Thursday, February 4, 2010

Misfortune Cookies



From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...“Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?” I've been having an interior dialogue with Robert Browning today. You see, he wrote those words to comfort me. He knew that hubris would one day be my undoing. Make no mistake about it, I've been undone and it's time to "man" up. The cookie you see is the sole survivor of a kitchen experiment gone awry. This one hurts. These hands have spun sugar, boned duck and fashioned puff pastry so flaky and crisp that grown men have been known to weep and plead for mercy. These hands were sure they could make quick work of this task. After all, how hard could it be? Some flour, a little sugar, an egg or two, and, voila, home made fortune cookies. What could possibly be simpler? I had written special fortunes and color coded them so I'd know who should receive each of the cookies I'd baked. They were to be a special treat for Chinese New Year. I followed the recipe to a tee, but sensed from the get-go that I was in trouble. The thin batter rippled as as I smoothed the cookies on parchment paper. First note to self! Bake the cookies on silpat pads rather than parchment paper. Second note to self! Work with one cookie at a time, unless your hands suddenly develop a speed that rivals that of a hummingbird's wings. By the time I finished with one cookie, the others were unmalleable. Third note to self! Call Lok Yuan and order a hundred fortune cookies. After all, it's the thought that counts. I don't doubt this recipe is doable. The cookies are delicious and, if you're dexterous, a snap to make. I'm not dexterous. If you have time and are nimble, they're well worth a try. Here's the recipe.

Fortune Cookies...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite, inspired by Sara Perry and Nancy McDermott

Ingredients:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 egg whites at room temperature
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a reusable nonstick liner or parchment paper. Place fortune strips in a small bowl. Set out a measuring cup and a 12-cup muffin tin to help form cookies while they are hot.
2) Whisk flour, cornstarch, sugar and salt together in a medium bowl until well-blended. Add oil, egg whites, orange zest and juice and vanilla extract. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth.
3) Working with just two cookies at a time and leaving 3 inches between them, drop batter from a level tablespoon measure onto prepared baking sheet. Using back of a spoon or an offset spatula, spread each portion of batter into a 4-inch diameter circle. Bake until edges start to brown, about 8 to 10 minutes.
4) Using a thin, flexible spatula, lift each cookie off baking pan. Place a fortune strip in center of each cookie, then quickly fold in half. Pick up and drape over edge of measuring cup, gently pressing edges down to form standard fortune cookie shape. Place shaped cookies into muffin cups to complete cooling. Continue baking and shaping until all batter has been used. Store airtight. Yield: 12 cookies.

27 comments:

Susan C said...

You are far more ambitious than I am to even attempt these. I hope you can remove the fortunes from the bakery cookies and slip in your own personalized ones.

theUngourmet said...

Sounds a bit too challenging for me but I do love them and I the bet homemade are scrumptious!! :)

Peggy Clyde. said...

I used to make these a long, long time ago. They are fun to do.

Jane said...

I tried once... a long time ago. Today, I save the extra that are always thrown in our take out bags...I have enough for a very BIG party!

dana said...

Soooooo.....would it lose something if you just slapped that "fortune" between the two choc. wafers of an Oreo cookie and call it "good"? :) KIDDING!

I know, I know you are an exceptional cook... I just look for the easy way! Actually, I think you did find the easier way when you ordered "out" for the cookies!

I feel much better knowing you have cooking challenges once in awhile, too! :) Dana

Alea said...

What you need are tweesers. You can tease the fortunes out of the purchased fortune cookies and slip your personalized fortunes in their place.

I am sorry for your misfortune (and the bad pun). However, I am sure that you will still pull off a wonderful Chinese New Year party!

Debinhawaii said...

Way too much work for me--I like the order them plan! ;-) Good for you for trying though.

Allie and Pattie said...

OOOOH, I LOVE a challenge! Now to wait for a fairly stress-free day to try this! (hmmmmm, that may take a while!)
xoxo Pattie

Vanillastrawberryspringfields said...

Ha ha...i think am going to attempt these soon...inspired so muc by u and this is hardly any misfortune i see here...would love to make these as valentine cookies with sweet messages for everybody.....

Coleen's Recipes said...

SO well written, you had me laughing after the first sentence. Just great.

zurin said...

Ive failed at fortune cookies too and so far I havent gone back to trying htem...mine were rubbery..I dont think it can get any worse than that... that one cookie u saved is beautiful !

Martha said...

Mary -- I thought I was ambitious when I made egg roll wrappers (you couldn't buy them here then) but fortune cookies . . . I admire you for even attempting them!

La Table De Nana said...

They are fun! Cute cute..I organized a small get together once for 4 ladies to meet..you can bet many of the fortunes said"You will meet someone so nice tonight!" How creative..:)

taste traveller said...

It really is the thought that counts! I tried making them a few years back & never again. But your "failures" still look nice.

Di said...

Mary, I have more fun laughing at myself, bruised ego and all. Erma Bombeck said, "If you can't make it better, you can laugh at it". Your story is a delight!

Bellini Valli said...

I have thought of making Fortune Cookies for the 14th..I may do it yet.

oneordinaryday said...

I made fortune cookies several years ago with New Years fortunes in them. I was able to turn out just enough for my whole family, but they were much harder than I had expected, and I haven't even thought of doing them since. : )

A Year on the Grill said...

I am so sorry... but mostly I am sorry that I was picturing that scene from Rocky 4 (the best Rocky movie since Rocky 3).

You remember when the unstoppable, unbeatable russian was first hit hard by the Rock, and Draggo started to bleed...

No offense, but this gives us duffer cooks hope... As the Rocks trainer says...

"He's not a machine, he's just a man...

Be more man than him"

I feel so guilty for thinking this

George Gaston said...

Mary, very few of us are as speedy as a hummingbird's wings. But the imagery of that makes me think of watching some old Chaplin or Keystone Cop silent film.

The way your cookies hardened so quickly reminds me of a Confucius quote: "Ability will never catch up with the demand for it."

Mary, I commend you for your efforts and the inspirational thoughts you were trying to convey.

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

This is something I'd love to try, but yours is a cautionary tale ...

Twin Tables said...

This is like me attempting to make pretzels. Impossible I tell you for my clumsy hands!

Virginia Taylors said...

Thank you for sharing your quote! I needed that. I have been on a cake disaster roll and need to break out of it!

Karen said...

Hummingbird wings... haha! Well, Mary, you don't mess up very often, so I'll give you this one ;) Thanks for the laughs.

My Little Space said...

Oh Mary, this is such a fantastic idea... making our own fortune cookies! Now, I can write whatever good things I like in each of them. What a great fun! I'm sure the guests would be sooo happy with these. Thanks you so much.

Mary said...

Peggy, welcome to my hangout. I hope you'll visit with us often. Blessings...Mary

Lori said...

Mary- you are ever so humble. You are an experienced chef! These cookies just say, okay try me again if you like.

Katy ~ said...

A notable effort. Excellent effort even if the results weren't, in your opinion, stellar. Kudos for trying and for sharing the results.

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