Fortune Cookies

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.

Fun Idea: I have to tell you about one of the best things I ever did with these cookies. A couple of years ago we were part of a dinner group. We were assigned dessert for an Asian-inspired meal. I brought ice cream (not so Asian, but c’mon you can’t live on fortune cookies alone!) and a bowl full of fortune cookies dipped in chocolate and toffee bits. The fun part was the inside. Instead of fortunes I stuffed in phrases from the game Mad Gab. You’ve all played mad gab right? So everyone had to break open their cookie and read their phrase out loud, something like: My Ham Eve Ice and everyone else had to guess what it was (Miami Vice!) Yummy treat and a great after dinner party game you can play right at the table. So fun!
More holiday sweetness:


Heart-Shaped Homemade Marshmallows
Valentine Cookie Pops


  1. This could not have come at a better time as I'm supposed to be bringing fortune cookies for game night tomorrow with a Chinese food theme. I love your step by step instructions. I know what I'll be doing today!

  2. I'm so excited for this recipe — not only can I try my hand at making them for our Chinese New Year party… but I can actually eat Fortune Cookies again! With a nut allergy, Asian foods are off limits! Thank you!!

  3. Those are so ridiculously cute! I was trying what to make for V-day for the husband and kiddos and I think this just made up my mind for me!

  4. These are great! I've been trying to come up with a creative favor for my sister's bridal shower next month and these would work nice! One question though, since I don't want to have too much to do the week of the shower, how far in advance can these be made and still taste ok? Would I store them on the shelf in a rubbermaid?

  5. Susie- I should experiment this week and see how long they stay fresh. You definitely need to keep them in an airtight container. I left these leftovers on the counter and they got chewy after a day or two. But I'd say if you make them 1 day ahead of time and keep them sealed in an airtight container, they'd be fine.

  6. We made these as gifts this year too. I think we've done 6 batches…SO FAR.

    I found that by just spraying non stick spray on a cookie sheet that you don't have issues with them sticking…AT ALL. No practice or tricks necessary.

    The parchment paper proved problematic.

    SO FUN!

  7. Too cute! I have a bridal shower to plan for my best friend who lives several hours away. I've been grappling with what I can do that will be easy for me to transport and OK to make the day before. These sound wonderful! Thank you!

  8. Those little things are the cutest idea for Valentines on the net!! I will definitely be making my cutie patootie a few of those. Thanks again for the inspiration.

  9. I was really excited to try this recipe but I am finding it HARD to spread the batter evenly to form a nice circle. Did I spray my sheet to much with pam maybe? I am making them right now and hope they turn out ok. Let me know what you think.

  10. Matt and Penny- ya, that's why I mentioned you should spray a little spray and then wipe it with a paper towel. If there's too much spray on there then the batter has nothing to stick to so it just smears around!

  11. This is what I do:
    1/2 c. melted butter
    3 egg whites
    3/4 c. sugar
    1/8 t. salt
    1 c. flour
    1 t. lemon extrct
    2 T. water
    I bake them in a waffle cone maker and use an egg carton to prop them while they cool to keep the fortune cookie shape.

  12. My friend is throwing a Valentine's Day/Chinese New Year Party this weekend. I'm definitely going to forward this on to her. This is the perfect combination for that.

  13. I made these today and while they are very yummy (some fortune cookies are tasteless) I was having a hard time getting the center of the top side to brown-even slightly. Any suggestions?

  14. Jones Town-
    You'll notice in my pictures that the centers don't brown very much at all. But it helps to spread them evenly, and even spread them a little thinner in the middle than they are on the outside.

  15. Thanks for the great idea! I love the chocolate and sprinkles. Perfect for a Valentines Chinese New Year! I'm going to get my kids to help write out the fortunes. Kelly

  16. I was having a hard time getting my edges to stay together so here is a tip I found: after you fold them over the bowl, put them sideways in a muffin tin until they cool. It helped me a ton and made the process so much faster and easier.

  17. These look great! I made homemade fortune cookies a long time ago using a griddle – they were super easy, but they didn't harden. I'll have to try these. I love how you've decorated them too! Happy Valentine's Day!

  18. Thanks for the great instructions and tips. I was planning on making fortune cookies for the first time so I need all the help I can get. Yours look so adorable!

  19. Wow–yall's blog is so precious! I need to be studying and I cannot stop looking at all of the cute desserts and appetiziers, etc!!! Oh my goodness!

  20. I think this is the cutest idea of the century! so I tried it tonight and utterly failed. I lightly sprayed wax paper and it stuck like glue. I guess I thought it was the same as parchment paper. But it turns out I don't know what parchment paper OR silpat is. So, once I have all the right tools, I'll give it another go. It tastes yummy and is sooo cute. I wish i knew where to buy fortune cookies without the fortune so I could still put in my own and decorate them the cookies. I love all of your fun ideas and make something from your blog AT LEAST once or twice a week. Thanks for all the fun ideas and tips and step by step instructions! I've been telling everyone I know to check out your blog.

    1. Jodi – You CAN just buy fortune cookies and replace the fortunes actually. If you wrap a damp (but not dripping) paper towel around a fortune cookie, microwave for 20 seconds or even less, then the cookie will become soft again and you and quickly exchange your fortune for the original and put it back in its folded shape. It will cool and become crunchy again (and taste better than before!) in just a minute or two. You could then dip them in any fashion you choose.

  21. Made these adorable treats today! It was the second Snow Day in a row for me and the kids and I needed something creative to do. Thanks to your simple instructions and step-by-step pictures the fortune cookies came out adorable!

  22. I tried these last night they ended up a big mess. Too much cooking spray. I will try them again. They taste wonderful.

  23. The only memory of fortune cookies I have with you was age 16… making them at 3:00 a.m. for a class the next day…. Seth (or Tim?) ate all of them and the goodies we found in them were all thanks to Nike. LOL! I'm glad you have worked on perfecting the method, they look scrumptious!

  24. Want to hear something funny? Our realtor came over yesterday and brought us some of these yummy cookies! She told me about this fantastic cooking blog that she saw on TV. I just had smile!

  25. I just finished making a bunch of these for my son's Kindergarden teacher. They turned out great and weren't as hard as I thought they would be. I found spraying (and wiping away) the cooking spray on the parchment paper to be the easiest! Thanks for such a great idea!

  26. I made these for my high school students and they loved them. Bit of a disaster using the cookie sheet/spray method – stuck like crazy. As I don't have a silpat or any parchment paper on hand, I ended up using my non-stick silicone baking pans – it worked great and they came off so easily – didn't have to grease them at all.

  27. I didn't have the parchment paper so I traced circles onto wax paper using a permanent marker, placed that on my cookie sheet, then placed my silpat on top. I'm sort of the perfectionist, so I really wanted uniform cookies, lol. You can totally see the circles thru the silpat. I also sprayed a little Pam on the silpat too. HTH!

  28. I made these for the first time today. The tatse is wonderful, however, couldn't make the shape right. The edges are hard but the centers are too soft. When I placed them on the bowl the edges just won't close up together.
    I really want to make these for the Chinese NY tomorrow…
    BTW, your blog is wonderful!

  29. Awesome idea! It occurred to me, for shaping the circles straight on the cookie sheet instead of eyeballing: could you hold that same cookie cutter to the sheet and spread within in? I suppose the cutter would have to be one of the ones that don't have a handle across the middle. Or maybe you could dip the cutter in flour and leave a little flour ring on the sheet? Hmmmmm…

  30. These are so gorgeous and adorable! I don't know that I'll have time to get them done by Valentine's Day (which is tomorrow… yikes!) but I will have to give them a try. Maybe I'll surprise my hubby with them one day next week!

  31. Gave these a try tonight. Had the best luck with a silicone baking sheet, but still need to practice. Anyone had advice on keeping the edges smooth? Mine keep ending up jagged.

  32. A friend and I tried this yesterday using the parchment method … worked like a dream! Instead of using a spatula to get them to release off the pan, we used big chef's knives.

  33. Didn't know you could make homemade fortune cookies…mine didn't turn out very pretty, but they are yummy. Thanks so much!!

  34. I loved this idea and had to make them! They were a great hit. My first batch didn't turn out so well. I got the hang of it for the second batch. Here's my experience:
    I needed 3 egg whites instead of 2
    Chilling step was not needed
    3 min in the oven was the charm for mine
    How do you get the paper fortunes from sticking to the warm dough inside?

  35. Emily, I'm glad you figured out some tricks that work for you! I've never had an issue with the fortunes sticking. I'm guessing yours are because you're only baking them for 3 minutes so they are less done on the inside.

  36. These are adorable! I love the cute packaging ideas, too. I'm a little late for Valentine's Day, but I'm sure I can come up with a million other good reasons to make these!

  37. My fiance saw fortune cookies on TV the other day and thought they would be good to have at the wedding. I got online and found some places, then my maid of honor showed me your site. As I'm drooling over your recipes, I find this one. I can't wait to show the fiance and see what he thinks about making our own for wedding favors!!

  38. I made these a few times, but mine are a bit chewy. Thanks to your easy directions I was able to make them and they were perfect. I ended up putting too much dough on my pan and that was the problem, but a tsp works perfectly. I also use 1/2 vanilla and 1/2 almond. And the flavor is awesome.

  39. I made these tonight for our annual Chinese Food Take-out New Year's Eve Feast. I thought they would be super hard, but thanks to your detailed instructions, they were actually really easy. Only one worked out on my first pan but I didn't loose one after that. Mine only take 4 minutes in the oven and when I sprayed the pan with a mist of cooking spray I was able to just peel them off the parchment paper. Thanks so much for sharing this!

  40. I'm trying to make these fortune cookies but I ran into two difficulties… can anyone help? First off, they are too soft but when I bake them longer, the edges are too crispy. I can't seem to get the right crunchiness. Any suggestions? And second, how do you get the "calzone dome shape" to them? When I fold mine in half, they are flat like a pancake.

  41. Thrutheglassdarkly- the shape should happen naturally if you follow the instructions about folding over the edge of a bowl, etc. So if you're having that problem *and* the other problem, then I would guess there might be an error somewhere, either when you mixed up the ingredients or with the measurements, etc.

  42. I am a little frustrated with this recipe. This is the first ourbestbites recipe that has ever failed me! My cousin told me it was surprisingly easy–not so! When I do the parchment method, I spread them out really thin in a nice circle and they creep in while baking until they are all jagged, not at all circular, and way too thick. When I finally got annoyed and just lightly misted the sheet directly, they were so stuck that I had to throw away the whole pan. Grr. Any tips?

  43. I was nervous about trying this recipe but it turned out extremely easy! I was pleased with the outcome! Thanks for the recipe 🙂

  44. hi there…thanks for the great recipe! i'm having just a bit of trouble…mine are "cracking" at the bottom. any suggestions? thanks!

  45. ok…i must be getting better because my last few batches had little or no cracking 🙂 thanks for the awesome tutorial! i am not very talented in the kitchen department (yet) and i was able to do these!!

  46. I made these and they are amazing!!!!!! They taste better than the ones you get at a Chinese restaurant! Here is a fun suggestion! I didn’t want to put fortunes in the ones for my kids (seemed pointless as they are too young to read) so I put a jelly bean in them instead! It was so fun! They even make noise when you shake them. I just did one and it stayed in half of the cookie. I’m going to try putting two in next time!

  47. These were so fun to make. Baking directly on the cookie sheet was a big fail for me – but the parchment paper worked great. I lifted the paper from the cookies without any trouble. We are having a book club discussion tonight about “The Painted Veil” – so inside the cookies I put some book questions, some questions about the circumstances of meeting and falling in love with their own spouses, and some Mad Gab papers thrown in as well – that were relevant to the book.

  48. I have to make something for a New Year’ss Eve party, which is a potluck, and I think these will be so fun to bring along. I may have to make more plus another dish though^~^

  49. Thank you for the great idea! Big hit! Everyone loved them.
    The first batch I made ended with maybe 10 ok cookies. Second batch I asked a friend for help, made 6 at a time and they all came out perfect!

  50. I own a cafe on the lake in Malawi in a dive centre, and I was sat bored stiff on I decided to fill my time by baking these fprtune cookies… at first I was regretting it.. but on my second lot, I decided (since I had no baking paper – v.difficult to get things here) that I would use the bottom of my silicon muffin pan… they turned out awesome, though you have to work quick so they dont go crisp… and the divers have been loving a free novel fortune cookie during their surface interval.. Love this website! xx

  51. How long will these last? These would be cute for my wedding, but I don’t want to be making them the day before! Would they stay fresh for a week or two in sealed containers?

  52. Does anyone have a recipe that doesn’t have egg or egg whites in it ? My grandson can not have any dairy or nuts . I would love to make some of these for him.

  53. I used this recipe to make 10 fortune cookies, and it went so so beautifully well I was shocked! I thought I would at least mess the first one up but no, it went smoothly from start to finish. I used grease proofed paper, with a touch of oil wiped in the circles and as long as i was careful not to rush in and scrape em off for shaping, they didnt stick at all and came off easy 🙂

    Thankyou so much!

  54. Hi Sara! Have to tried them with rice flour? Could that help with the crunchiness? And also it would make them gluten free 🙂 I haven’t yet, but I might! I tried another recipe and the yo turn out too soft in the middle, maybe I spread the batter too thick! I’ll try your recipe 🙂

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