This post is later than the usual Sunday due to reasons you probably have experienced. Yes, the usual 5 consecutive exams, 3 hour memory-based biology exams, studying 8 hours a day, that sort of thing.
Nevertheless, each exam passing by is like a stone weight lifted off my chest. I have been rising and rising in so much happiness and excitement for the summer, it is like I will float.
Also, here’s my update of summer work and plans for this blog. If you don’t really care for schedules, scroll on to past the horizontal line!
This summer will have some huge changes on the blog. I’ll be posting food travel journals as I hike through the mountains of Taiwan, work in Hualien, amble through cities and visit seas. Taiwan is food heaven, and everyone there is pretty food obsessed. People casually line up for hours to eat something delicious or trending, and share often with their friends and family. I really hope to capture parts of Taiwan for you – the stories of people, the passions for food (and recipes!) and the vibrant culture. It is beautiful and friendly, loving and warm.
I’m back in Toronto in July, then gone for another month in Trois-Pistoles for a French immersion program. I’m envisioning updates of Quebec city (we’ll be visiting), poutine and lots of natural scenery and hiking. I’m not sure if we are allowed to cook in host home families, but I hope so – and if I can, upload some genuine Quebecois recipes!
Now, to the cookies.
I’ve got a story today. It’s about how the Universe spoke to me. For one, it hailed today – I’d like to note it is nearing the end of April. What does this mean? It means I ate (fake) ice cream, that’s what. Come on, Toronto. When will spring come? Will I even see summer before I leave?
Besides that, the Universe also spoke to me when I made fortune cookies. And such follows my tale with the hot, daunting fortune cookies.
I made these fortune cookies with my friend Cat, and they were – in total honesty – very strange. Confused, I tried again with a bit less butter, and they worked out well. Be sure to bake them in the oven for the right time; too short, and it will taste moist (which was how my first batch turned out, and my friends at school suffered eating that test batch). If you bake the cookies too long, it will be too hard to bend and shape. It takes a bit of practice, but I’d say only 10 fortune cookies will be wonky out of the batch of 36-48. I had to move so fast I couldn’t take any pictures, so I found sourced images online for how to shape them.
The best advice I can give to you is, “Do not give up!” When we made our first batches, they looked like this…
But if you zoom in on the big fortune cookie that isn’t folded (it was baked too long and couldn’t be shaped), here’s what it says.
Makes 36-48 cookies
Adapted very lightly from Joanne’s recipe
3 large egg whites
3/4 cup sugar
scant 1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp water
1 cup all purpose flour (5 oz)
Prepare the fortune strips.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone mat, and have a cupcake pan and your fortunes ready.
With a hand mixer, whip the egg whites and sugar on high speed for 2 minutes or until frothy.
Whip in the melted butter, vanilla extract, and water until combined.
Add in the flour and mix just until the flour disappears; you do not want to over mix this.
With a tablespoon, spoon the batter onto the parchment paper and spread it out into a thin and even 3 inch circle. Try making one cookie at a time first, then starting building up to 2-3 at a time. They harden very quickly, and it is very difficult to do more than that. I strongly recommend making these in a small toaster oven.
TIP: when you spread these, put a little batter on the corners of the parchment so it won’t move around.
Bake cookies for 7-8 minutes, until the edges brown slightly. Joanne notes, “If you let them brown too much, they will snap when you shape them. Conversely, if they don’t brown a little bit, they will also break (but tear, rather than snapping).”
When the cookies are done, remove them from the oven and quickly flip the circle over, place your fortune in the cookie and then fold your cookie in half (into a semi-circle).
Press your cookie against the rim of a cup, or simply push the edges of the semicircle down to form the fortune cookie shape.
They will be very hot, so I recommend using an oven mitt on one hand and bare hands with the other to shape the cookies, alternating hands every 4-6 cookies.
Place the cookies in a muffin tin so they’ll hold its shape.