I was thinking about what I should post on Instagram for Chinese New Year, aside from one of my tasty Chinese-influenced dishes. Fortune cookies sprang to mind. Although the method is a little fiddly, it is easy once you have had a few attempts. They are great for a party, especially as you can put your own messages inside! You can make only three of these cookies at a time, as they need shaping while they are warm.
Line a baking sheet with baking parchment or use a non-stick silicone baking mat – I just love these as they make recipes like this so much easier to master. Melt the butter in a small pan or in the microwave and set aside to cool.
Put the egg whites and sugar in a bowl and mix together with a wooden spoon. You do not need lots of air in the mixture, as these cookies should not really rise in the oven. Add the flour and mix together to just combine and then add the melted butter with the salt and vanilla and mix together again to form a batter.
While they are cooking, get a mug ready, along with a palette knife and the muffin tin.
When the cookies are ready, remove them from the oven and leave them for about 10 seconds, then very gently and carefully run a palette knife underneath one to loosen it from the baking parchment, pushing down on the baking sheet so that the edge of the knife does not go through the cookie. Quickly place a message into the middle of the cookie and fold the cookie in half over the top to create a half-moon shape, sealing the edges by squeezing them together with your fingers. Lift the cookie off the sheet and place the folded edge of the cookie onto the rim of the mug. Gently pull the corners down, one on the inside of the mug and one on the outside, to form the classic fortune cookie shape. Transfer this into one of the holes in the muffin tin so it can harden and keep its shape without springing back. Quickly repeat with the other cookies and set aside to cool.
Continue with the rest of the mixture, making three at a time, until you have used it all up. If you are using baking parchment, it is best to replace it between each batch otherwise the cookies tend to stick to it – this is why it is easier to use a non-stick silicone mat.
When you have made all of the fortune cookies, pile them onto a plate and serve. I like to make these on the day that I need them.
© Lorraine Pascale, 2017. Images: © Myles New, 2017.