Cinnamon hearts? Basic. Chalky sweetheart candies? Whatevs. Roses? Keep your plant reproductive organs outta my face, thanks. Box of Chocolates? …Well, alright, let’s not shit on a classic, but I think we can all agree that Valentine’s Day needs some new goodies fed into regular rotation.
Look no further then the new edible kid in town – Geeky Valentine Fortune Cookies! Learn to make your own version of this
classic Chinese cookie San Francisco treat and save yourself from having to down an entire serving of Kung Pao Chicken to get your mitts on one.
While this recipe uses both vanilla and almond flavouring to get the taste you’re expecting from a fortune cookie, feel free to mix up your colours and flavours – blue dye and raspberry flavouring for a blue raspberry fortune cookie, or no colouring with butter and cream soda flavouring for a butterbeer fortune cookie… endless possibilities, people!
Geeky Valentine Fortune Cookies
Makes 18-20 cookies that think they’re soooo clever…
- 2 large egg whites
- 1/2 teaspoon butter flavor
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3 teaspoons water
- Preheat oven to 300 F.
- While you’re waiting for it to heat up, cut yourself some strips of paper to write your fortunes on. They can be as wide as they need to be to fit your message, (you can fold the long ones), and shouldn’t be much taller than 1/2 inch. Commune with St. Kissy-Face and channel some love and wit into your fortunes, writing them onto your cut paper strips with a pen or pencil.
- In a medium bowl, beat the egg white, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, almond extract (or equal parts of other flavourings if you like,) until frothy, but not stiff. No meringues here people, just mix it up by hand with a whisk until you see a good amount of bubbles.
- Mix flour, cornstarch, salt and sugar together into a separate bowl. Create a well in the dry ingredients to pour the liquid into.
- Pour the water and egg white mixture into the middle of the dry ingredients, and stir until the batter is smooth and shiny with no lumps. it will take a little elbow grease – use a whisk and keep at it until it’s good to go. Make sure to get up all the flour at the bottom of the bowl.
- Dye it up! Using a gel dye (not a liquid dye), add colour one little blob at a time. Start with a small amount and add more as needed, stirring well between each addition. For this task, I use a spatula and press out any “colour pockets” against the side of the bowl as I encounter them.
- Add batter to a piping bag, and tie the end off with an elastic. You can also use a ziplock bag or just spoon out the batter if you don’t have a piping bag on hand.
- Pipe or spoon about 1 and a 1/2 tablespoons worth of batter onto a piece of waxed paper or a silicone baking mat, sitting on a cookie sheet. Start with only 2 cookies, well spaced out on the pan, until you get used to folding them. 4 at a time can work if you’ve roped a friend or family member into helping fold piping hot cookies with you.
- Using the back of a spoon or a small offset spatula, spread the batter out into a circle that is about 3.5 to 4 inches wide. Batter should be very thin, but not so thin that there are breaks in the batter that you can see the waxed paper / baking mat through.
Skill Check: For evenly sized circles, use a sharpie and trace a circle onto the opposite side of your waxed paper using a drinking glass, mug or bowl close in size to 3.5 – 4 inches”. This will serve as a guide to spread your batter out. If you are using a silicone mat, place the marked waxed paper under the mat and you will still be able to see your guide through the silicone.
- Bake until the edges of the cookie start to visibly brown, about 8-10 minutes. Time will vary per oven, and it will likely take some ‘test cookies’ to determine the perfect timing for your oven. You’re aiming for a cookie that you can fold without breaking, but that hardens completely once folded and cooled. Try a few until you get the timing down and just and taste-test the duds.
Skill Check: If you start seeing bubbles appearing in your cookies while they’re baking – don’t worry! You can press them out with the back of your lifter when you take them out of the oven and they’ll quickly deflate.
- While cookies are in the oven, don a stylish pair of gloves – something thin enough to handle the cookies, but thick enough to save you from the heat, as you’ll need to handle the cookie while it is still warm. I used a pair of thin gardening gloves.
- Set up for cookie stuffing: Set a muffin or cupcake tin nearby – we’ll use it to sit the cookies in to help keep their shape. Prepare your fortunes by placing them at the edge of a table so they are easy to grab. (Did I mention you’ll need to move quick? I’m talking Naruto jutsu moves quick, as soon as these babies come out of the oven.)
- The moment your cookies come out of the oven, it’s time to fold. Working as fast as you can, lift the cookie with a thin spatula or cookie lifter and flip it over onto your hand so the bottom is facing up. Place a fortune in the middle of a cookie, then fold the cookie in half, pinching and holding it by the top or side edges, and not pinching the bottom / middle of the cookie together – that bit should stay rounded.
- Sit the cookie on the rim on a glass and pull the edges down so the cookie folds in the middle. If the cookie breaks at this stage, you were either not quick enough, or the baking time was a bit too long. No problem – eat that tasty dud cookie and try again! If it resembles a fortune cookie shape, then set it into the muffin tin to help it hold its shape while it dries, (which will take it about 30 seconds.)
Cookies will store in a cool, dry place for up to 2 weeks. Don’t put them in the fridge or an airtight container, as this will cause them to start to soften. I like grabbing a few take-out style boxes from my local Michaels Craft Store or Amazon to package them up for my special sweetie. (Who I’m married to, so technically I own half of that box of cookies by law, so it’s OK if I eat half the box before it makes it to him, I’ve decided.)
I’ll just crack one of these babies open, aaaaaand…. Oh…
Need more sweets for your Geeky Valentine? For a tutorial on how to make the UnValentine cookies below, as well as other seasonal goodies, check out my book, Geek Sweets: An Adventurer’s Guide to Baking Wizardry – on sale online and in stores now, foo!