350 fortune cookies. 5 friends. 1 industry convection oven. 1 culinary classroom.
They are delicate. Cookies made of glutinous porcelain that shatter easily and, like a some old boyfriends, are soft to your touch at first before soon turning brittle and cold. So handle them and enjoy them while smoldering, but be careful not to get burned.
Fortune cookies, we mused, require suffering so you can impart knowledge. Blistered fingers lead to enlightenment. We hope.
(Typing is still kinda painful right now. Ow.)
Still, it's all worth it. The resulting cookies are beautiful to look at. Neat rows of fortuitous baked origami.
The taste? You can't even compare factory made to these. We flavored the crisp tuile dough with orange and vanilla extracts. The resulting cookies were crisp, sweet, and floral as a tree in bloom.
It's a bit of an undertaking even if you plan to do not 350 of them. Still, they have a certain beauty about them and if you call over friend then, heck, it's a party.
Makes 80-ish cookies
12 egg whites
3 cups sugar
2 cups butter, melted and cooled
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons orange extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup water
1. To make the stencils cut 6 3-inch in diameter holes in the manilla folders and tape up any cuts that lead out from the edge (you don't want the flaps getting in the way).
2. Preheat oven to 375F and line a cookie sheet with a silpat (parchment paper can be used but it's a serious hassle). Have fortunes ready to go and close by.
3. In a large mixing bowl whip the egg whites and sugar on high speed until frothy, about 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and add in the butter, extracts, water, and flour; one at a time and mixing well after each.
4. Using an offset spatula spread a thin layer of batter over the stencils laid out over the silpat lined baking sheets. Remove the stencil and you'll have 6 perfect circles of dough! (A note, it took us a few tries to find the right thickness. Play around with your first batch and see what works.)
5. Bake for 6 minutes. Do not overbake. They should be pale in the middle and brown around the edges. Quickly remove and one at a time place a fortune in the middle and fold in half then fold the ends together in a horseshoes shape. We found that folding it over the curve of a rolling pin helped immensely with this.
6. Place in the slots of a muffin tin to cool and assist the cookie in retaining its shape.