It took six tries to get this right. Who knew it would be such a struggle to find a good recipe for fortune cookies that both keep their shape and taste good?
I tried recipes from allrecipes.com and other recipe sites, and one from a popular blog that recommended heating them in a frying pan (mine turned out like a thick kind-of pancake–that weird thing pictured here–and it certainly wasn’t going to form a fortune cookie).
The ones with sugar in the recipe tasted pretty good but didn’t bake right for folding. Eventually, I came up with my own recipe (they’re all so similar and just needed tweaking) and I clued in that it’s not just the ingredients that count but how quickly you work when they come out of the oven.
Fortune cookies are time-consuming because you bake them in flat circles in the oven (just a few at a time unless you’ll have help with the folding) and then–here’s the key–you have less than one minute after removing them from the oven to add the paper fortunes and shape the cookies. If you wait any longer, the cookies crack apart. Less than one minute, you get the great shape (and burn your fingers, but what the heck).
I also figured out that it helps to place the freshly-shaped cookies into muffin tins to help hold their shape. Without that step, some of them open up again.
(makes 16ish cookies)
- 1 cup melted butter
- 6 egg whites
- pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or almond extract if you prefer it)
- 1 1/2 cups flour
1. Type out some fortunes, jokes, riddles, whatever on paper and cut them out. If you know who will be eating them, make some fun personal messages using names. We made ours into a game where each recipient had to do something kind for someone else in the class at school. Kitschy, but fun.
2. Preheat oven to 325F/163C. Get two cookie sheets ready with parchment or silicone sheets. Add vegetable oil spray. Have two 12x muffin tins ready for forming cookies out of the oven.
3. Beat egg whites until frothy but not firm. Blend in butter, salt and vanilla extract.
4. Gradually add flour until batter is runny like pancake batter and not lumpy.
5. Spoon batter onto cookie sheets forming 4″ circles, not too thick. I find I can manage about 6 cookies at a time (over two baking sheets), keeping in mind that you have one minute to form the cookies when they come out of the oven. If you have help, do more at once.
6. Bake until the edges are slightly golden–approximately 3-5 minutes. I find the time varies within the same baking session so you have to just watch them.
7. Remove from oven and flip cookies over on baking sheet(s). As shown in diagram (above), place one fortune paper in center of cookie. Fold cookie in half over fortune paper, to form a half moon. Take the two corners and bring them together. Place cookie in muffin tin to set. Within an hour, they are firm and ready, though they never get rock hard like the awful commercial ones. They stay somewhat chewy and kids seem to love them.
If you try making them, let me know how it goes. And what your fortune says.