Well hey everyone and happy weekend! So as you may well know Monday is Chinese New Year, so we decided if would be fun and festive to mark the occasion with a couple of Chinese (-ish) themed projects!
If you ask Sam, she’ll tell you one of her favourite parts of a Chinese meal is the fortune cookie at the end, so it didn’t take us long to decide that it might be pretty neat to have a go at making our own! I vaguely remembered seeing a picture of homemade fortune cookies on Pinterest at some point in the past so I at least knew it could be done. From memory I think it the pin suggested that you make them as cute handmade Valentine’s gifts, adding little love notes rather than fortunes – not a bad idea if you ask me!
We couldn’t really decide if this was a craft project or a baking project, I guess it’s a bit of both. In truth it doesn’t matter too much, what does matter is how cool people with think you are when you present them with a handmade fortune cookie 😀 as they’re a great party piece!
You’ll be pleased to hear that they are actually remarkably cheap and easy to make (in fact we were really surprised how easy they were) especially if you use a clever little trick with a clothes peg which we figured out, and will explain later.
Homemade Fortune Cookies (makes about 12)
You will need:
Sheet of paper
2 egg whites
1/2 cup plain flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon water
1) Fortunes – First things first you’ll need some fortunes to go inside your cookies. There are loads and loads of websites out there full of proper fortunes, funny or poignant quotes and you can even make up your own. We went for a mix of things, wrote them out on our sheet of paper and then cut them out into roughly 1/2 inch by 4 inch slips of paper.
2) Make your Batter – Put your egg whites into a mixing bowl and whisk until the mixture forms soft peaks. This will take about 3 or 4 minutes depending on your electric whisk, probably a little longer if you are doing it by hand. Next sieve in the sugar, flour and mix until you have a smooth batter. I’m not usually a fan of digging out the sieve but you’re really giving yourself extra work trying to work out lumps later if you don’t on this one!
Finally add the vanilla and water just to thin out the batter ever so slightly. The final mix should be similar to a pancake batter in consistency if not slightly thinner.
3) Bake – Whilst we have enough batter for 12 cookies, there’s a bit of fiddling that needs to be done to shape your cookies when they are still hot and freshly baked so we found that baking them one or two at a time was best (don’t worry they don’t take long in the oven).
Onto an un-greased silicon baking mat or some parchment spoon a tablespoon of the batter into a circle about 4 inches across. It’s best to let the batter spread itself out for a perfect circle.
Place in the oven at 200ºC (about 390 F) for 6-8 minutes. You’ll know the cookies are ready as the outer 1/4 inch will have turned a golden brown colour.
4) Shape – Once the cookies are cooked there is a very small window in which they stay nice and bendy before they crisp up and go hard, so the next bit needs to happen a little quickly. That being said don’t panic, you can always put the cookies back in the oven for a minute to warm up if you find it hard going at first. So here’s how to make your cookies look like fortune cookies:
Take a palette knife and carefully flip the cookie over. This will mean the nice smooth baked top surface will be facing the counter and the slightly rougher side will be facing you. This is going to be the inside of your cookie.
Place one of your fortunes in the middle of the cookie and carefully lift up two ends of the circle and fold in half to make a semi circle (see picture above). I know it might seem a little obvious but be careful, these things are straight out of the oven and super hot.
Next for my moment of inspiration, rather than sitting there like a lemon holding your cookie in shape I grabbed some clothes pegs to keep the cookie folded nicely in half. Once safely held in place a little pressure on each of the corners will make the little fold along the bottom and voila suddenly you have something that looks like a fortune cookie (albeit one which has two clothes pegs attached to it).
All that needs to be done now is repeat the process a few times until you have as many fortune cookies as you need/want (not convinced anyone “needs” fortune cookies).
Once the cookies have cooled for ten minutes they will hold their own shape and you can take off the clothes pegs.
Well there you have it folks. They are pretty cute even if I do say so myself and a little unexpectedly rather tasty (for some reason I thought they would look good but like the fortune cookies you get at Chinese restaurants be a little disappointing to actually eat).
P.S. You might notice that we have, for the first time, added our url onto all our pictures. One of our readers pointed out that there were a couple commercial craft websites (which we won’t name here) that had started to post some of our pictures as their own. As we don’t make any money from this little enterprise and take all our pictures ourselves we felt a little like our safe little blog bubble had been intruded on and so have decided it’s a necessary evil to protect our work. We hope you understand and that they don’t spoil the pictures for you.