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FORTUNE COOKIES

Fortune cookies I got used to, and still miss, a rather flavourful brand of fortune cookies made and sold in the Chinatown of Montréal, Canada.

As most other commercially made fortune cookies taste mainly of cardboard, one way to get edible cookies is to prepare them oneself.

2 egg whites
40 g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla sugar
30 g melted butter
40 g coarse wheat flour

Line a baking sheet with a piece of baking parchment. Draw a couple of circles on the baking parchment, 8 centimetres in diameter, and turn the paper over. Preheat the oven to 175 °C.

Whip the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the icing sugar and vanilla sugar through a sieve. Add the melted, cooled butter and mix gently until smooth. Finally fold in the flour. Cover the bowl and let the batter rest for about 15 minutes.

Take 1½ teaspoon of the batter at a time and spoon into the centre of each circle drawn on the baking parchment. Using a palette knife or the back of a spoon, spread the batter evenly, in a very thin layer, to the outside edge of each circle. Bake for about 5 - 6 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are just starting to turn golden brown.

Take out the cookies, loosen them with the palette knife or a thin spatula and immediately fold them in half, forming a semi-circle, pressing the edges together firmly. Press the cookies against the rim of a small bowl to fold them (see the pictures below). You can fit the cookies, tips down, in the holes of a muffin pan to hold their shape as they cool down.

Figure 1 Arrow Figure 2 Arrow Figure 3

You have to work very fast because the cookies cool and harden quickly. Do not bake more than two or three cookies at a time, otherwise they will harden before you have had time to shape all of them. You can use thin cotton gloves to protect your fingers from the heat.

Before folding the hot cookies in half, you can place a strip of paper with a written fortune across the centre of them. If the fortune cookies remain slightly soft after they have cooled down, you can dry them in cool oven (about 50 - 100 °C) until they are thoroughly crisp.
Makes about 15 - 18 cookies.

Recipe source: adapted from "Kiinalaiset onnenkeksit", Bowring, J. et al., ed. (1999) Suuri aasialainen keittokirja. Ed. Tapio Harjanne. Trans. Merja Tuomi. Köln: Könemann.


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