I was trying to decide what to post for Valentine’s Day this year when I found myself immersed one Saturday afternoon in a Lindsay Lohan marathon on ABC Family. (Don’t mock, you know you love Mean Girls). As soon as the magic fortune cookie scene hit in Freaky Friday I knew that was it. I love making fortune cookies for all sorts of occasions, but the thought of tucking little love notes inside and sprinkling them with tiny hearts just made me giddy. EDIT: Okay, I just have to add that I had NO idea that Chinese New Year was on Valentines Day either! How perfect is this? Thanks for all of you who mentioned that in your comments!
Now, you can always count on Kate and me to be realistic. So I won’t lie, this is one of those things that might take a little practice for some of you, but give it a shot. I’ve listed several different baking methods below because it seems that one always works better than another for most people. I have no idea why! You just have to find your magic method. For most of you I think you’ll be surprised at just how easy it is. Here’s another tip: the thing that prevents me from labeling this project “quick and easy” is that you can only bake a few cookies at a time. So turn that into a positive and do something productive. For me, I work at my laptop on the kitchen table, or I clean out the fridge or organize my pantry. That way I can get things done and just stop every few minutes to switch out the cookies. If you just sit and stare at the oven the whole time you’ll end up cursing my name. When you’re at home, anyway, and busy doing things, a little project like this fits right in. There are lots of fortune cookie recipes out there and this one is a little different because it’s lighter.
No oil or butter and not too much sugar. It results in a light, airy cookie that actually tastes good! But I’ll admit it also makes a batter that can be slightly temperamental. Don’t worry though, with a little practice you’ll be churning these out in no time. Let’s cook!
The batter couldn’t be simpler. Just throw all of the ingredients (egg whites, sugar, flour, and vanilla) into a food processor and blend it up. You could also probably do it in a blender, or whisk it very well. You want zero lumps.
Pop that mix in the fridge for an hour and while it’s chilling you can prep the rest of the ingredients. First, you’ll need fortunes! Since I’m making Valentine cookies today, I filled them with little love notes. I’ve made these for baby and wedding showers with the appropriate info inside, or birthday parties, etc. Be creative!
You’ll also need to prepare your pan. There’s a few ways you can do these.
Method 1: Parchment: Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit a sheet pan. On one side of the parchment trace 3-4, 3 inch circles. I just trace a cookie cutter. Flip the parchment over so the pencil side is underneath. Now, unlike most fortune cookies, these have no butter or oil so they can stick like glue if you’re not careful. I have found that it is sometimes helpful to spray the parchment lightly with cooking spray and then rub it around smooth with a paper towel so it’s a super thin layer. But try it first without spraying and then spray if you need to.
When your batter is chilled, place 1 teaspoon on each circle and spread it out with a small spoon to fill the circle.
Method 2: Silpat. You can also use a silicone baking sheet, like a silpat. Again, it helps to even spray the silpat with a bit of cooking spray and rub it around. You’ll have to just eyeball the circles.
Method 3: Baking Sheet. Someone mentioned in the comments that a plain baking sheet sprayed with non-stick spray did the trick for her. Of course I had to try it, and yes! It worked quite well. You do need to be careful however since you’re just eyeballing your circles. Don’t spread your batter too thick or your cookies will be chewy.
Baking: Pop the pan in the oven for about 5 minutes. This is totally a learning process, after you make a few you’ll get a feel for exactly what they need to look like to be done. They should be brown around the edges and a little toward the center. If you underbake them they will be chewy instead of crunchy. Mine take about 6 minutes.
This is the part that is a little tricky, but you’ll get the hang of it fast. If you try to take the cookie off the pan too quickly it will mush up like this:
but if you leave it on too long (and I’m talking seconds here), it will firm up so much that you can’t shape it. So the trick is to find that perfect time. I find that it only takes about 15-30 seconds after they come out of the oven before I can get them off the pan. Use a spatula like you see in my pictures with a nice sharp edge. I thick plastic one won’t work very well.
Remove the cookie from the pan with the spatula and flip it over. Quickly tuck your fortune in the middle and then fold the cookie in half. Bend the cookie over the edge of a bowl to set the shape.
Okay, and also, check out this fortune! I just folded it to fit inside the cookie and when I set it down it turned into a heart. Cuteness.
Anyway, the whole stuffing, folding, and shaping process done in about 10 seconds! If you find the last cookie too hard to shape, just pop it back in the oven for about 15 seconds and it should be fine again.
You can also leave the fortune longer so it hangs out like this
They only take a minute to cool and you can pack them right up.
Since it’s V-day soon I decided to pretty mine up with some holiday lovlies. You can use chocolate (any type), almond bark, candy melts, etc. and then sprinkle on any toppings you want. My favorite combo is chocolate with toffee bits sprinkled on. They taste a lot like one of my favorite cookies.
And can I just say that one of my favorite things about holidays are the fun sprinkle jars? Seriously, I am easily pleased. This one is from Target and it has some mini-hearts that make mine melt!
From here, just dip and sprinkle. You can dip half the cookie, or the outer edge, or drizzle, or whatever.
Packaging: You can find cute little take-out boxes at any craft store. They make them in a zillion different colors, sizes, and patterns. Target usually has holiday themed ones all the time. I always have a stash of plain ones because they’re so easy to dress up. The tiny ones hold a few cookies and make fabulous party favors.
Kiddos: How about tucking a few love-note cookies in your kids school lunches? Ya know, if they’re at that magic age where they think it’s cool and they won’t get beat up for it. My toddler gets SO excited about the little papers inside and he can’t even read. I just put his name in a bunch of them because he can recognize that and he’s completely floored that the cookie knew his name.
Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend to combine. Place in a container and chill 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400°.
Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper*. Draw 3-4 (3-inch) circles on paper. Turn paper over. Spoon 1 teaspoon batter into center of each of the drawn circles; spread evenly to fill circle. Bake at 400° for 5-6 minutes or until the cookies are brown just around the edges and a little toward the centers. Remove from the oven. Let sit for a few seconds before removing from pan. Working quickly, loosen edges of cookies with a spatula, and turn over.
*Make sure to note the 3 baking methods described in the post above. You might find that one of those works better for you.
Place fortune along the center of 1 cookie. Fold cookie over so the edges meet ; press edges together. Gently pull the ends of the cookie down over the rim of a small bowl (or jar); hold for a few seconds or until set. Repeat procedure with remaining cookies. Makes about 24 cookies.