After six years since the first (and last) time I made these, I finally figured out how to make these properly. In the back of my mind, it’s been bugging me. There are probably a handful of recipes from this blog that I’m just a little dissatisfied with; recipes that I’d like to retry or rework to get a better result, and this was one of them. So I’m so quite pleased with myself now! Hahaha!
And the recipe itself is basically the same; the only changes I made are the butter content (decreased to none) and the frying time (doubled). Mainly because I wasn’t satisfied with how soft they turned out compared with how traditionally hard they need to be. Think of the store bought kind of hard pretzels that are sold in plastic bags and are more like crackers than cookies. These are like hard pretzels, but harder, thicker, and with a sugary glaze instead of salt that surprisingly doesn’t make them too sweet. They are sweet, but not as sweet as you’d think they’d be based on how they look.
For those of you not from Guam who may not be familiar with guguria (guyuria), these are ubiquitous on Guam as well as one of the go-to snacks that you’d buy if you were visiting the island and wanting to take something back home with you, whether to give to friends or relatives, or to enjoy for yourself to remember your visit. They also make a great snack, or with coffee in the morning. Also when you look at them and taste them for the first time, you might be wondering what the appeal is. It isn’t until you try them for a few times that it grows on you.
guyuria (guguria) (makes about 70-80 grape-sized cookies, based on recipe from Annie’s Chamorro Kitchen)
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups regular canned coconut milk
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
simple syrup glaze:
1.5 cup of granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
Combine flour, sugar and salt first in a large bowl and stir with a whisk several times to disperse the sugar and salt evenly into the flour. Add the coconut milk and stir with a large spoon or spatula until a dough starts to form. Scrape contents of bowl unto a clean, lightly floured counter or work surface and knead until all the flour is mixed in and the dough is smooth. Wrap in plastic wrap and rest dough in counter top for 15-20 minutes.
To form each cookie, pinch a piece of the dough about the size of a medium to large grape and press it on the back side of the area of the fork that goes into your mouth. Press down where the tines are to leave an imprint of the tines on the dough, then slowly roll piece of dough toward the front end of the fork to create a shell. If the dough is too sticky, you may need to flour both the back side of the fork and the piece of dough. Eventually you will be a good judge of knowing whether and how much to flour the fork and the piece of dough so that it doesn’t stick. Set aside on a large cutting board or tray.
When you are ready to fry your cookies, place enough oil into a large fry pan that has 3-4 inch tall sides so that you have a height of the oil that is at least about two inches deep. Heat oil to 350 degrees F., using a thermometer.
When oil is 350 degrees. F., place enough cookies so that it creates one even layer of cookies in the oil without overcrowding. I had a 10-inch frying pan with tall sides and was able to fry half of the guyuria, or about 40 cookies at a time.
Fry for about 20-25 minutes, keeping a close eye on the temperature, adjusting the heat if needed to keep the temperature as close to 350 degrees F., as possible. As soon as I placed the first batch of raw cookies into the pot, I increased the temperature knowing the cookies will cause the temperature to drop initially. Then I decreased the temperature to medium and to medium-low once the temperature began to rise.
After frying 20-25 minutes, the cookies will be a dark golden brown color. Using a large slotted spoon, transfer the cookies to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb some of the oil on the cookies.
While the cookies are cooling down, make the glaze by placing the sugar and water into a small saucepan. Using a clean finger, touch the bottom of the saucepan and move it around to ensure all the sugar is moistened by the water. Heat on high until the sugar water is boiling for several seconds, then remove from heat.
When cookies have cooled, place in a large bowl and pour the slightly cooled but still warm sugar water glaze on the cookies and stir vigorously until all the cookies are coated evenly with the glaze. Transfer cookies to a large baking sheet to cool completely. The glaze will turn translucent when cooled completely. Place in an airtight container to store. They also make excellent gifts, bagged and tied with raffia ribbon or twine. Enjoy!