My wife is making these, and they break after frying. She looked around online but nobody makes something like this using oil in the batter; only her (late) father.
Here’s what she did:
First, make syrup:
400 g dark brown sugar 200 ml water 50 g lemon juice
This was cooked for about an hour, low enough so just one little bubble came up at a time. Cool overnight to room temperature.
1000 g all-purpose flour 400 g cooking oil. (She used common canola oil today)
Heat oil to 250°F. Combine with flour and syrup. Let rest for a few hours on the counter, so it’s room temperature. (About 78–80° in the kitchen area)
At this stage she noticed it was too flakey.
This is rolled out and folded and cut to make a flower shape of dough ribbons that I measure to be just over ¼ inch in cross section.
This flower shape is cooked in hot cooking oil (seems about 375°F, same as we used for other things).
Here’s the problem: they crack when touched while still in the oil, trying to lift out. If they survive that, they crack later or in the following steps when handled. They are too fragile.
After cooling a few minutes on a paper towel, transfer to warm honey syrup (90 to 110°F) and let soak for 3 minutes. Remove to wax paper or metal mesh.
The honey syrup is
400 g Brown sugar 200 ml boiling water 50 ml lemon juice 3 TBL honey
Make syrup as above; add honey after it cools to target temperature.
What factors influence the dough’s final properties? How can it be not too brittle to cook and handle?
Using a lower frying temperature seems to help. (But too low and I know it leaves a greasy unfried cookie, so that’s a work-around not the right solution.)