Ok, remember when I said at the beginning of the week that I was going to post a bunch of simple, easy ideas for Valentine’s day. Wellll…. this sort of does and sort of doesn’t fit into that category. I guess this is an easy idea for someone who is up for a little bit more of a challenge. (Does that even make sense??) It actually is very easy and very simple, but it takes a little patience to get the hang of it. The ingredients don’t get any more simple, and I’m pretty sure that the vast majority of you have them in your kitchen right now. So you should try it!
Before you start making your batter, you’re going to need a template. Actually, this isn’t 100% necessary, but it’s very helpful. If you don’t want to take the time to make a template, you can skip this part and just spread your dough out free-form.
To make the template, get a large disposable lid, or other piece of thin plastic. A cool whip, yogurt, margarine or sour cream lid are all good, as long as it’s at LEAST a 4″ diameter, not including the rim.
Find a 3″ circle to trace around.
This is the 3 1/16″ circle from the plastic circle set. It is very well-used and loved, so the measurement has been worn off!
After you trace it, use an x-acto knife to cut out the circle.
Then cut off the rim of the lid so that it lays (lies?) completely flat. You can use scissors or an x-acto knife.
After that you’ll have a nice, reusable template. Wash it to get rid of all pen/pencil marks because those will definitely get on your fortune cookie dough if you don’t. Don’t ask me how I know that.
One more thing you need to do before you make the batter is to write your fortunes and have them ready. Cut strips of paper 1/2″ by 4″ if you want the fortunes to come out the edges of the cookie, or 1/2″ by 3″ if you want them all hidden inside. I did mine 4″, but I think I’d do 3″ next time.
I think this is where you could let your creativity fly. I was not very creative with these. At all. But you could print them on fancy paper, and you could do fortunes that would match the personality of the recipient. I think writing cute things for your kids and slipping them into their lunch for school would be really fun. Be creative.
Oh, and one more thing before you make the batter– Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
The batter is super simple. It takes exactly 1 minute to mix this up. Ok, maybe 2. But it’s fast. This is adapted from a recipe I found on Allrecipes.com. It makes 12 fortune cookies. Here are the ingredients:
1 egg white
1/8 tsp. vanilla
3 T. sugar
1 pinch salt
1/4 cup flour
Put the egg white and vanilla in a bowl. Whisk until it gets foamy. Add the sugar and salt and whisk until smooth. Stir in the flour until a smooth batter forms. It’s actually kind of a batter/dough hybrid. It is thicker than a batter, but a pretty runny dough.
Sorry I don’t have pictures of the dough-making process. But it really is simple enough that you don’t need pictures, right? :D
About the surface you’ll be baking on– You can bake on a plain (very-well-greased) sheet pan. But it is tons easier and more fool-proof if you bake on either silicone liners or parchment. Even if you use silicone or parchment, you’ll need to grease it or spray it with Pam, so if you’re using a plain cookie sheet, you’re really going to have to grease the heck out of it to get them to not stick. So if you have silicone or parchment, use it! Oh– and if you’re using parchment, you really could just trace some 3″ circles right onto the parchment for your guide instead of making the template.
I used silicone liners for mine, and I’m sorry they look so nasty. I’ve been using these for almost a decade, so even when they’re clean they look kind of gross. Sorry.
Spray silicone or parchment with Pam, or grease the heck out of your pans. Place your template on the pan and put exactly 1 teaspoon of batter in the center.
Use an offset spatula to spread the batter around inside the template.
Go all the way to the edges. If you aren’t using a template, just eye-ball a 3″ circle. The batter will be very thin. You may even be able to see right through it in spots. That’s ok. And, um, sorry about the water spots on my spatula. I have hard water, ok?
Lift off the template, and repeat up to 3 times, for a maximum of 4 cookies per sheet.
Four is really the max that one person can do at a time. You have to work really fast at folding when they come out of the oven, or they’ll get too stiff to fold. If you have helping hands in your kitchen, you might be able to do 6 per sheet. I actually recommend only doing 2 for your first batch and work up to 3 or 4 as you get the hang of it.
Bake them in a 400 degree oven for 5 minutes, or until they start to get brown around the edges.
Determining when they are ready is probably the trickiest part of the whole thing. They need to be lightly browned if they’re going to set up nice and crisp, but the browner they get, the faster you have to work with them. The paler ones are easier to fold, but they won’t crisp up as well. So you have to learn in your first couple of batches what the happy medium is.
Ok, so as soon as you pull them out of the oven, start folding. I think it’s easier to just peel them off the pan with my hands, rather than trying to use a spatula. A spatula can tend to mush them up, but if your hands are really heat-sensitive, a spatula might be your only choice. If you do go that route, I would grease it first. So either peel one off, or use a spatula, and flip it onto a wooden cutting board or counter so that it’s upside-down. Quickly lay one of your fortunes across the center.
Then, fold it in half like a taco.
Next, you’ll take the outside “corners” of your taco and pull them down towards each other.
If they cool too much while you’re working with them and they won’t fold, you can put them back in the oven for 20-30 seconds to heat them back up again.
As soon as you’re done folding one, plop it into a muffin tin. The round muffin cavities will help them keep their shape while they cool.
Aren’t they cute?
You can be done right there. Or… if you’re feeling extra festive and fancy, you can dip them in chocolate and sprinkle them with some Valentine sprinkles.
Place them on wax paper or parchment while the chocolate sets up.
Look how fancy these are! And you can make them as personal as you want, since you’re writing your own fortunes. I think that would be a fun ending to a special Valentine’s dinner.
And did I mention that they taste REALLY good? They are so much tastier than store-bought fortune cookies. Yum!