Sometimes you just gotta take matters into your own hands.
So far, 2010 is shaping up to be a very good year. Well, with the exception of one very scary close call.
Recently, I went out to dinner with a few good friends at one of my favorite Chinese restaurants. It was a great meal. But to me the best part of going to a Chinese restaurant is the fortune cookie at the end of dinner. Each of my friends took turns reading our fortunes out loud. It’s a contest on who has the silliest and most vague fortune of the group.
It’s usually a fun exercise. As we went around the table reading the fortunes out loud we came across the typical forecasts about future wealth and good times ahead. And then it was my turn. I was puzzled by my message, “You already know what lies ahead. Face it with strength.” I looked up at my friends with shock across my face, “Huh? What the hell is this?” I mean, that didn’t sound good.
A few days had past and I was still a bit annoyed (if not a little spooked) by my fortune. What did it mean? Was it a prediction of bad times on the horizon. I had a decision to make. I could sit by and do nothing or I could take the reins and head off my impending doom. I mean, I’m not a superstitious person but why take the chance, right? I knew actually what I needed to do. I would have to cancel out the last fortune cookie with a new one.
But this time I was leaving nothing to chance. I would make my own fortune cookies and stack the deck in my favor with self serving predictions of good fortunes.
Plus, I thought it would be kind of fun to make my own fortune cookies.
A quick web search gave me a boatload of super easy recipes to work with.
I picked one and almost immediately got to work. I just made a few minor tweaks. I decreased the amount of almond extract and incorporated lemon zest to give the cookies a little zip (I usually taste a bit of citrus in the restaurant cookies).
In the end, these cookies could be one of my favorite recipe discoveries since starting the Ceramic Canvas. They’re fun and super easy to make.
I think they’d be cool for parties – a really fun conversation starter.
NOTE: I have step-by-step photographs of how to fold the fortune cookies. I’ll try and post them soon.
NOTE 2: If after cooking and folding the cookies the centers are still soft and pliable you can pop the folded cookies back into the oven for a minute or two to let them harden. Just be careful not to leave the cookies in the oven for too long or they will turn dark brown and/or burn.
2 large egg whites
½ TSP pure vanilla extract
¼ TSP pure almond extract
1 TSP lemon zest
3 TBL vegetable oil
8 TBL all-purpose flour
1½ TSP cornstarch
¼ TSP kosher salt
8 TBL granulated sugar
3 TSP water
Write fortunes on pieces of paper that are 3 inches long and 1/2 inch wide. Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease 2 9-X-13 inch baking sheets.
In a medium bowl, lightly beat the egg white, vanilla extract, almond extract, lemon zest and vegetable oil until frothy, but not stiff.
Sift the flour, cornstarch, salt and sugar into a separate bowl. Stir the water into the flour mixture.
Add the flour into the egg white mixture and stir until you have a smooth batter. The batter should not be runny, but should drop easily off a wooden spoon.
Place level tablespoons of batter onto the cookie sheet, spacing them at least 3 inches apart. Gently use the back of the back of a spoon to make circular motions on the surface of the batter to form circles with about 3.5” diameters.
Bake until the outer 1/2-inch of each cookie turns golden brown and they are easy to remove from the baking sheet with a spatula (14 – 15 minutes).
Working quickly, remove the cookie with a spatula and flip it over in your hand. Place a fortune in the middle of a cookie. To form the fortune cookie shape, fold the cookie in half, then gently pull the edges downward over the rim of a glass, wooden spoon or the edge of a muffin tin. Place the finished cookie in the cup of the muffin tin so that it keeps its shape. Continue with the rest of the cookies.
Makes about 14 cookies.