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. lmhjgsfever Hungary joined 1/12 & has 18 comments

    I made this and I have to say that it was a hit with everyone who tried the the cookies, really nice and crunchy, thanks again

  2. Noha Egypt,Cairo joined 12/11 & has 2 comments

    Hi,i made the syrup and after i have added the cinnamon powder it became like small balls of sugar stuck together instead of becoming a liquid . why did this happen ? :)

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,051 comments

      It sound like you stirred the sugar solution when it boils. Mix sugar and water well in the pot and let it simmer and do not stir until done.
      “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. “

  3. chef Benedict Manila, Philippines joined 11/11 & has 45 comments

    perfect for christmas gift and love the crunchy cookies which are ginger and cinnamon flavored…

  4. Teagen Munich Germany joined 8/11 & has 1 comment

    dear maangchi how long will they last in the pantry?

  5. xErr0rx Sweden joined 6/11 & has 1 comment

    Wow, they look delicious! Do I have to use the pine nuts, can I use like cashew or can I just leave the nuts out? :)

  6. mumms El Salvador joined 6/11 & has 1 comment

    Hi maangchi!! I just joined your blog and I have to say I’m in love with all your recipes!! they’re soo awesome and easy to follow!! sadly, in my country its really difficult to find all the ingredients, even in asian markets around here, but that doesn’t stop me from trying and making some of your delicious recipes!! I’m gonna try and do this cute ginger cookies tomorrow!! really excited!! :D please keep making such delicious food!! maangchi hwaiting!!!

  7. chung_hayoon Los Angeles joined 6/11 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi!
    Because of the restrictions my parents set in our kitchen, i had to make a few adjustments to ur way, but it still came out wonderfully!
    – instead of deep-frying, i coated a pan with vegetable oil and baked the cookies at 325 degrees. it came out wonderfully.
    – my parents dont let me use sugar too much, so i drizzles the cookies with honey instead!
    so for other people to know, baking works too! (sorry.. my parents are complete health nuts and hates it when i deep fry things XD)

  8. mokpochica Michigan joined 1/09 & has 89 comments

    Made these with my kids today and they were a hit. They had fun making shapes of their own. I was worried that the ginger flavor would be too strong, but next time I think I will add extra ginger. Ginger and cinnamon go so well together. Maybe sujunggwa would taste good with these cookies.

  9. Cheonyong Indonesia joined 4/11 & has 28 comments

    Hellooo, Mangchii…
    nice to meet you~
    I have been visiting this site for many times and finnaly I decide to be a member…
    and I am making this cookie now…
    I hope I do it right…
    because this one looks very delicious~!

  10. LLW1213 Arizona joined 3/11 & has 1 comment

    Um this is kinda weird to ask but do you think these cookies would be good with green tea ice cream?

  11. mkktquinn joined 3/11 & has 1 comment

    Wonderful cookies. We couldn’t stop eating them. They also were easy to make. Thanks for the recipe:)

  12. Kayla Baltimore, Maryland joined 11/10 & has 21 comments

    I made these today to take to a Christmas party and they came out perfect. I wish I had a camera so I could take a picture because they were so pretty.

    I kneaded the dough by hand and I found that if the dough was too dry and crumbly, wetting my hands while kneading added the perfect amount of water. In all I suppose I added 3 teaspoons of water. I also added a bit more ginger juice since I like a very gingery cookie.

    A note on the ginger juice: I saw someone wondering how they could extract juice if they didn’t have a grater and I came up with a solution. Finely mince a piece of ginger the size of your palm and place in a 1/3 cup size measuring cup with two pinches of salt. Place a 1/4 cup size measuring cup inside of the 1/3 cup size and balance something heavy on top, like a big book or a small saucepan filled with water. Let it sit for 10 minutes or so, then squeeze the ginger until no more juice runs out. It should give you a tablespoon or so of liquid.

    I also made the liquid with corn syrup and honey in addition to the simple syrup because I didn’t want the sugar to burn (I am notorious for that). Time consuming, but they came out great and everyone loved them! Thanks, Maangchi!

  13. melly joined 10/10 & has 1 comment

    I really want to send my mother in law some homemade treats for Christmas and I was going to make her a package of Kkae Dasik and a second treat. Will the Ginger cookies do well If they are made the night before a plane trip as she lives out of state or will they become soggy from the syrup?

  14. wizlaurastar chicago joined 9/10 & has 1 comment


    Thank you for this recipe. I love ginger and this recipe. Keep them coming. I’m looking for a candied ginger recipe dipped in sugar or chocolate. I’m interested in what you have baking on that topic.


    P.S. aigo

  15. yellowcindy North Carolina, USA joined 8/10 & has 1 comment

    i made this and my family loved it.
    thanx for the recipe
    love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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