I went to a Chinese New Year Potluck on Saturday hosted by the lovely Jackie and Ken. When I signed up I had forgotten that I haven’t really cooked Chinese food, so when I went to confirm a dish I went with the first thing that came to mind: Fortune Cookies. I figured I wouldn’t have to write the fortunes and I liked to bake. But then I started to read about how complicated and time consuming they can be to make. I got a little scared.
I had received Tiger Beer in the mail in preparation for my dish, so I invited my friend Leyla over and the two and us started testing. (I had already finished my fun fortunes earlier in the day. I wrote them up on my computer, printed them out, and cut them up with an x-acto knife.) 2 hours and 15 cookies later–plus a homemade Spanish tortilla–we had begun to figure out how to make the cookies faster and more easily. Lucky for you, I’m here to pass on some good advice.
The first thing to be aware of is that the cookies cool very quickly and they’re extremely hot when they come out of the oven. Feel free to cook more than two cookies at a time if you have more than one hand on deck. Otherwise, I’d recommend taking it slow in order to get the hang of things. Make sure you keep up your speed. It’s easiest to throw your cookie into the tin even if the shape isn’t right immediately. The cookie will shape itself as it starts to cool. Be aware that the cookies will sometimes crack in the middle when you fold them the first time. Don’t worry and keep going to the second fold. You won’t even notice the imperfection when the cookie cools.
Homemade Fortune Cookies
adapted from Food Network
2 egg whites
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/8 teaspoon each: vanilla extract and almond extract
20 fortunes, 4 x 1/2 inches each
Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Whip egg whites. Add melted butter; stir until sugar dissolves. Add sugar and extracts; whisk until smooth. Add flour; stir to combine.
Spoon 1 tablespoon batter onto a cookie sheet. Using a knife or the back of a spoon, smooth batter into a thin circle, about 3 inches in diameter. Bake 6-8 minutes until edges begin to turn brown.
Moving very quickly as the cookies cool fast and become difficult to form, remove each cookie from the sheet with a spatula. Stick a fortune in the middle of the cookie and fold in half. Place the bottom of the cookie onto the rim of a mug or glass, folding it in half so that the sides of the cookie lie along the sides of the cup. Transfer to a muffin tin to allow it to keep its shape as it cools down. Repeat with remaining batter.