This recipe for homemade fortune cookies takes a little patience but is less difficult than you think.
Homemade fortune cookies has been on my bucket list for a long time. And now that I started making them, all I can think about are occasions to make them again. They’d be great for a classroom Valentine’s Day party. What about a baby shower or gender reveal party? A milestone birthday? Mister Man wants me to make them with Star Wars inspired fortunes for his birthday party.
And you know what? I can’t wait!
Homemade Fortune Cookies: Tips and Tricks
I was a little daunted by the idea of making fortune cookies because I’d heard they can be tricky to handle. And really hot. But even in my first batch, I only “ruined” two, and darn, I had to eat the evidence – that still tasted great, by the way. I quickly learned that although conventional wisdom says to use an offset spatula to spread them, those methods don’t work well for me. I tried that and it didn’t come out round. Not even close. I tried the turning the pan so it naturally spread. Nope. I tried the plastic lid cutout. Nope. The only thing that worked for me was gently using the back of my tablespoon measure to swirl it out like I would pizza sauce from the center to the edges. I was able to make a perfect circle with that method without creating uneven layers. Is it the “right” way to do it? Who knows, but it works for me, and is was a cinch, so go for it!
I also figured out – fortunately before my first batch went in the oven – that I should turn my baking sheet upside down and place the my sil pat on the “bottom” of it. This gave me a great angle to get the cookie off the sheet and keep my spatula flat to avoid ripping the cookie.
Speaking of getting the cookies off the baking sheet. I did not want to grease my baking sheet. I’d heard that parchment paper isn’t the greatest, but that sil pats aren’t ideal either. For me? My sil pat worked just fine. Using an offset spatula to slide under a corner then work through the whole cookie, keeping the spatula firmly pressed into the sil pat at all times worked like a charm. Every cookie came off, and not a one ripped.
Really. Not a one ripped. Or wrinkled into a horrible mess like those chocolate chip cookies you purposely underbaked and tried to remove from the cookie sheet before they cooled sufficiently. As delicate as homemade fortune cookies are, I had zero problems with them ripping or tearing. Don’t be afraid to ruin them as you remove them from the baking sheet.
There is zero reason to ever put the cookie down once you remove it from the sheet. Honestly. They aren’t that hot. Flip it upside down in your hand, put the fortune in, and start folding in your hand. That saves you time and prevents the fortune cookie from hardening before you can get it shaped. All those experts who tell you to put it on a cutting board, add the fortune, then fold it? Hogwash, I say!
Have everything ready to go when your homemade fortune cookies come out of the oven. I started out having my fortunes in a pile and couldn’t grasp a fortune quickly enough. I got smart by the third batch and lined up all my fortunes one by one propped on the edge of my stove. As I flipped the homemade fortune cookie into my hand, I could easily grab a fortune with my other hand and not miss a beat.
Patience is key. Could I fit six cookies onto a sheet at a time? Absolutely. Can I remove and form six fortune cookies before they harden? Nope. I can do four without a problem. Five is pushing it, but I can do it, especially when it’s warmer and my house isn’t 61 degrees in the daytime. When I started I did two at a time, then three. Figuring out your comfort zone and getting into the rhythm of forming your homemade fortune cookies is critical. Don’t make too many at once.
Actually Making Homemade Fortune Cookies
Oh, and the recipe and steps and such. Details.
The batter itself comes together quickly. I’m of the mindset that if I’m going to take the time to make homemade fortune cookies, I’m not going to make 6. Or 10. I want to make homemade fortune cookies. This recipe makes about 36 cookies using a one tablespoon measure for each cookie, just the right amount for a party. You can adjust it to make fewer cookies, as well.
To start, preheat your oven to 375 degrees. In a mixing bowl, add the egg whites, almond extract, vanilla, and water. Mix until fluffy but not whipped. Add the flour, sugar, and salt and mix until thoroughly combined. It should be fairly thin and runny, more so than cupcake batter. If it is too thick, add another teaspoon of water and mix again until you get the right consistency.
Turn your baking sheet upside down and place a sil pat or piece of parchment paper over it. Use a tablespoon measure to drop the batter onto your sil pat. With the back of the measuring spoon, gently swirl it from the center, pushing out to the edges to create a 4 inch diameter circle. Repeat up to four total times per sheet, but start with two at a time.
Bake in your 375 degree oven for 9 minutes, until the edges of the cookie are turning golden.
Remove from the oven and place the next batch in. Immediately use your offset spatula to run under the cookie to release it.
Flip the cookie upside down into your hand and add the fortune to the middle. Fold it up with the center edges coming together almost like a taco.
Place the bottom that was in your palm onto the rim of a glass and gently slide your fingers along the seam starting at the center where you brought everything together so that it folds down over the edge of the glass.
Remove from the glass and place into a muffin tin, which will help the cookie retain its shape until it has fully cooled. Repeat with the remaining cookies as quickly as possible. They will be completely hardened in under a minute.
Continue baking and folding until all the batter is depleted. If you choose, melt chocolate and dip the ends in to make them even fancier – pink chocolate for a classroom Valentine’s Day party would be gorgeous!
Store in an airtight container for 4-5 days a most.
Making homemade fortune cookies is easier than you thought and can be a lot of fun, too. It takes a little patience, but it is well worth the effort!
- 5 egg whites
- 4 T water
- 3/4 t vanilla extract
- 1/2 t almond extract
- 1/4 t salt
- 1 c sugar
- 1 c flour
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Mix together egg whites, water, vanilla, and almond extract until fluffy but not whipped. Add salt, sugar, and flour and stir until incorporated.
- Prepare a baking sheet by turning it upside down and placing a sil pat or piece of parchment paper atop the "bottom" of the sheet. Pour 1 tablespoon of batter onto the baking sheet and gently use the back of the measuring spoon to swirl from the center and push outward to form a 4 inch circle. Add up to 4 total cookies per batch.
- Bake for 9 minutes at 375 degrees until the edges of the cookies are just turning golden.
- Remove from the oven and add the next batch. Immediately slide an offset spatula under a cookie to release it. Flip it upside down in your hand and add the fortune to the center. Bring the edges together like a taco shell.
- Place the rounded bottom onto the edge of a glass. Gently use your fingers along the seam you created to push down and fold the fortune cookie over the glass rim to shape it. Please into a muffin tin to retain the shape until the cookie cools.
- Repeat with the remaining baked cookies. All will harden in under a minute.
- Store in an airtight container on the counter for 4-5 days, max.
Have you ever made homemade fortune cookies? What are your tips and tricks?