Nathan. Stop reading this. It's not Valentine's Day yet.
Fortune cookies have this really romantic quality to me. Which may seem odd if you don't know me, because . . . they're fortune cookies. And if you do know me, it may seem odd because I'm not a particularly romantic person. For example, my idea of romance right now is Nathan making the bed in the morning so that every time I walk by our room I don't have to think, "Ugh. There's a mess in there." Or doing the dishes for me . . . that is super romantic.
Anyway. I think that I find fortune cookies so romantic because of this time about eleven years ago when I went out for lunch at an East Side Chinese buffet with my parents. I really had the greatest parents growing up. I say "had" because although my dad is wonderful and loving, it was really them as a team that made my childhood and my life so awesome. So I had just started dating Nathan and he was everything I never thought I wanted in a guy, but everything that I actually loved and needed. And it was terrifying. And I was talking to my parents about what I really wanted out of this new relationship and how unsure I was of it coming true. Kind of like it seemed like getting everything I wanted at such a young age seemed so impossible. They didn't actually give me any advice that I can remember. They just listened. They were so good like that. And at the end of the meal, I opened my fortune cookie, and my fortune said, "Your dearest wish will come true." And if that weren't enough, there was another fortune in there that said the exact same thing. My parents got huge smiles on their faces. I can still see them sitting across the booth from me, remnants of fried rice infront of them.
For all these years, I have kept those fortunes taped to the inside of my jewelry box.
And wouldn't you know it? My wish did come true, two fold.
A year or two later, I made Nathan a batch of fortune cookies, and I filled them with little pieces of paper that didn't so much contain fortunes, but what I loved most about him. So I guess they were more like love cookies.
Ah, how time has changed. Eleven years later, Nathan knows what I love about him. And we have been through a lot together. More than wanting him to know how I feel, I want to be able to make his dearest wishes come true. I want to truly give him a fortune. Or many fortunes. You know how it is with little kids? So many things are in high demand and short supply. While we are blessed to be in high supply of amazing things like love, giggles, and smiles, other things like money, free time, and luxury run in short supply. So I decided to fill Nathan's fortune cookies with all the things that I would grant him if I could. Silly things like, "You will be able to eat all the ice cream and soda you want and not gain a pound." And more serious things like, "Unending happiness and contentment will be yours." Everything that I wish for my dear husband. And there's one that I hope I can make come true some time soon . . . . "A whole day of biking is in your future." What were you thinking?
In case you are wondering, this would be the only fortune I would hope to get.
Making the cookies is not so difficult (full recipe is at the bottom). I used this recipe, but there are a lot out there. Mix up egg whites, some almond extract, vanilla extract, and vegetable oil until it is foamy, but not stiff. Like this.
In another bowl sift flour, sugar, corn startch, and salt and then add a little water. Now mix the two together until it's smooth. Like this.
Pour a tablespoon of batter on to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Now. I did this four different ways. With a little cooking spray, not enough cooking spray, too much cooking spray, and parchment paper.
Parchment paper was the absoulte answer for me. They came off the pan like a dream, and since you have to work quickly, this was important, and they didn't crack. The down side is that the paper crinkles a little and you get a couple lines in your cookies. Though once folded you can't see them. The other down side is you really have to work to thin them out, so mine are a little thicker and don't have that characteristic fortune cookie crunch. I don't care though. They still taste delicious and are ten million times easier to make.
After pouring the batter onto the parchment paper, I did two cookies at a time, spread it out with the back of the tablespoon. I also used the same parchment paper the whole time (you know how cheap I am with my parchment paper), so that added to the wrinkling issue. Bake them for about 15 minutes turning the tray halfway through.
Pull them out, drop a fortune in the middle and then fold fold FOLD! Move fast!!
Then pop them in a muffin tin so they keep their shape. (Seriously. Those were the trickiest pictures I've ever taken.) When they cool, package them up and give them to your Valentine.
Give Your Valentine a Fortune Fortune Cookies
Makes about 10 to 12 cookies
- 2 large egg whites
- 1/2 tsp of almond extract
- 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
- 3 TBSPs of vegatable oil
- 8 TBSPs sugar
- 8 TBSPs flour
- 1 1/2 tsps cornstarch
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 tsps water
- Preheat your oven to 300.
- Mix the egg whites, almond extract, vanilla extract, and vegatable oil together with a hand mixer until it is frothy, about 30 seconds.
- In a different bowl, sift the sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt. Stir. Add the water.
- Add the the flour mixture to the egg mixture and mix it with the hand mixer for another 30 seconds or until it is smooth.
- Making two cookies at a time, put a tablespoon of batter down on a parchment lined baking sheet, spread it out with the back of the tablespoon so it is 3 to 4 inches in diamater. Add the second cookie to the tray. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through, and watching for the edges of the cookie to turn golden brown.
- When the edges turn golden brown, take the cookies out of the oven and working quickly, remove one cookie from the pan, put a fortune in the middle, pull two edges up to the middle, and then bend the whole cookie in half in the opposite direction on the lip of a cup. (See pictures above.)
- Put the cookie in a muffin so that it holds its shape and then quickly move on to your next cookie.
- Repeat six more times
or until you have no batter left because you have eaten it all while waiting on your cookies to bake.