments

      Wow there are so many similar foods in the world, but this mawjakwa really seems to be international. “4 slits and we do a double ribon ” I should try it out! thank you for sharing your culture relating to this recipe.

      • Kaatrix Gdańsk, Poland joined 2/16 & has 1 comment

        Also there is something like this in Poland too and its called faworki! Usually its made for the last Thursday of carnival. During that day along the faworki we also eat a lot of doughnuts. We don’t use ginger in our cookies and instead of a syrup we just sprinkle them with a powdered sugar.

  8. eviLeviathanMaybe Philippines joined 4/10 & has 9 comments

    can I use peanuts or any other nut to substitute for pine nuts?

  9. krislovexoxo Richmond Hill, ON joined 3/10 & has 1 comment

    I have a question, if you don’t have something to grind the ginger in or to squeeze the juice out, what other methods or tecniques could you possibly use? Also, would it taste okay if I don’t use ginger?

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,023 comments

      Whatever method you use, crush ginger to get a little juice! That’s your job! : ) Ginger gives this cookie good flavor,but if you don’t like to use ginger, skip it.

  10. xtinemay joined 3/10 & has 2 comments

    hello (: i was just curious, does the syrup coating on the cookies turn hard like toffee afterwards? or does it stay wet and sticky?

  11. meneada joined 2/10 & has 2 comments

    In Poland we have very similar cookies. They are called “chrust” or “faworki” or “jaworki”- it depends on the region, and are usually eaten on the Fat Thursday. The dough is made from flour, a lot of eggs, sugar, small amount of fat and a little bit of vinegar, some recipes also consist bear :). They are also deep fried and you also cut them and fold into a ribbon shape, and then you dust it with powdered sugar.
    Culture may be different, but food unites people :)

  12. JLS Philippines joined 2/10 & has 4 comments

    Do you have the recipe of using ginger into sweets like what have been shown in Jewel in the Palace? This was serve to the king when what was left in the storeroom was only ginger and lotus roots.


    Also, can you show how to make rice cakes like what have been broadcasting in Arirang TV.

  13. BabyMissa joined 1/10 & has 1 comment

    There is a nearly identical cookie from Norway that my family makes. We put a little more sweetness in it and dust it with powdered sugar instead :)

    I’m excited to try this recipe soon

  14. HoSeung& has 1 comment

    Hello I am a student from Punahou. I had to make a cookie or quick bread FOR my home-ec project. THANK YOU so much for the recipe.

  15. Hello!!

    I have been watching all of your videos ever since I found you on youtube by accident, I love all of your recipes, I made these and some of the rainbow ricecake for my korean mother. She loved them both! Thank you so much for the recipes. I was wondering if you would also happen to know how to make 밤빵?? The little baked pastries that look like chestnuts. My 이모 won’t show me how to make it, she says she wants to keep it a secret, haha.

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