Fortune cookies

Surprisingly easy to make, fortune cookies are a tasty and lighter way to end a meal rather than with heavy petit fours. Also, there is a lot of fun to be had making up silly saying. Mine included such great sayings as –

‘Never admit defeat. Unless failure arouses the cute girl in accounts’
‘You have been googled recently’
‘Only the faithless wife hears the hippos cough’

I do love a good African saying. It makes no sense to those of us in Europe but sounds rather intimidating.

You have to work pretty fast but they are very satisfying to make. I have been warned about deviating from the recipe but I did so without issue (substituted cinnamon for ginger due to my stupid allergy)

 The strips of paper used should be 3 to 3 1/2 inches long and no more than 1/2-inch wide. Make them before you start the mixture.
Many fortune cookie recipes call for making a 3-inch cookie. A cookie this size is more difficult to work with and fold than a slightly larger (10 cm) cookie. Another plus is that the larger cookie fits snugly into the cup of a muffin tin. This saves you from having to hold the cookie for several seconds after folding, to make sure it keeps its shape. My own preference is to use one level tablespoon of batter to make a 10 cm cookie.
The technique is as follows.
Draw 10cm circles on baking sheet, 1 table spoon of batter (recipe below) and smooth it out thinly. Bake for 8 mins or so until just going brown at edges.
Remove the cookie from the baking sheet with a spatula and flip it over in your hand. Lay the fortune in the middle of the cookie, and hold it there while folding the cookie in half.

Still holding the the folded cookie in both hands, between your thumb and index fingers, pull the ends down over the rim of a glass or a muffin tin, or the handle of a wooden spoon, until the ends meet. The opened side of the fortune cookie should be facing upward, towards you.

  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tea spoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 8 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 teaspoons water


1. Write fortunes on pieces of paper that are 3 1/2 inches long and 1/2 inch wide. Preheat oven to 180C .

2. In a medium bowl, lightly beat the egg white, vanilla extract, almond extract and vegetable oil until frothy, but not stiff.

3. Sift the flour, cornstarch, salt and sugar into a separate bowl. Stir the water into the flour mixture.

4. Add the flour into the egg white mixture and stir until you have a smooth batter. The batter should not be runny, but should drop easily off a wooden spoon.

Note: if you want to dye the fortune cookies, add the food coloring at this point, stirring it into the batter. This looking utterly minging and I don’t recommend it.