If you have ever ordered Chinese food takeout or dined in a Chinese food restaurant, you will most likely have been provided with fortune cookies as a dessert. Fortune cookies are crisp, folded cookies that contain a short message written on a strip of paper that is tucked inside the cookie. These short fortune cookie sayings are usually humorous words of wisdom, lottery numbers, horoscopes, or prophesies, inserted for entertainment.
Although they look complicated, fortune cookies are actually easy to make. They are just flat cookies with a strip of paper placed on top and then folded a couple of times. So, if you have ever wondered how to make fortune cookies, try this easy to follow fortune cookie recipe. You can also easily modify the recipe to your liking.
One thing I must point out is that while this fortune cookie recipe is filed under the Chinese cuisine category, it really is an American invention. You will not find fortune cookies served in China. It was created by either Chinese or Japanese immigrants in America sometime in the early 1900’s.
Note: In order to get the cookies to have the fortune cookie shape, you will have to fold them right out of a 350-degree oven within 20 seconds or less. This means that it is highly likely that you will burn yourself unless you have some gloves. I picked up some white cotton gloves from the local pharmacy store and they did a good enough job at keeping my hands from burning. You just have to be really quick with your folding. It should only take a few seconds to place your fortune on the cookies and perform the folds.
Fortune cookie making tips: The rim of a coffee mug can be used to perform the second fold. Also, be sure to have a muffin baking pan ready to place the fortune cookies in. The muffin pan will help the fortune cookies retain their shape as they cool and harden.
- 2 eggs (only the whites)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 4 teaspoons water
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- butter (for greasing pans)
How to make fortune cookiesFirst, let's make the fortunes for our fortune cookies. You will need a ruler and some scissors. The fortunes need to be about 3 inches long and 1/2 inch wide. You will then need to decide if you want to write out the fortunes by hand or if you want to print them using a printer.
If you do it by hand, grab a ruler, mark off off the 3 inch width and draw a line straight down the page. Then cut the paper along that line. You now have a 3 inch wide piece of paper. Make small marks down the page every 1/2 inch. Then cut along those lines. You now have a handfull of strips to write on. Be sure to write your fortunes out using a non-toxic ink pen.
If you are going to print them off, just open up a word document and use the built-in ruler feature to make sure you keep the text within the 3 inches long by 1/2 inch wide dimensions. Then print out the page of fortunes and cut the strips out.
Get out 2 medium-sized mixing bowls and a small bowl.
Over the small bowl, gently crack open an egg right down the center, and carefully separate the egg whites from the yolks. To do this you just pour the yolk back and forth between each half of the egg shell, letting all the whites fall into the small bowl. Repeat this step with the other egg so you have the whites of two eggs in the small bowl. Discard the yolks or save them for a different recipe.
Pour the egg whites into one of the medium-sized bowls and give them a quick 10 second whisk. Add the vanilla extract and vegetable oil and continue whisking until the mixture gets a bit foamy.
In the empty medium-sized bowl, add the sugar, cornstarch, salt, flour, and water. Use an electric hand mixer to fully combines the ingredients until a thick paste forms.
At this point, go ahead and start pre-heating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
While mixing with the electric mixer, very slowly pour in the egg mixture into the thick paste. Once everything is fully incorporated, you should have a smooth and runny fortune cookie batter.
Grease a baking sheet or two with a thin layer of butter. Using a tablespoon measure, fill up the measure with the fortune cookie batter and then slowly pour it onto the baking sheet in a circular manner. Repeat this until until you have filled up your baking sheet. Be sure to leave about 2 inches between each circle of batter. Take your pan and then make quick, minute tilts — up, down, and side-to-side, so as to use gravity to thin out the circles even more. See the image to the left.
Place the sheet into the oven. For me, after about 11 minutes or so, I noticed that they were quickly turning golden brown. Your time may differ, so keep an eye on them. Once you start to see about 1/2 inch of the outer circle turning golden, go ahead, slip your cotton gloves on, and use a spatula to take out a cookie. Leave your oven door open to keep the unfolded cookies from burning while you fold each one.
Quickly place a fortune in the center of the cookie.
Then fold the cookie like a taco.
Then bend the other side (flat side) over the edge of a coffee mug until the ends almost touch. Keep holding the fortune cookie in this position while you then....
Place the fortune cookie on its side in a muffin baking pan as shown in the picture. The circular shape of where a muffin would normally go will help keep the fortune cookies shape as they cool and harden. If you find that the cookie isn't keeping the shape after you place it in, have a partner gently put pressure on them to keep their shape as they harden. Having a partner greatly helps speed up the process, and lets you focus on getting the other cookies folded as quickly as possible before they burn in the oven or harden up before you have had a chance to fold them.
Repeat these steps for each fortune cookie. It should only take at most 5-10 seconds to place a fortune and fold each cookie. If you need to make multiple batches, be sure to use a cold baking pan each time. That's why it's good to have 2 pans on hand so while one is cooling, you can use the other.
Some ideas: Dip your fortune cookies into melted chocolate and top with nuts or sprinkles. If you are a chocolate lover, you could even try adding cocoa powder to your fortune cookie batter. You could also add food coloring to your fortune cookie batter to make them perfect for any holiday. Maybe orange or green for Halloween or red for Christmas. Or maybe try adding various ingredients to your batter such as ginger, cinnamon, etc. Let us know what you come up with and how it was!
Now that you have learned how to make fortune cookies, please be sure to view these other cookies recipes.
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