About the Recipe
Fortune cookies are a beloved dessert that has become an iconic part of Chinese cuisine. These crispy cookies are a staple at many Chinese restaurants, and are often served at the end of a meal as a sweet treat. While the exact origins of fortune cookies are still debated, it is believed that they were first created in the United States in the early 1900s.
One of the most interesting things about fortune cookies is the little slip of paper that is found inside each one. These slips contain a short message or "fortune" that is meant to provide the recipient with a glimpse into their future. Some fortunes are serious, while others are silly or whimsical. Many people enjoy reading their fortune and using it as a conversation starter or a source of inspiration.
What I love about them is that fortune cookies are relatively easy to make at home, and can be customized to suit your tastes. The basic recipe involves making a simple sugar cookie batter rounds, which are then baked until they are golden brown and crispy. Once the cookies have cooled slightly, a small slip of paper with a fortune written on it is placed inside each one. The cookies are then folded in half and gently pressed into the traditional fortune cookie shape.
I first made these when I participated in a food photography challenge and needed something to express what the color blue made feel. So I made blue fortune cookies with a fortune inside, you can read more about that challenge on my blog page. I loved making them so much that I decided to remake them, this time in the classic golden color with special notes inside for my girls. I wanted to make school lunch notes a little more exciting than just a note tote in the bag.
That is also something I love about them. If you're feeling creative, you can experiment with different flavors, colors and decorations. For example, you could add cocoa powder to the batter to make chocolate fortune cookies, or sprinkle the cookies with colored sugar for a festive touch. You could also dip the ends of the cookies in melted chocolate, or drizzle them with icing for a more decadent treat.
In addition to being a fun and tasty dessert, fortune cookies also have cultural significance. In China, they are not commonly served as a dessert, and the tradition of putting fortunes inside the cookies is not as prevalent. However, in the United States and other Western countries, fortune cookies have become a beloved part of Chinese cuisine, and are often associated with Chinese New Year and other celebrations.
Overall, fortune cookies are a fun and unique dessert that can add a touch of whimsy to any meal. Whether you make them at home or enjoy them at a Chinese restaurant, these little cookies are sure to bring a smile to your face. So go ahead, crack one open and see what the future holds!
3 Egg Whites
3/4 cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 cup Unsalted Butter (melted)
1/4 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/4 teaspoon Almond Extract
3 tablespoons Water
3/4 cup All-Purpose Flour
Pinch of Salt
I just love how quickly and easily these fun cookies come together. The only tricky part about them is the final stages of shaping them as the cookies need to be handled while freshly baked and still quite hot from the oven. But since you will only need to handle two to three at a time, you can give your fingers a rest in between. The end result is fully worth it in my opinion.
Begin by separating your eggs and beating the egg whites until stiff peaks form. You will not be needing the egg yolks for this recipe so you can use them for something else. Set your egg whites aside and use a separate bowl to mix your next ingredients together.
With a whisk mix together your melted butter, sugar, salt, both extracts and water. Mix until everything is well incorporated and you are left with a paste like consistency. Next, use a rubber spatula or spoon to fold in your egg whites. Gently keep folding the egg whites in until you achieve a smooth velvety batter (so all the egg whites are well incorporated and you have achieved a consistent batter).
Preheat your oven to 375F.
On a lined baking sheet, spoon a small amount of batter onto the parchment paper and use the back of the spoon to create 7cm (3") circles. I like to work in small batches of about 3-4 cookies per sheet as that is about all I can shape after they come out of the oven while they are still warm. The circles should be very thin 1-2mm thick and should be evenly dense all over so that they bake evenly. I find it much easier to form the circles once the baking sheets are warmed up. I find the batter melts a little and so is easier to spread. Once you do a few you will see what consistency you like and I am sure find your own technique.
Bake the cookies for 4-5 minutes or until the edges of the cookies start to brown.
Remove from the oven and use a spatula to flip each cookie over so that you have the bottom showing. This is the part where you need to work quickly. As waiting too long will cause the cookies to cool to much and crumble during the forming process. But they will be hot, so you need to wait just a few seconds so that you are able to handle them. Again, you will have to test out what works for you. I usually wait about 10 seconds before handling them.
Once you feel comfortable enough, place your note in the center of the circle and fold top and bottom together (like a clam). When the top and bottom edges are together, I like to use the edge of a bowl or glass to finish forming the fortune cookies into their famous shapes. Simply lay the cookie over the edge of the glass so that the edge of the glass is placed at the bottom center of the "clam" shape you have created and bend the two end points together.
Place the freshly shaped cookies into a muffin tin to help keep their shape until they have cooled completely.
That's it! Have fun and enjoy!
What I love about these cookies is how customizable they are. I had made this particular batch to make special lunch note surprises for my girls. I have also added food coloring to an other batch that I made for a photo challenge to add some drama.
Use them as fun place settings for a special occassion, add sprinkles, fill them with candy, use your imagination, get creative and have fun.
Hope you enjoy!