Thursday, February 23, 2012

Fortune Cookies

I hate to let things go to waste - and the bag of egg whites I had sitting on the shelf in my fridge were talking to me every time I opened the fridge door.  I was flipping through one of my many cookbooks when I came across this recipe. Seeing that it called for egg whites sealed the deal that I was going to make them.  They are extremely simple and easy to make.  The hardest part is folding them.  This part scared me the most.  I must of read and re-read the instructions a million times.  When I felt I was ready, I put my first pan into the oven.  And then I read the folding instructions again.....and again. 

Once they come out of the oven and you take that first one off the pan, you really only have about 10 seconds to fold it before it starts to harden and take its final shape.  Let's just say my first couple of batches weren't the prettiest things.  Some were too thick, some were too thin, some were shaped in a somewhat form of a fortune cookie.  I might also add that I decided to skip putting fortunes in them - getting the folding technique down was freaking me out enough and adding the extra step of writing out fortunes and putting them inside the cookie before I fold each one was giving me anxiety.  Of course, by the end of the batter I had the cookies at the right size and consistency and my folding technique was getting pretty good. 

Aside from all my worrying about what they looked like, lets face it most of them were ugly as sin, they tasted amazing.  It was worth all my worrying and stressing out.  I will be making these again. 

one of my prettier cookies

Fortune Cookies
makes 45 cookies

4 large egg whites
1 cup superfine sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
pinch of salt
5 tbsp butter, melted
3 tbsp heavy cream
1 tsp almond extract
45 paper fortunes, about 5" long

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with Silpats or parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine egg whites and sugar, and beat on medium speed until frothy, about 30 seconds.  Add flour and salt, and beat until combined.  Add butter, cream and almond extract and beat until combined, about 30 seconds.
  3. Leaving space for one or two more cookies, spoon 1 teaspoon of batter onto the baking sheet, and spread with the back of the spoon into an even, thin 3-4" circle; repeat.  Bake cookies until the edges turn golden brown, about 8 minutes, rotating pan halfway through.
  4. Transfer baking sheet to a heat-resistant surface.  Working as quickly as possible, slide and offset spatula under one of the cookies.  Lift it up, and place it on a clean kitchen towel.  Center a paper fortune on top of the cookie.  Using your fingers, fold the cookie in half, pinching the top together to form a loose semicircle.  Hold the cookie with your index fingers inserted at each open end, and slide your thumbs together along the bottom line.  Press into the center while bending the two open ends together and down to form the shape of a fortune cookie.  This whole process should take about 10 seconds.  Once the cookie hardens, which begins to happen almost immediately, you cannot shape it.
  5. Place the cookie on the kitchen towel cool, and shape the second cookie.  repeat until all the batter is used up.  To speed up the process, bake four cookies at a time, staggering two cookie sheets by 4 minutes to give you time to shape.  Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

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