Adapted from The Daily Cookie By Anna Ginsberg
A September cookie entry celebrating the birth in 551 BC, of Confucius, a Chinese thinker and philosopher. There are multiple theories as to the origin of fortune cookies, but many believe they date back to ancient Japan, where the cookies, then savory, were made in small irons called kata, then stuffed with a paper fortune and rolled. Credit for introducing the fortune cookie to America goes to a Japanese immigrant named Makoto Hagiwara.
3 large egg whites
3/4 cup granulated sugar
8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and cooled*
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup (4.5 ounces) all–purpose flour
3 to 4 tablespoons water
Type fortunes onto paper and cut into long strips. Have them ready to go before you begin the cookies.
Preheat the oven to 375°F and place a rack in the center. Line two rimless baking sheets with nonstick foil.
With a handheld electric mixer, beat the egg whites and sugar on high speed for about 2 minutes, or until light. Reduce the speed to low and add the melted butter*, salt, vanilla, almond extract, and flour. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water and stir well, then add more water until you get a very soft dough—not quite a batter, but close to it. You don’t want the dough to flow too quickly from the spoon.
Scoop up heaping teaspoonfuls of batter and form six paper-thin circles about 3 inches in diameter on one of the prepared baking sheets. Bake the cookies for 5 to 7 minutes, or until your circles have brown edges. Remove from the oven, and working quickly, with one circle at a time, put a fortune in the center of the circle, fold the cookie over once to make a rounded half-moon, then fold the far edges toward each other. Set in a muffin tin and let cool. Repeat with the remaining hot circles, doing your best to keep the folded fortune cookies closed as they set and cool. Start another sheet. While one batch of cookies bakes, spoon out the batter for the next batch.
Makes about 45, plus a few practice cookies
KosherEye note: Parve margarine such as Earth Balance makes a satisfactory substitute for butter. Consider fortune cookies in your Purim Baskets!
Recipes: Desserts, Cookies, Dairy, Kosher