The Rundown on Chinese Fortune Cookies
If you have been to a Chinese restaurant at least once in your life, then I can assume that you have seen or eaten a fortune cookie. It is a cookie that’s made from sugar, flour, vanilla, and sesame oil.
Of course, what makes fortune cookies different from other cookies such as chocolate cookies is that a piece of paper inside which usually contains a Chinese phrase. In some occasions, the paper even contains lucky numbers that you might want to bet on in the next lottery.
Many people don’t realize that Chinese fortune cookies aren’t exactly a creation of the people of China. It’s just that these cookies are traditionally served in Chinese restaurants in the Western world that we have associated them with the Asian country.
Continue reading as I focus on these sweet treats. And before I end, I will teach you how to bake your own Chinese fortune cookies. This is a good ideas for every party. Your kids, family members or your friends will love it.
History of Chinese Fortune Cookies
While the Chinese aren’t exactly the inventors of these cookies, another Asian country is believed to be the place where fortune cookies were first made.
As early as the 19th century, a cookie that is very similar to the fortune cookie we know today was already being sold in Kyoto, Japan. These were called tsujiura senbei. However, that cookie is different from the Chinese fortune cookies in different ways.
One, the tsujiura senbei was a bit larger than the Chinese fortune cookies today. The Japanese cookie was also made of darker dough with the batter containing sesame and miso instead of vanilla and butter.
But those Japanese cookies also had a small piece of paper sandwiched into the bend of the cookie.
The tsujiura senbei is still sold in some places in Japan.
There are numerous claims regarding the invention of the Chinese fortune cookie. A Japanese man by the name of Makoto Hagiwara who worked for a Japanese restaurant in San Francisco is said to have served the first Chinese fortune cookie. He reported having done so during the turn of the 20th century.
Interesting Fortune Cookie Facts
Today, there are more than 3 billion fortune cookies made every year around the world. Yes, this simple cookie has become so big that the largest maker in the world, Wonton Food Inc., makes more than 4.5 million fortune cookies every year.
The same company has its fortune cookie writer. At first, their vice president, Donald Lau, was in charge of writing the cookie’s fortunes. But he developed writer’s block in 1995 after years of writing cookie fortunes. Soon, the company hired another individual for this specific role.
How many fortunes do you think the company has? According to the firm, it has a database of more than 15,000 fortunes.
Some of these fortunes have been reported to have won the lottery. But most of the cookies don’t make sense at all because these were directly translated from Chinese proverbs.
How to Make Your Own Chinese Fortune Cookies
This recipe that I would be sharing with you can make up to six servings. You will realize that you don’t need a lot of ingredients in making this food. If you like baking, this recipe is also a good solution to use the rest egg white from different cake recipes.
- One egg white
- One pinch of salt
- 1/8 teaspoon of vanilla extra
- Quarter cup of white sugar
- Quarter cup of all-purpose flour
Step by step guide:
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Put butter on a cookie sheet.
- Write the fortunes on a strip of paper around 4 inches long and about half an inch wide. Generously grease two cookie sheets.
- Mix the vanilla and egg white. Stir well until you get a foamy mixture. Sift the salt, flour, and sugar and blend this into the egg white mixture.
- Put a teaspoonful of batter at least four inches apart on the cookie sheets. Tilt the sheet so that the batter would form into round shapes around 3 inches in diameter.
Tip: Don’t make too many as the cookie needs to be really hot so that it can be formed. I suggest you start with two to three cookies in a sheet and then determine how many you can do.
- Bake for 5 minutes. You’ll know that the cookie is done when it has turned golden in color. The center will remain, pale though. Prepare the other sheet while one sheet is baking.
- Remove the cookie from the oven then transfer it upside down on a board using a spatula. Immediately put the fortune on the cookie, close it to the middle and fold it in half.
Put the folded edge across the lip of a measuring cup. Pull its pointed edges down with one on the outside of the cup and one on the inside. Transfer the folded cookies into cups of an egg carton to hold the shape of the cookies, until they get firm.
Chinese fortune cookies have an interesting backstory. While it is said that the Japanese were the ones who invented the food, it cannot be denied that this dessert has been associated with the Chinese. It’s a sweet treat served in most Chinese restos.
Chinese fortune cookies are relatively easy to bake. Try the recipe I had just share. And don’t forget to come up with really crazy fortunes to make your Chinese fortune cookies a bigger hit at home!
This is a guest post written by Susan Conley from the blog cookthestone.com