Did you know that fortune cookies are not a Chinese creation? In fact, these cookies are almost unheard of in China. They are, however, served in most Chinese restaurants across America. They were invented in the early 1900’s, and most sources credit a Japanese man named Makoto Hagiwara, who served them to tourists who were visiting his Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, as a snack that could be eaten while admiring the tea garden.
Homemade Fortune Cookies are a labor of love; they are fragile and time consuming. The following recipe is flavored with orange flower water and orange peel. They actually taste good, and while they require a little practice, they will be a real hit for dessert on Chinese New Year, or whenever Chinese food is served. Once you get the hang of it, the only difficult thing will be to decide what to put on the fortunes.
When my children were small, they always broke open their fortune cookies and waited with great anticipation for me to read the fortunes inside. However, the fortunes in the commercial cookies were way over their heads and they had no idea what those fortunes meant. At that time, I started reciting nursery rhymes, pretending to read from the fortune. When they got older, I remember one of my children saying, “Remember when there were good fortunes inside the cookies, like nursery rhymes? Why can’t we get that kind anymore?”
Ideas for fortunes for your homemade cookies can include nursery rhymes for small children, or fun quotes for adults. You could also put short scriptures inside for a church group, inspirational verses, short poems, or even jokes. Once we made a giant fortune cookie with an invitation to a girl’s choice high-school dance. For those in a hurry or who have an imagination-block, there’s even a web site with Fortune Cookie Sayings.
The finished cookies can be drizzled with melted chocolate to make them fancy; white chocolate can be tinted with candy coloring and drizzled over the cookies to add color.
Fortune for the day: Person who bake fortune cookie for family and friends make family and friends very happy!
12 – 16 Fortune Cookies, depending on size
1/2 cup flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 egg whites (about1/4 cup)
1 tablespoon orange flower water
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
12-16 fortunes, typed on 1/2 by 3-inch strips of paper
- Preheat oven to 325°.
- Combine the flour, cornstarch, and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer.
- Add oil and egg whites; beat at high speed until smooth.
- Mix in orange flour water and orange zest.
- It's best to make just 1 or 2 cookies at a time, since they must be shaped immediately upon removal from the oven.
- To save time, you can have several baking sheets ready and put them in the oven every 3-4 minutes, so they are done at different times.
- Drop a tablespoon of batter onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Use the spoon to spread the batter into a circle 4-5 inches in diameter. The cookies are prettiest when the batter is spread quite thin.
- Bake for 8 -10 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Have the fortunes ready, and a muffin pan
- Fold in half again and place in the cup of the muffin pan to preserve shape.
- When the cookies have cooled in the muffin pan, store carefully in an airtight container.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven, use a pancake turner to remove the cookie from the parchment, and immediately place the fortune in the middle and fold in half. .
Amount Per Serving
Calories 81 Calories from Fat 41
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 51% Protein 6% Carb. 43%
Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 5 g
Saturated Fat 1 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 9 mg
Total Carbohydrate 9 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Sugars 4 g
Protein 1 g
Vitamin A 0% Vitamin C 0% Calcium 0% Iron 0%