Saturday, February 16, 2008

how to make fortune cookies

For Valentine's Day I got BF a Chipotle gift card (it had burritos in the shape of a heart!) and made him fortune cookies from scratch. The fortune cookies turned out fab & were super yummy. The recipe I have SAYS it makes 15, but it definitely makes about 30-35, depending on the size circle you use. Below is the recipe and some pictures of the process:

5 tablespoons butter
4 large egg whites
1 cup superfine sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1 pinch salt
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon almond extract
Nonstick cooking spray
A clean towel or fabric napkin

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet LIBERALLY with cooking spray. Melt butter in a saucepan and set aside.

2. In an electric mixer combine egg whites and sugar and mix on medium speed. Add flour and salt and beat until combined. Add melted butter, heavy cream, and almond extract and stir completely.

3. Pour approximately 1 tablespoon of batter onto half of the cookie sheet (less for smaller fortune cookies) and spread with the back of a spoon into a thin 5 inch circle (you should almost be able to see through the batter, my picture below is a little too thick). Repeat on other half of cookie sheet. Because you have to shape the cookies so quickly, two cookies is about the most you can bake at a time. Bake until the edges of the cookies turn golden brown. This can take as little as 4 minutes and as much as 8 minutes, just stand next to your oven and watch.

4. Transfer baking sheet to a heat resistant surface. Working as quickly as possible, slide a spatula (a metal spatula is a must, plastic will work but it slows down the process) under one of the cookies. Lift it up and place it on the clean kitchen towel/fabric napkin. Using your fingers (be careful, this will be HOT), fold the cookie in half, pinching the top together to form a loose semi-circle. Hold the cookie with your index fingers inserted at each open end and with your thumbs press into the center of the cookie while bending the two open ends together and down to form the shape of a fortune cookie. This whole process should take about 10 seconds. Repeat for the second cookie. Continue shaping and baking two cookies at a time until batter is gone. TIP: If you don't feel like making 40 fortune cookies (it's a pretty long process) you can refrigerate the batter and use it the next day, just make sure to bring it to room temperature by setting it on a counter for 30-45 minutes. You could also halve the recipe and make less batter.

5. Write your message on a thin strip of sturdy paper and thread it through the cookie once it cools.

I would recommend practicing with paper shaping some "fortune cookies." I didn't do this and the first few of my cookies came out pretty sad looking, luckily they were still just as delicious!

The almond extract adds a great sweet, nutty flavor to these fortune cookies. For something different, experiment with food coloring (St. Patrick's Day fortune cookies anyone??) or dip the tips in melted semi-sweet or dark chocolate, yummy!!!