Chinese New Year is this coming Thursday, February 19th. Although I have absolutely no Chinese heritage, I always like a good excuse to try new ethnic cuisine. Walmart asked me this year to celebrate by sharing a recipe or craft with my readers. I decided to try making Homemade Fortune Cookies!
Let me start out by saying that homemade fortune cookies are fiddly. If you will only be happy with perfectly formed fortune cookies then this recipe is not for you. It is HARD to make gorgeous ones–those three in the picture were my three “good” ones. But I made a whole bunch of them that were adequate. . . slightly misshappen but holding a fun fortune and tasting good. So if you are up for something that is fun and looks homemade, then read on!
NOTE: Full recipe and more Chinese themed recipe links at the bottom of the post!
This recipe uses egg whites, so you start out by separating your eggs. You can do like me and feed the yolks to the dog, make some homemade mayonnaise, scramble them with a whole egg for some really really rich scrambled eggs or just toss them down the drain (which is a waste if you ask me).
Next you melt a half cup butter and then add 1/2 tsp of each of the extracts and 3 TBS of water. I did this first and on the lowest power/amount of time to just get the butter to melt. I didn’t want to “cook” the egg whites with the butter when I combined them.
In your stand mixer whip the 3 egg whites and 3/4 C sugar until light and foamy–about 2 minutes. Then pour in the butter mixture and whip it in. Take the bowl out of the mixer and use a spatula to mix in your 1 cup of flour until it’s just absorbed. There is no leavening in this recipe, so it’s only the air whipped into the eggs that gives the cookie any loft at all–if you over mix you can destroy that.
To bake the cookies you will need a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper-I buy my Wilton’s Parchment Paper in the cake decorating aisle at Walmart. Parchment paper basically will turn any cookie sheet into a non stick surface, and it can be reused in a recipe like this. I used two sheets–one on the cookie sheet going into the oven and another on the counter where I would get the next batch ready to go–so I could just slip it on to the tray and start baking the next batch.
I also prepared an area to form the cookies. I had my fortune cookie slips all cut out (I have a printable for you at the bottom of this post), a mug to bend the cookies over, and my Wilton Cupcake Tin to place the formed cookies in so they could cool while held in shape.
Now to the finicky party. You can only bake about 3 of these cookies at a time because you need to shape them while hot. I actually think I should have started out with only 2 per batch until I got the hang of it.
You start out by plopping a scant tablespoon of batter onto your parchement paper for each cookie. Then you spread it out with the back of a spoon to a thin circle somewhere around 3 inches in diameter. My first batch was too thick and I couldn’t bend them without cracking them right in half–so go pretty thin. You’ll get a feel for it after a few cookies–don’t be upset if the first few are rather experimental in nature–I ate a lot of mistakes. . .
The cookies are baked for 7-8 minutes. When you take them out of the oven you have to work fast–you flip them over, put in the slip, fold it in half gently and then bend the flat side of your half circle over the edge of a mug. Take that part a bit gently–I crumpled a few that way. Then place it in the cupcake tin so it doesn’t spring open before it’s done cooling.
The whole thing is a juggling match. First they are too hot to handle, then they start hardening up super fast to where you can’t bend them. I found if I left them on my tray, flipped one onto a cutting board then worked it would be a tiny bit cooler to work with and then ones on the pan would retain a bit of heat to stay malleable a bit longer. But you still have to work FAST.
The most fun about the whole project was coming up with the fortunes. We were rather silly on a lot of them “Call your mom” “you will be kicked in the shins by a small child” “beware of roses” “you will win a small sum of money”. . .
My big kids and their friends have been loving these cookies, misshapen as most of them are. They actually taste pretty good, and they laugh uproariously at the fortunes. This would be a fun cookie to make for all sort of theme events–you could change up the fortunes for the specifics of the event–make them super spooky for Halloween, or say something sweet for Valentines Day or even just all say the same thing and use them for a bridal shower etc.
Homemade Fortune Cookies.
- 3 Egg Whites
- 3/4 C Sugar
- 1/2 C Melted Butter
- 1/4 tsp Almond Extract
- 1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 3 TBS Water
- 1 C Flour
Preheat oven to 375.
Have your fortunes cut out and ready.
Line a pan with parchment paper.
In a mixer whip the egg whites and sugar for 2 minutes.
Combine melted butter, extracts and water.
Pour butter mixture into whipped egg whites and whip until incorporated.
Take the bowl out of the mixer, add in flour and mix together with a spatula/wooden spoon until just combined. Do not over mix.
Spoon three 1 TBS blobs of batter onto lined pan. Use back of spoon to spread into a thin, 3 inch circle.
Bake 7-8 minutes. Edges will brown. If they are overcooked they will snap, if they are undercooked they will tear. After making a few you will get a feel for when they are "done".
Take them out of the oven, flip the circles over onto a cutting board or pan, and quickly add the fortune, folk in half and then bend over the edge of a mug or glass.
Completed cookies are set down into muffin tins to hold their shape until fully cooled.
More recipe ideas for a delicious Chinese New Year Meal:
Disclosure: As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I’ve received product samples and compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.