Tomorrow we celebrate the Chinese New Year: 新年快乐! As I live in a city with a huge Chinese community, I feel it right to celebrate this special day, even though I do not have any Chinese heritage. In fact, one of the places where I took my parents when they were visiting us from Italy, was Sydney’s Chinatown. It was really beautiful and, as you can see from the pictures below, it was already getting ready for the New Year! So to celebrate, I decided to make Fortune Cookies. I know, I know… Fortune Cookies are not really Chinese… wait, what?? You did NOT know?? Well, it appears that these cookies were actually invented by the Japanese community living in the USA and that the Chinese took over their business during WWII! Well, original or not, to me a Fortune Cookie is still the perfect way to finish up a delicious meal at a Chinese restaurant. Besides, who wouldn’t want to read a fortune at the beginning of the year? I wish you pick a cookie with the best fortune for the New Year! 新年快乐!
Getting ready to celebrate the New Year!
Let's celebrate the Chinese New Year with some home-made Fortune Cookies.
- 2 egg whites
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp almond extract
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 8 tbsp all-purpose flour I ended up adding a couple of tbsp extra
- 1 ½ tsp cornstarch
- ¼ tsp salt
- 8 tbsp granulated sugar
- 3 tsp water
Lightly beat the egg white, the water, the vanilla and almond extracts and the vegetable oil until frothy, but not stiff.
Sift the flour, cornstarch, salt and sugar and then add it into the egg white mixture. Stir until you have a smooth batter. The batter should not be runny, it should drop easily off a wooden spoon and it should not shrink when you spread it.
Take some baking paper and draw 10 cm – 4 inch circles on it and place it upside down (so that the part with the ink on is not touching the food), on a baking sheet.
Put 1 tablespoon of batter in the centre of each circle and spread it around to cover the full surface of the circle.
Bake in a pre heated oven at 150°C – 300°F for about 15 minutes or until the outer 1 cm – ½ inch of each cookie turns golden brown.
Now, working quickly (but be CAREFUL – they are HOT!), remove one cookie at a time with a spatula and put a fortune in the middle of it. To form the fortune cookie shape, fold the cookie in half, then gently pull the edges downward over the rim of a cup. Place the finished cookie in the cup of a muffin tin so that it retains its shape. Continue with the rest of the cookies.
Let them cool down completely before serving them.
You need to be fast when shaping the cookies as they harden very fast! I suggest you start by baking 2 cookies at a time if it is the first time you make them or the cookies may burn and become hard by the time you manage to get fast at shaping them.