Thursday, February 03, 2011

Aryeh Cooks: Fortune Cookies

Surprise! An Aryeh post on a Thursday.  Today is the Chinese New Year, welcome year of the rabbit/hare.  A friend of mine who has been taking Chinese for a year decided to throw a party.  He asked for people to bring a foodstuff, preferably a Chinese foodstuff.  So I decided to make fortune cookies, which I feel definitely qualifies for an Aryeh Cooks (although my mother did make fortune cookie hamentashen for Purim a bunch of years back).  The recipe is very simple,

2 large egg white (I bought a container of egg whites, this is far easier than separating eggs yourself, plus you do not have to deal with the chalaza)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon of water
1/2 cup of flour (all purpose)
1/2 cup of sugar
1.5 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt

Combine the liquids into a medium sized bowl, and beat together until frothy.  Then mix the dry ingredients together in a separate container.  Finally beat the dry ingredients into the liquids.

The next step is to spoon some of the batter onto a greased baking sheet.  About a tablespoon per cookie.  Pour the batter onto the baking sheet and then using the back of your spoon spread the batter out until it is about a four inch circle.  Start with only two or three (I will explain later).

Then put them into a preheated 300 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes or until about 1/2 inch of the outside edge is golden brown.
Now comes the hard part.  The cookies will be soft and malleable for about 20-30 seconds after coming out of the oven, you need to shape them in this time frame (this is why you should start with fewer, until you get the hang of it).  Using a spatula pull off a cookie, flip it over and put a fortune on top.  Then fold the cookie in half by bringing the outside edges together so it looks like a half circle, you don't want to literally fold the cookie in half because it will break.

For the next step most recipes recommend folding it down over a cup, however I find this to be stupid because the gap between the two sides of the cookie will be to big.  I used the edge of an empty oatmeal box.  So take the cookie and force the center of the bottom of the half circle over the edge of the box so that the two sides are folded down into the shape of a fortune cookie.  I managed to do this step free hand with varied success. After the cookie is shaped put it into a muffin tin (or something similar) for the cookie to cool in its shape.  If you don't do this you will need to hold the cookie until it cools or it will spring open and lose its shape

And remember, you need to do this for every cookie on your tray in about 20 seconds (I got up to six at a time) and yes the one in the top right is broken, this was as a result of trying to get a picture of the last step.

You can also add some color to your cookies.  You can do this by adding food coloring to the batter.

I made regular, blue, green and red cookies.

 In the end I made about 50 cookies with a quadruple batch of batter.  This is not a difficult food to make, however it is deceptively time consuming.  You can only bake as many cookies as you can shape in 20-30 seconds at a time and with a 10-15 cook time it adds up.  If you have help you can probably drastically decrease the time required.  Although if you are only making one batch of cookies it shouldn't take you more than about an hour.

But what about the fortunes you ask.  Well I wouldn't be a Lansey if I gave people boring fortunes.

The fortune is on the left and the right is the corresponding back of each fortune.  Also, yes that is BLOOD (red food coloring) on the "Help I am stuck in a fortune cookie machine!!!" fortune and yes that went into the red cookie.  I will also take suggestions as to what the fortunes can be in the future.  Also, don't forget to suggest future foodstuffs to be given the Aryeh Cooks treatment.


  1. Really cool! Love the fortunes, too, especially the 404 error and the bloodied fortune.
    My fortune ideas:
    - You're older than you've ever been
    - Fortune on other side (on both sides)
    - Your fortune was selected for physical inspection by the TSA (see: this letter)

  2. How about a threat cookie, like "You will tip your waiter generously, won't you..."