Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sweet Fortune

Fortune and love favor the brave.
Ovid, Roman poet (43 B.C. - A.D. 18)

Ovid's risque poem The Art of Love earned him exile to the far reaches of the Roman empire courtesy of Caesar Augustus. I suppose that's how Ovid's cookie crumbled, but I can assure S-I-L that none of the love fortunes in the fortune cookies made for the upcoming bridal shower predict exile. ;-)

Mom and I had fun twisting the cookies into shape last night (asbestos fingers required) and then decorating them this evening. As Dad commented, they are not your normal, run-of-the-mill fortune cookies.

Confucius say:
Some men dream of fortunes, others dream of cookies.

Sweet Fortune Cookies
Makes: 15 cookies

4 tablespoons butter, melted, plus more for baking sheets
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract **
2 egg whites
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

** Note: original recipe is flavoured with vanilla plus 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, as well as 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon and a dash ground cloves. We used almond flavouring because it seemed traditional, but the spice version sounds tasty too.

1/2 cup chopped bittersweet, dark, or semisweet chocolate
1/2 tablespoon shortening
Chopped peanuts, sprinkles, minced candied ginger, or other little sweet or spicy things

1. Preheat oven to 375° F (190°C). Line 2 baking sheets with a silicone nonstick baking mat or parchment paper. If using parchment, lightly coat the paper with nonstick cooking spray or butter. (I didn't coat parchment and had no problem with cookies sticking.) Have a mug and a muffin tin (which is lightly sprayed) at the ready.

2. Write fortunes on long strips of sturdy paper. The paper can be fancy or plain, it matters little. Best stick with strips that are 3 1/2 to 4 inches long and no more than 1/2 inch or so wide. (I printed the fortunes from the computer and cut them to size).

3. Stir together the butter, vanilla and almond flavouring (or ginger, cinnamon, and cloves).

4. Beat the egg whites and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed for about 1 minute. Reduce the speed to low, add about half of the flour, and beat just until combined. Switch to a spatula and gently fold in the butter mixture. Add the remaining flour and fold just until combined.

5. Drop 1 tablespoon of the batter onto the baking sheet and use the back of a spoon to spread the batter evenly and very thinly into a 3 1/2-inch circle. Repeat to make 3 or 4 cookies on each baking sheet. We sketched circles on parchment paper as guides. We found that working with 3 baked cookies at a time was all that the two of us could manage to bend into shape.

6. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes, until the fortune cookies just barely begin to brown around the edges. Working quickly, transfer the cookies from the baking sheet and place them on a clean dish towel. Place a fortune just above the center of each cookie and fold the cookie in half, pinching the top of the curved portion to seal. Gently bend the ends of the fortune cookie over the rim of a mug to form the fortune cookie shape. (Fold the cookie over a chopstick, if you have one, to help create the bend in the center.) Place the cookie in the muffin tin, bended side down, to help it retain its shape while it cools. Repeat with the remaining cookies. Hurry! Cookies are HOT but, if they cool before they are bent into shape, they will crack and rip.

7. After about 10 minutes, cookies can be transferred from the muffin tin to a cooling plate. Cookies will become crisp as they stand over night.

8. The next day, melt the chocolate and shortening in a glass bowl or measuring cup. Dip half of each fortune cookie in the melted chocolate. If desired, sprinkle with chopped peanuts or candied sprinkles or anything else that you believe will help to ensure a sweet fortune.

Source: Leite's Culinaria

1 comment:

  1. Shari, these were amazing! Thank you so much! I don't know if I am ambitious enough to try to make them myself, but they were so good I might crack and try anyway!

    Thanks again... they were so cool to have at the shower!