Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Happy New Year Fortune Cookies

Chinese New Year is around the corner. Sunday, February 10 will begin the year of the snake.  My family will be ringing in the new year with our traditional Chinese feast on Saturday and I thought a fortune cookie treat filled with a gold dollar would be a fun party favor for each plate.  The recipe for the cookies is quite simple, the actual shaping of the cookie required a tool I did not have and I think I've suffered some first degree burns as a result.

For the cookie batter:
4 large egg whites
1 cup fine sugar
3 tablespoons heavy cream
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1 cup flour

In a large bowl, using a standing mixer or hand mixer, beat the egg whites and sugar together for about a minute on medium high speed.  Add the cream, butter, extracts and salt and beat until just combined.  Add the flour and beat until batter is smooth.
Make your fortunes, cutting each into a thin strip of paper.
Heat oven to 400f on convection bake.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  I used four 9x12" baking sheets.  Bake 2 cookies per baking sheet.  You can use just one, two or three pans depending on how fast you want to work through these.  Stagger the baking to allow you time to shape the cookies between each batch of two cookies.  In other words, place the first pan in, let bake for a few minutes, then put the next pan in, etc.
Place 1-2 tablespoons of batter on the baking sheet.  Depending on how large you want the cookies, use more batter for a bigger cookie.  I put a dollar coin in each, so mine were a little larger than the average cookie you get at a restaurant.
Use the back of a spoon, or I found it easiest to use a small offset frosting spreader, to work the batter out into a thin round, about 5-6" in diameter.  Make 2 rounds per baking sheet.
Bake for about 8 minutes, until golden brown around the edges.
Remove from the oven and immediately place your fortune on the top half of each round.
Now here's where I needed additional equipment.  I should have had some thin white gloves  or something that would allow me to handle the hot cookies, but instead, I burned the tips of my fingers and in some cases, failed to make a good looking fortune cookie because I just could not stand the burning pain.  
To shape the cookie, fold the round over to make a half moon and pinch the top with your pointer finder and thumb.  Then use your index finger of your other hand to bend the cookie in the middle and fold the two ends in with your thumb and pointer finger.   
You must do this quickly because once the cookie cools a bit, it will be too hard to mold. 
If you are putting in a coin like I did, slide the coin in before the cookie hardens.  You will have to hold the cookie in shape until it is cool enough that it will not lose its shape.
I made these three days in advance.  I'm hoping they will keep well stored in an airtight tin.
Happy New Year!

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