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Top 9 Tips on How to Make Fortune Cookies

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Fortune cookies are a lot of fun to make - its great writing up your own customized fortunes to put inside the cookie. Besides, homemade fortune cookies always taste better than store bought! The only drawback is that the basic recipe is not very forgiving – deviate from it a bit, and you may wind up with cookies that are impossible to fold and shape without breaking. These basic tips will help you learn how to make fortune cookies. Read them over, and then try this basic fortune cookie recipe.

1. Make Up the Fortunes Ahead of Time

This will give you more time to compose the messages. The strips of paper used should be 3 to 3 1/2 inches long and no more than 1/2-inch wide.

2. Use Cold Baking Sheets

Fortune cookies tend to turn out best when you start with a cold (and greased) baking sheet. Since most recipes make more cookies than can be placed on one 9 X 13-inch baking sheet (the cookies spread out during baking), it’s best to use two baking sheets. That way, you don’t need to wait for the sheet to cool down before baking the next batch of cookies.

3. Cookie Size: Larger is Better

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 (3 1/2 - 4-inch) 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 4-inch cookie.

4. Tilt the Baking Sheet to Spread the Batter

The key to making fortune cookies is a batter that is evenly spread out on the baking sheet. This can be difficult to accomplish with a wooden spoon, since the batter tends to stick to the spoon. Carefully tilting the baking sheet in all directions gives better results.

5. Start By Making Only One or Two Cookies

The instant the cookies are removed from the oven, the race begins: you have twenty seconds at most to add the fortunes, fold the cookies in half and then shape them into the standard fortune cookie shape. It’s best to start with one or two cookies – that way, you’re not feeling pressured.

6. How to Tell When the Cookies are Done

The cookies are done when approximately 1/2 inch of the outside is golden and they are easy to lift with a spatula. The middle part of the cookie remains quite light in color.

7. Wear Close Fitting Cotton Gloves

You need to work with the cookies when they first come out of the oven and are still very hot - wearing cotton gloves makes this easier.

8. Be Prepared to Work Quickly

As noted above, you only have up to twenty seconds to work with the baked cookies before they cool down and stiffen too much to be workable.

9. How to Fold and Shape the Cookies

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.

Fortune cookie cooking tips © copyright 2005 by Rhonda Parkinson, licensed to About.com, Inc.
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