Chinese Fortune Cookies

Chinese Fortune Cookies are almond or vanilla flavored biscuits which have a piece of paper inside them with a supposed wisdom, prediction or prophecy written on it. 

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There is nothing Chinese about a  Chinese fortune cookie.  In fact these cookies originated not in China but in America and are a take on the traditional Japanese tsujiura senbei, a food which is associated with New Year festivities at Shinto Shrines.  The tsujiura senbei contains a tsujiura (a writing that tells one’s fortunes) inside a senbei (Japanese crackers). Traditionally these senbei was not sweet. The fortune cookies that we know today were made to suit the tastes of the Americans.

The fortune cookie was made popular by Chinese workers, who worked on the building of the great American railways through the Sierra Nevada into California. Work was hard and they had no holidays. The Chinese New Year was of huge importance to them but they had no money nor availability of the delicious moon cakes. Instead those hard workers had only biscuits with happy messages inside, to exchange at the Moon festival instead of traditional cakes with happy messages, and thus the Fortune Cookie was born. Today, there is hardly any Chinese restaurant in that does not serve the fortune cookie after a delicious meal. Another interesting fact remains that the fortune cookies are quite unknown in China, and in places where ther are served, they are called American fortune cookies..!

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I have had this recipe for a long time. It is one of those perfect after dinner treats, that little something that will leave your guests look at you in awe, like you are some food goddess. I was planning on posting this one a couple of days before Valentines as it would be a perfect way to end a V day dinner. But here I am posting it earlier than planned. I was sad that my blog has been starving all this time and many of my friends out there have been so supportive during the time I was absent. It would be totally unfair on my part if I did not give them this lovely surprise to make. This is more cakey that crispy. Add the almond extract if you like the flavor. You can even reduce it to 1/4 tsp. Make it big or small, the size is all as per preference.

My dear ones do try this one out. You can do it with the children and they will have loads of fun. Do you have something special to tell a special someone, try it through this cookie.  Do you want to test your child’s multiplication tables, try it through this one. Do you simply want to convey a message to some one, grab a cookie. Or if you want to make a style statement at your next party, go for this one. In every way, this recipe is a keeper, so keep it,make it and enjoy it..!

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CHINESE FORTUNE COOKIES

  • 2 large egg whites or egg substitute
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract  (use only if you like almond flavor)
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 8 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon water
To Prepare
  • Preheat oven to 300F.  Grease the baking sheet with butter, or line with a baking paper to make removal of cookies easier. Keep aside.
  • Cut out papers of 3 1/2 inches length and write the fortunes on them. Keep aside.
  • In a medium bowl, lightly beat the egg white, vanilla extract, almond extract and vegetable oil until frothy, but not stiff.
  • Sift together all the dry ingredients and add to the wet ingredients in the bowl. Combine until you have a smooth batter. The batter should not be runny, but should drop easily off a wooden spoon
  • Refer to the pictorial given for any clarifications regarding the making of the fortune cookies.  Place level tablespoons of batter onto the cookie sheet, spacing them at least 3 inches apart. With the back of your spoon, spread the mixture into circles of 4inches diameter, like you would make a dosa. Start form the center and move to the edges.
  • 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 about 14 – 15 minutes.
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  • Work quickly and 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.
  • In order to make a fancy cookie, melt some chocolate in a double boiler and dip these cooled cookies and there.. you have chocolate dipped fortune cookies..!
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On another note, you will all have noticed a new addition to my sidebar, the Google + badge. For those who are unaware, Google has decided to close shop to its extremely popular Google Friend Connect service.  This service will no longer be available to non Blogger sites starting March 2012.  They do not intend to work on the friend connect anymore, and slowly it will become redundant to every blogger. The alternative that has been proposed is the Google+ site, a Facebook like alternative. There you can post your updates and form circles of friends depending on how you interact with them. The best part of the Google+ setup is that unlike Facebook, you can post your messages and make them available only to the group of people you want it to be seen by.

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I will be removing the GFC icon from my sidebar end of the month. Any of you guys who want to follow me because you like my site are welcome to join me there. We can chat, post messages and motivate each other like we always do. However there is no compulsion. It does not change the rules of the  giveaway in any manner. If you want to follow my site after Feb 2012, add to my circles in Google+.  In case you have not created a Google+ page for yourself, go here. This guide will help you and guide you towards starting off this venture. It is my advise that all of you start slowly incorporating this new idea into your blogs, so that your new followers get added there. It is otherwise very saddening to have to start from scratch all over.

Hope you guys liked the recipe for the day. If you need more fortunes for your cookie, check here.

Try it out.. have fun..!!

This is my entry  to the following event.

 

80 comments

  1. Nisha says:

    This is an amazing post, Ancy!
    I’ve been meaning to make these since so long, especially after watching all those YouTube videos on how simple it is, but I keep postponing.
    Loved this one, good stuff.
    Hope you’re doing better now after the flu…

    • Anzz says:

      I know what you mean Nisha, this has been in my must does for a long time. This was great in testing Irene’s multiplication tables too, substituted the fortunes for questions..! 🙂 Am better now. Thankfully..! It was quite a long session of illness..! Don’t want another one anytime soon..!

    • Anzz says:

      Thanx Julie, yes this is one of the recipes I have put off for long. Finally made it..! Have liked you on FB..! 🙂 Always a pleasure to follow you..!

  2. Rathai says:

    Hi Ancy,

    It’s so good to have you back. 🙂 This recipe is so interesting (I especially love the idea of writing sweet notes inside), I have to give it a try when the opportunity arises. A nice coincidence again, I also made cookies yesterday. I love cookies. 🙂

  3. simran kamath says:

    awesome!i have never made these….you’ve made them look doable!will def try these out soon..thank you so much…..liked your fb page.

    • Anzz says:

      Vimitha dear, I have a perfect recipe in mind for your chocolate fest. Hope to post it soon.. These cookies are more cakey in flavor and texture depending on how thick or thin you spread it out. The thinner you spread it, the crispier it becomes..

    • Anzz says:

      I have been fascinated by these for a long time… had to try it..! You know, variations can be done by adding food colors and also cocoa powder..

  4. Amelia says:

    Hi Anzz, thanks for sharing the chinese fortune cookies. Yours look good and so far I had not try making it myself. Like your first pic presentation, lovely.
    Have a nice day.

    • Anzz says:

      I know the feeling, was alwsy fascinated with the fortune in the middle. I tried popping a sweet, my daughter’s toy ring .. works well. Imagine getting a lovely ring inside your fortune cookie. 🙂

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