Monday, May 04, 2009

Making Vegan Fortune Cookies: A Tutorial!

Last weekend was Musty's 40th birthday (woot!) He doesn't really like stuff, but he loves food, so I decided to make him a big batch of personalized fortune cookies. I did some searching around and found a recipe on about.com. I tweaked it a bit, veganized it, and began experimenting. Let me say that making fortune cookies is a bit of a challenge!


For this post, I present you with the recipe I used, a photo tutorial, and a *bonus* video tutorial!


First, get your fortunes ready. I used a combination of old standards ("You will attend a party where strange customs prevail") to personalized ones.


Now mix up the batter. It should be pretty thin, as you can see.


Pour the batter onto the cookie sheet. Use 1 Tbsp per cookie. Don't try to make more than 2 cookies at a time, or it will only end in heartbreak. I tried many different things here: tilting the cookie sheet every which way to spread the batter, using a spatula, using my fingers (what the heck, they were for my boyfriend!)... I finally settled on the spatula. Also, I tried using a heavily greased cookie sheet (no good), natural parchment paper (no good), and in the end found no big difference between using my silpat (silicone baking sheet), traditional parchment paper, or a lightly greased cookie sheet. (Hint: in the video tutorial, I put in a batch using one method and take out a batch using a different method! Incongruity error!)

Now cook 'em for about 14 minutes. They should be golden around the edges.


Quickly remove them from the oven and use a firm spatula to loosen them from the cookie sheet.


Flip it over in your hand, and lay a fortune down in the cookie.


Fold it in half like a taco!


Pinch the corners and bend it over the edge of a bowl or mug.

Then lay it in a muffin tin or mug so that it can harden without springing back open. Quick, do the other one!


Here you see them all resting in the muffin tin. I think I made about 20-25 in all. It was project, but lots of fun!



Here is a little video I made. Special shout out to my mom who did the masterful camera work!


Here's my version of the recipe:

Ingredients
  • 3 tsp EnerG Egg Replacer + 1/4 c warm water, whisked together
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 6-8 teaspoons water
  • 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
First, get your fortunes ready - either type or write on pieces of paper about 3 inches long and 1/2 inch wide. Preheat oven to 300 F. Get your baking sheet ready. Either lightly grease it, or use a silpat, or traditional parchment paper. If using parchment paper, you will need a fresh piece for each batch.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg replacer, vanilla extract, almond extract, vegetable oil until frothy. Add in the water.

Sift the flour, cornstarch, salt and sugar into a separate bowl.

Combine the wet and dry mixtures and stir until you have a smooth batter. The batter should be on the runny side.

Pour 2 level tablespoons of batter onto the cookie sheet, spacing them at least 3 inches apart. Gently tilt the baking sheet back and forth and from side to side so that each tablespoon of batter forms into a circle 4 inches in diameter.

Bake until the outer 1/2-inch of each cookie turns golden brown and they are easy to remove from the baking sheet with a spatula (14 - 15 minutes). Use a firm spatula and act fast. You may need to "scrape" them off a bit... just keep at it!

Working quickly, remove the cookie with a spatula and flip it over in your hand. Place a fortune in the middle of a cookie. To form the fortune cookie shape, fold the cookie in half, then gently pull the edges downward over the rim of a glass, wooden spoon or the edge of a muffin tin. Place the finished cookie in the cup of the muffin tin so that it keeps its shape. Do the other one.

If you are inspired to give it a try, please let me know if you develop any useful tricks or insights!

37 comments:

  1. Amey you are so cute! I love the tutorial. :)

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  2. amey, you're awesome! what a super cool and inspired idea.

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  3. those could make a nice gift n_n

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  4. I want to try! I am unsure if I have the egg replacer, but I wonder if a flax egg will work!

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  5. That's so fun! YAY!

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  6. I love the "giant poop" fortune! And the video is very helpful. Someday, I hope to have the patience (and the time) to give this a try.

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  7. Okay, so I just made these and the flax egg did not work at all! I went out and bought the egg replacer and it worked beautifully!!! I am so excited by these.

    Thank you for the recipe!!

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  8. aw, amey!
    you video brought tears to my eyes. i loved it. but the best was the gang at the end. cooOOOookies!!
    xo
    kittee

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  9. wow--how fantastic! i remember visiting a fortune cookie factory in san francisco's chinatown and was totally amazed at how quickly they could make these things...yours look so beautiful!

    thanks for the recipe!!

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  10. ahh they're gorgeous - great idea!!

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  11. Just amazing, Amey--these look spectacular!

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  12. I'm not a sissy, I can handle it! That being said, giiiirl, these are way too hard to make for the June potluck. Seriously.
    Also, the dogs & kitty session were too cute! My cats would never eat these!

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  13. WOW, great idea. I'm already thinking about the messages I would put inside. Thank you!

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  14. Great job, Amey! This reminds me of the cookie baskets I made a long time ago. I burned my hands and was very patient making 3 or 4 cookies at a time. I think I'm ready to try fortune cookies.

    Your pet family is so cute!

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  15. Wow! Those look awesome! :-)

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  16. And happy birthday to Musty!

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  17. So freakin amazing! I want to try these when I have spare time to bake! :-) Love the positivity! :-D

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  18. The video is awesome Amey! I love it and all the promised fortune for the fur balls! And, your kitchen looks so lovely and full of light.

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  19. Man, do these cookies look perfect or what! And your instructions are so thorough... I'm definitely making some of these the first chance I get!

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  20. I bet these are so much better than the cardboard-like variety that I remember! I'd love to make some and put in funny fortunes :)

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  21. Hi Amey! I loved your video. I actually made fortune cookies last year. It was challenging but fun. It was so fun to see you and the furries in the video. I miss you! Lots of love, Carey

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  22. What a great idea! Thank you for this.

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  23. i was thinking about the same thing, making the cookies. great job girl!

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  24. I can't wait to surprise my son with these. He misses eating fortune cookies

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  25. Anonymous11:19 AM

    This is so cool!! Love the video, too. And happy birthday to Musty!

    jen e.

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  26. I've always wanted to make my own fortune cookies. Thanks for the tutorial, they look great!

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  27. That's so cool that you made your own fortune cookies! They look perfect! (I am amused at the "you will have a giant poop" fortune you made)

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  28. Love the video!! I wish I was getting cracked fortune cookies fed to me!

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  29. I love those! And, I really really hope the fortune about Lost comes true! ;=)

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  30. Hello, I thought that was a great tutorial, I am going to try making these tonight. thanks
    -ayida

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  31. I tried this recipe and followed it to the T, but my cookies somehow were cracking/ tearing in the middle, when I tried to fold them, and the middle portion stayed soft, and didn't harden like the sides...
    Any idea what might have gone wrong?

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  32. hey esha!
    I'm sorry they didn't work out. I did get quite a few cracked ones, which were duds, but the majority turned out okay for me. All I can think is that maybe somehow your dough was more moist than mine? Probably it has to do with annoying little differences between our two batters, oven temperatures and even baking sheets... I'm bummed they didn't work for you. :( Wish it had turned out better!

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  33. Anonymous9:14 AM

    I'm planning to try this tonight. Since I have so little time, though, I might try to make a few giant fortune cookies instead of a bunch of small ones. Thanks for sharing your experience! :)

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  34. Anonymous6:53 AM

    do you need to use the almond extract (food allergies)?

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  35. Anonymous7:14 PM

    I'm am dogged that I am making these for a party for my parent's 60th. One batch tried so far. My batter was much runnier! Did you put in 6 or the 8 teaspoons of water?? I put in 8, I'll try 6 next time.

    I used a 4" round plastic container on top of the dough to try to get it circular. I'm having trouble with it running and expanding. Using the containers seems to help set the edges even with straight pouring winding up being the same size before going in the oven. I'm thinking of using an auto clamp (for a hose) that I can set to width, then put in the oven for first few mins to force the size.

    I tried using 1 1/2 tablespoons and that worked once, and didn't the next time. Instead the key seems to be cooking to exactly the right cooking. The edges browned, but not by much. Otherwise they turn into mush or tear and even after they've sat, are just gummy. I'm worried that the ones I did are gummy in the middle, even though the edges are toasty. Maybe if I get the batter thicker, so it's all even thickness from middle to edges??

    Also I have to try a thinner bowl edge. When I went thicker it definitely wasn't as good.

    I don't think these taste that much like the restaurant ones. Not sure what would be different, considering the ingredient list is similar (most don't have eggs). Maybe I'll use margarine instead of some of the canola oil?? What do you think? I thought I'd try toasted sesame oil for some of the oil in one batch.

    Big question - how long do they stay fresh? I have nearly 3 weeks before we even start eating them. I've got them in a plastic bag.

    This is quite entertaining, but I don't have the process downpat yet. Thanks for the video and instructions. I wouldn't have tried this without them!

    Anonymous - I'm sure you can just use a 2nd teas of vanilla to replace the almond extract. Or any other flavor substitute.

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  36. Anonymous11:35 PM

    Well, I got toasted sesame oil unrefined and used 1 Tablesp and 1 Table of a refined almond oil. Used boiling water in the egg replacer. When cooking it's bubbly so it's not that nice a finish when done. I'd added no water. So I added 3-4 t water, but also same amount of flour. It could use even a little more flour. Once smooth while cooking, it's much easier to get them off the tray and folded without many broken ones. Has more taste but less with the flour and water. I also added 1/2t caramel flavoring by watkins, and took out 1 teas sugar.

    I also tried a batch with 2T earth balance margarine and 1T sesame oil. That messes with the amount of water because the marg has water and oil doesn't. So for every T of marg, it's 2/3 t more water, so you have to add 2/3 t of another oil, and not use 2/3 t water. I'd give the amounts that worked, but it didn't and I wound up adjusting as I went along. When it's the right amount, they cook round, come up easily, and fold without breaking. But that point was so hard to fine...!!!

    It's so hot. Wondering if silicone gloves would help. Maybe will try that bandaid trick. Found if I flipped it onto a small plate, it's still be foldable but much cooler quickly.

    I never heard of a slipat. What a great tool. They cooked just fine on my teflon baking sheet with earth balance greasing, and more quickly. But the slipat is even smoother and more secure that they'll come off. I used a spatchla with no holes (smooth surface completely).

    Another trick was putting one onto the tray, then waiting for it to cook a little before adding a 2nd one. It didn't seem to hurt the cookies at all to be taken out of the oven, then put back in once the currently done one was taken off the tray.

    I tried all sorts of ways to smooth down the dough on the tray. Mostly using the back of my 1Table plastic meas spoon that's smooth and rounded, worked the most easily.

    I've got about 30 done. I'm looking forward to giving them! Thanks for posting this!!!

    Without it, I couldn't have done this. I tried a couple other recipes from the internet, after trying this one. They weren't even close to working once I adjusted for removing eggs. This gave me a working base to play with (such as changing oils.)

    How in the world did you come up with this recipe? I couldn't even come close, after looking at other ones out there to inventing something like this.

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