I’m still in the recovery stage from last month’s holiday when another is in the offing. No, I’m not talking St. Valentine’s Day -- I haven’t even begun to think about that -- I’m talking Chinese New Year. Don’t celebrate? Well, honestly, neither do I, but I’m all for any excuse to eat Chinese food, even when it’s more American than Chinese.
I’m talking about the dessert aspect of the meal, specifically the fortune cookie. I turned to Martha Stewart for this recipe featured in Martha Stewart's Cookies: The Very Best Treats to Bake and to Share (Martha Stewart Living Magazine).
If you have this book (and if you don’t, buy it!), a word of warning about the recipe -- the taste was wonderful (even though I used light instead of heavy cream), and the batter is very easy to work with, BUT the directions were not good at all.
Martha suggests folding the cookie in half, pinching it closed, and then putting your two index fingers into either end and sliding your thumbs toward the middle. What?! No! That is a lot of work for nothing, and time is of the essence here, you only have 10 seconds before the cookie hardens. The best way to make a fortune cookie is to indeed fold it in half, but then just bend it over a glass. You can see how beautifully mine came out in doing so.
Also, she suggested greasing a cookie sheet. Again, no. Use a Silpat Non-Stick Silicone Baking Liner, 11.75-Inch by 8.25-Inch, it is much easier to get the cookie off of it than a greased sheet. I tried the greased sheet, parchment paper, and a Silpat, and the later worked the best, the parchment second best, and the greased sheet not well at all.
She also doesn't mention something that will definitely determine a pretty cookie and that is that when you take the cookie off of the sheet and put it onto your clean kitchen towel, flip it over. With her instructions, the rough bottom of the cookie becomes the exterior; with my suggestion the smooth side becomes the exterior.
The cooking time is also wrong. Her suggestion of 8 minutes (turning the pan at four) yields a dark, overdone cookie. I found that 6 minutes worked out perfectly. You need to test this with your own oven, but this worked best for me.
Making these small changes will help in making these fun cookies. It takes practice, so plan on trashing the first three or so, but after that you'll be a whiz, will have fun doing it, and will dazzle your friends!
|Awk! The first one. Obviously something went SERIOUSLY wrong.|
|My second try. Not as horribly awful as the first one, but still not what it should be.|
This post is linked to: