By Linda Nguyen
Chinese New Year is in a little over a week, so when I was deciding on a DIY piece for this week, I headed over to pinterest and typed “Chinese New Year DIY.” Original? I’d like to think so.
I ended up finding a fortune cookie recipe. Not exactly a DIY, but hey, they’re fortune cookies. I mean how do you say no to fortune cookies?
So, without further ado, how to make fortune cookies, slightly adapted from allrecipes.com
Yield: 12 cookies
– 1 egg white
– 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
– a pinch of salt
– 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
– 1/4 cup white sugar
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Butter a cookie sheet. Write fortunes on strips of paper about 4 inches long and 1/2 inch wide. Generously grease 2 cookie sheets.
2. Mix the egg white and vanilla until foamy but not stiff. Sift the flour, salt, and sugar and blend into the egg white mixture.
3. Place teaspoonfuls of the batter at least 4 inches apart on one of the prepared cookie sheets. Tilt the sheet to move the batter into round shapes about 3 inches in diameter. Be careful to make batter as round and even as possible. Do not make too many, because the cookies have to be really hot to form and once they cool it is too late. Start with two or three to a sheet and see how many you can do.
4. Bake for 5 minutes or until cookie has turned a golden color 1/2 inch wide around the outer edge of the circle. The center will remain pale. While one sheet is baking, prepare the other.
5. Remove from oven and quickly move cookie with a wide spatula and place upside down on a wooden board. Quickly place the fortune on the cookie, close to the middle and fold the cookie in half. Place the folded edge across the rim of a measuring cup and pull the pointed edges down, one on the inside of the cup and one on the outside. Place folded cookies into the cups of a muffin tin or egg carton to hold their shape until firm.
I’m going to begin by saying this isn’t a bad recipe and I chalk up my problems with this recipe to inexperience.
The recipe itself wasn’t too difficult. The batter is supposed to be pretty runny like the consistency of pancake batter, so I had to add some more water into the batter.
My biggest problems were kind of related. First off, the cookies stuck to the aluminum foil and I burned my fingers trying to get the cookies off. That was not very fun, so I pulled out my trusty cooking spray and sprayed the cookie sheet.
The only thing with cooking spray is that it causes the cookies to look oily coming out of the oven. It’s not very aesthetically pleasing.
My other problem was how hot the cookies were. The recipe says you have to shape the cookies by putting the fortune in the middle, fold the cookie in half and essentially bend it over the rim of a cup. If my fingers hadn’t been burned earlier, they definitely got burned from trying to shape the cookies.
Apparently, adding two tablespoons of butter would have helped my stickiness problem. Circular batter would have been nice; that probably would have helped with the unshapely-ness of my cookies too.
Finally, don’t leave them to cool overnight. I woke up the next morning and the cookies were soft and rubbery looking. Store them in an air-tight container after you bake them.
All that aside (I know that was a long list), it was a fun little recipe, very Lunar New Year-like. Maybe my parents will be happy I’m finally doing something to embrace my culture.