‘Happy Chinese New Year’

I know it’s a little late, but I hope everyone is still in the new year spirit 🙂

Ig and I had dinner at a friend’s house on Chinese New Year’s eve. It was a good day; the weather was very pleasant, good companion and abundant of great foods :). I am not confident enough with my Chinese food cooking as I rarely cook Chinese food, so I didn’t cook anything special to bring over, but I made an effort to make some baked sago pudding (I will put it in my blog later) and also fortune cookies 😀

Fortune cookie is usually served as a dessert in Chinese restaurants. The cookie itself is a simple crisp sweet cookie made from flour, egg whites, sugar, vanilla and oil. Inside the cookie, there lies the ‘fortune’. A fortune, in this case, is a piece of paper with words of wisdom.

Even though they are available in Chinese restaurants, I actually never have them when dining out. But I thought it would be fun to have them on the Chinese NYE.
You can have fun customising the messages for the fortune. For me, I prefer to get the words from a ‘trusted source’; like in this fortune cookies message web site. I selected the good ones and then printed them out on a paper. I cut them into about 0.8cm x 10cm paper strips.

I found many websites/ blogs with fortune cookies recipe. I chose this particular one because of the photos in the blog. Then I found out that the chef is actually from Dublin (and not a Chinese) :D. I stick with the recipe anyway and found it is indeed very easy to make fortune cookies. I thought it’s actually more fun to make them than to eat them 😛
Donal mentioned the recipe makes 20 fortune cookies, but I could make around 30 of them. You need to make them in batches, as you need to shape the cookies quickly before they become hard and crispy. The first batch I made was too thick and this made the cookies chewy and not crispy. I had to spread the cookie mixture more thinly; and the thinner the discs, the faster you need to shape the cookie as they hardened more quickly. If the cookie discs are hardened, you can put them back to the oven so they will soften again. For me, 3 cookies are the maximum number I can manage per batch. It is not difficult to make, but it is indeed time consuming because you have to do it in many batches.

Fortune cookies

(recipe from ‘The Good Mood Food blog’ by Donal Skehan)

(makes 20-30)

  • 4 large egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons oil
  • 175 gr of all purpose white flour
  • 300 gr of granulated sugar
  • 1½ teaspoon cornflour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6 teaspoons water

Step 1. Prepare your own customised fortunes on little strips of paper and set aside.

Step 2. Preheat the oven to 150˚C and grease a wide baking sheet on a baking tray. Using a whisk, beat the egg whites in a large bowl with the oil and vanilla extract. Beat them until they become thick, but not stiff. Sieve in the flour and cornflour. Add the sugar, salt and water and mix through the egg whites. Combine thoroughly until the mixture has no lumps.

Cookie mixture

Step 3. Place 3 level tablespoon of the mix evenly spaced on the baking sheet (I found 3 is the maximum at a time for my pace). Distribute the mix evenly with the back of a teaspoon until you get a nice wide disc around 10cm in diameter.

Spread the mixture into 10cm-diameter discs

Step 4. Bake in the oven for around 10 minutes, or until the cookies go a light golden brown colour around the edges. Working quickly- remove one disc from the baking sheet, place the fortune in the center and gently fold in half. Bend the two ends of the disc over the rim of a glass and hold in position for 20 seconds until it cools.
Repeat the process until you get through all the cookie mix.

Shaping the cookies

On the night, I had one cookie and got the fortune ‘If you want the rainbow, then you have to tolerate the rain.’