Add a fun twist to a dinner party or surprise someone with a special message with homemade fortune cookies.
This month we celebrate both Valentine’s Day on the 14th and Chinese New Year on the 19th, so I thought it would be fun to make fortune cookies (although it turns out from my pre-posting research that fortune cookies are actually an American invention).
The great thing about making your own fortune cookies is that you can personalise the message however you want. Although if you’re stuck for ideas there are websites like Fortune Cookie Message where you can find lots of suggestions. I particularly like “Your shoes will make you happy today” and “Sometimes you just need to lay on the floor”.
Making your own fortune cookies is really straight forward but does take a little care. To ensure that your cookies are a success there’s a few important rules (full recipe and instructions below)…
- When spreading your cookie mixture onto the tray you need to make sure it is as thin and even as possible (about 1mm thick), otherwise your cookies will lack their snap.
- Don’t overcook your cookies, they’ll be too brittle to shape and are more likely to stick to the tray. You want them to be just browning around the edges and pale in the centre.
- Don’t cook too many cookies at once otherwise you won’t be able to shape them before they’ve cooled.
- Once the cookies have cooked you need to shape them immediately while they’re still hot (be careful not to burn yourself). If they’re too cool when you try and shape them they’ll be too brittle and will break.
I find that it’s not always easy to follow written instructions for things like this, so to help you I’ve also created a little video showing how I spread the cookie mixture on the tray and how I shape the cooked cookies.
I won’t be winning any oscars (or whatever the factual documentary equivalent is) any time soon, but I’m pretty pleased with how this video turned out given the disaster I had on my first attempt.
An alternative for the little ones
If you’ve got children who are a bit young to appreciate the fortune inside, you can also fill them with a few sweets (e.g. smarties). Just make sure you choose something that doesn’t melt too easily as the cookies will be warm when you shape them.
Also, the cookies are quite hard so don’t give them to very young children (sorry if that’s stating the obvious but I felt like if I put a children’s alternative then I should make it clear).
To make your own fortune cookies at home you’ll need the following equipment…
- Large bowl
- Weighing Scales
- Small palate knife
- Two baking trays (you can manage with one but it’s quicker if you have two)
- Silicon baking sheets (optional, but these cookies can stick so the silicon sheets make life a lot easier)
- Cup or mug (to help shape the cookies)
- Muffin tin (or similar, to help the cookies hold their shape while cooling)
You’ll also need strips of paper approximately 1cm x 10cm in size and a pen (for writing the fortunes).
How to Make Fortune Cookies
- 1 egg white
- 40 g plain flour
- 40 g caster sugar
- 1/8 tsp vanilla extract
- A little butter - to grease the baking trays
- Prepare your fortunes by writing the messages you want to include in the cookies on a pieces of paper roughly 1cmx10cm in size. Fold them a few times to make them small enough to fit inside.
- Preheat the oven to 220ºC/200ºC fan.
- Grease two baking trays/silicon sheets (if using) with a little butter.
Make the cookie mixture
- In a bowl, whisk the egg white until it's just starting to foam. Don't over beat the egg whites as this will add to much air to the mixture.
- Add the vanilla extract, flour and caster sugar and whisk until combined.
Bake the cookies
I bake the cookies two at a time as they need to be formed before they cool. If you try and bake more in one go you'll find that they crack when you try and shape them.
- For each cookie - place a teaspoon of mixture onto the greased tray/silicon sheet and use a palatte knife to spread the mixture into a circle roughly 10cm in diameter. You need to spread the mixture as thinly and evenly as possible (about 1mm thick). This can be a bit tricky so you may need a couple of goes to get the hang of it.
- Place the baking tray into the pre-heated oven and bake for 4-5 minutes until the edges are just starting to brown (the centre will still be pale).
- While the first two cookies are baking, prepare the second batch on a different tray.
- Once the cookies have baked, remove from the oven and shape them.
Shape the fortune cookies
You need to shape the cookies as quickly as possible after they have been removed from the oven. Please be careful as they will still be very hot.
- Place a fortune in the centre of each cookie.
- Fold the cookie in half.
- Pick up the cookie by the two corners of the fold. Place the centre of the fold on the edge of a cup or mug and gently pull down the two corners, ensuring the edges stay as held together as possible. This will create the typical fortune cookie shape.
- Place the cookie into the muffin tin (or similar) to help it hold it's shape until it cools completely.
- Repeat until all cookies are baked and shaped.
Free From/Suitable For…
The ingredients I used to make this recipe are all free from the following allergens. However, please check any labels carefully for allergens you need to avoid as brands can vary and product recipes can change over time.
- Suitable for Vegetarians
- Tree Nut-Free
- Sulphur Dioxide & Sulphite-Free
These fortune cookies can be made dairy-free by using a dairy-free alternative to butter to grease the baking tray.
Tower Housewares Valentine’s Cookbook
This fortune cookie recipe is also featured in the Tower Houseware’s Valentine’s Cookbook. A free e-cookbook featuring valentine’s recipe ideas from brilliant bloggers such as Angela at Patisserie Makes Perfect and Charlotte at The Goodowl.