When I received the invite by dear Vic (of Victoria Bakes) to participate in the Jan/Feb Best Recipes, My Homemade Cookies, I felt so honored. I am just a newbie in this baking blogosphere and to be linked up with all the seniors and masters, I actually feel abashed about it (#^^#) Nonetheless, I agreed to join in the fun. I was told that I could bake something cute or interesting or relating to the theme, Valentines. Hmm …. and an idea instantly came to my mind.
I knew then that I wanted to bake …. Fortune Cookies! Hahaha…. why? Cos Chinese New Year is also coming and I always think that fortune cookies is something symbolic during CNY. Also, I wanted to do something with the personal touch, and with fortune cookies, one can personalize it with the messages in the cookies. And for the last reason (perhaps the most important one) … Shhh…. it has remained a secret till now (#^^#) Many years back (hurhurhur), I did try baking fortune cookies for the first time. It was during courtship of my then boyfriend (now my other half). He was to outstation for work for a period of time, and to show my support, I thought of baking these cookies for him to bring over and I would write my messages in those cookies. Enthusiastically, I started this secret mission but … failed horribly (><) The cookies all turned out a flop (literally too!) Argh …. That really demoralized me! I haven’t tried baking these cookies anymore since then. Till now, he didn’t know about this too. Heehee ….
Don’t know what came over me that I have decided to challenge myself this again. Ideas began to flow into my head. I will add colours to the cookies, to make them looking more romantic (^-^) And since now I am not baking the cookies for him (hahahaha) the messages will only be generic ones (Just in case you guys are laughing at the mushiness of the messages!). I thought my idea to bake Valentine’s fortune cookies is an indigenous one (#^^#) but when I googled on the internet, hahaha ….. I was stunned and humbled at the beautiful cookies others have already baked and created.
One particular blog caught my attention, Sugar for the Brain. Her fortune cookies are so sweet and lovely looking! I largely adapted the recipe she has shared and modified it. Cos I have also wanted to bake rose-flavoured fortune cookies, which should suit Valentine’s Day even more. Roses and V-Day usually come in a package, don’t they? (^-^)
Yield: 10 cookies
2 large egg whites
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp rose extract
3 tbs vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
dash of salt
64g caster sugar
3 tsp water
1) Print out the messages and cut into strips. I used font size 11 and the strips 0.8-1 cm (height) and 8-10cm (length) I used normal white printing paper. I have also drawn circles on a sheet of baking paper, diameter 10cm. Leave space in between. Depending on your baking pan, you should be able to get only about 4 circles.
2) Preheat the oven at 150 degC. Line the baking paper on the large baking pan. * I used the baking paper cos I wasn’t confident in getting the uniform size for the cookies. However, the next time I bake this, I would go without the baking paper and would bake directly on a lightly greased baking pan. Or I would use my silapat mat instead.
3) Sift the flour, cornstarch and sugar together. Set aside. In a clean mixing bowl, lightly whisk the egg whites, vanilla extract, rose extract and vegetable oil together. Beat until frothy but not stuff.
4) Add in the sifted flour, cornstarch, salt, sugar and water. Beat till you get a smooth batter. The batter should not be too watery and runny, but not thick either.
5) Divide out the batter and add in your desired colour. Spoon a bit of the respective batter into a piping bag for piping the deco later. Snip a small tip at the piping bags.
6) Spoon a tablespoon of the batter onto the circles. Using the back of a metal spoon (you may use a offset spatula), spread the batter thinly to fill up the circles. *I found this part a bit challenging. It was not that easy to spread the batter evenly.
7) Pipe the patterns for the decoration onto the circles at this stage. You may use any piping ideas. This is quite similar to Royal icing piping decoration.
8) Bake the cookies for about 11 minutes (please adjust accordingly per your own oven. The original recipe states 14-15 min) or until about half an inch of the circumference has browned.
9) Remove the cookie with a flat spatula and flip over onto your palm (Be warned! It is hot!). Place the message strip in the middle and fold the cookie into half with the edge meeting. Lightly press the edge together while with the help of the rim of a bowl/mug, pull the two edges of the cookie downwards. Place the cookie in a muffin tray to allow it to stay in shape.
10) Continue with the rest of the cookies.
Notes & Reminders:
1) It is advisable to start with only 1-2 cookies at a time cos the cookies turn crispy very fast and would thus crack when you try to fold it into shape. I actually baked only 2 cookies at a time and would remove from oven one cookie first to fold it before taking the other one out. I was so apprehensive of the cookies turning crispy too fast, that I was extremely wary of the baking time. I was so nervous with the folding that I could not spare the seconds to take pictures of how I did the shaping. You may like to refer to this YouTube video.
2) The cookies are hot, so you may want to wear gloves. I didn’t cos I find gloves hindering when doing the folding. Thus my fingers ended up red from all the folding of the hot cookies (><) The process reminded me so much of my childhood days, helping my mum folding the CNY love letters which she would bake the traditional way over the charcoal.
3) I definitely need to brush my skills as the cookies did not turn out as neat as I have hoped. I need more practice! But otherwise, these cookies taste great!
To end off this post, would like to once again thank Vic for her invite. I’m submitting this post to Best Recipes for Everyone Jan & Feb 2015 Event Theme: My Homemade Cookies organized by Fion of XuanHom’s Mom and co-hosted by Victoria Bakes
Lastly, wishing all in advance, a blissful Valentine’s Day!