When you are seven, these are the worst of your quandaries. It was one of those mysteries that just stump you as a kid, much like the mystery of how the fridge light knew when you were going to open the fridge door so it could turn the light on. Was there a little man in there responsible for turning the light on whenever you opened the door, and if so how come we never saw him? How did this man come to be so stealthy and nimble inside the cold fridge? Questions abounded and so did confusion and possibly this is fodder for a future post but strangely, these were the kinds of questions that plagued my mind as a child, and although the man in the fridge question still begs to be answered I am glad to be able to tick this particular one off the list.
So how exactly do those fortunes come to be inside the cookies? Well it is by no means from any sort of magic or conjuring, no cute little elves, no Smurfs or Smurfettes; unfortunately there is no legend to be told for getting the fortunes in, someone simply puts it in there. What a way to ruin such romantic and fanciful aspirations for grander explanations. It probably doesn’t compare to the horror you would receive after telling a kid Santa or the Tooth Fairy isn’t real, but what a way to destroy my mythical fancies.
However, this apparently logical and somewhat clinical explanation still hasn't quenched my love for the fortune cookie. The thrill of getting a fortune still excites me. It’s the surprise lurking inside and the anticipation of what I will receive that is the exciting thing. It’s not up there with the exhilaration of say bungee-jumping or swimming with sharks but hey, it is the small pleasures that make this life.
So maybe I have been making too many fortune cookies; spouting words of wisdom and eloquent revelations really don’t come too naturally. I don’t think these cookies can ever turn your luck, but make them yourself and count it lucky that you were able to do so. Although time consuming, they are actually a lot of fun to make and a great present for someone who needs a bit of good cheer. So let the good fortune begin, here is the recipe.
(makes 15 cookes)
recipe from the diva herself
5 tbsp unsalted butter
4 large egg whites
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1 cup plain all purpose flour
a pinch of salt
3 tbsp heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla or almond extract
non-stick cooking spray
Preaheat oven to 200°C. Spray a baking sheet with some non-stick cooking spray.
Melt butter in a small sucepan over low heat, set aside.
Using an electric mixer, in a bowl, combine egg whites and sugar and beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds.
Add flour and salt and continue to beat until just combined.
Add the melted butter, heavy cream, vanilla or almond extract and mix until combined.
Pour 1 tbsp of the batter onto the prepared baking sheet, using the back of spoon, spread the batter into a a thing 5 inch circle. Repeat this on the other side of the baking sheet.
Bake for about 6-8 minutes until the edges are lightly browned. Make sure to only bake 2 at a time as they will make folding them easier.
Remove from oven. Working as quickly and carefully as possible, lift one cookie off the sheet.
Place a fortune onto the centre of the cookie and fold it in half, pinching the top together to form a semi-circle.
Hold the cookies with both hands at each end and using the edge of a bowl as a guide, bending the two ends together, over the bowl's edge. This whole process should take about 10 seconds.
Place the fortune cookie on the kitchen towel to cool, and shape the second cookie.
Repeat until all the batter is used up. To speed up the process, bake four cookies at a time, staggering two cookie sheets by 4 minutes to give you time to shape.
Alternatively you can thread the fortune through the cookie when it has cooled to achieve a different look.
the fortune factory at work...