Sunday, April 7, 2013

Lemon Blackberry Swirl Fortune Cookies

     Fortune cookies are iconic of Chinese restaurants.  Who hasn't broken open one of those golden, crispy cookies with a unique prediction inside?  The experience of opening one was thrilling to me when I was younger.  It was like confronting a real fortune teller.  Wondering at how they got the fortune into the cookie made it even more magical.

     Honestly though, the magic goes away once you make fortune cookies yourself at home.  It's like learning that Santa Clause isn't real or the Easter bunny is really your dad.  The plus is that you get fun and delicious message-carriers with fortunes that actually make sense.

     And with prom coming up, it seems everyone needs a message-carrier, right?  I'm not going to prom (I'm a Freshman) but I do have a prom story to share.

The perfect carrying device.
     My sister, Jessi, is asking her boyfriend to prom (ssh, it's a secret).  Yeah, it's kind of weird when the girl has to ask, but the guy's in college, so she has to, I guess.   But this isn't the first dance she asked him to.  A couple years ago, my sister asked him to a Sadie's Hawkins dance, which was a big deal because they weren't even dating yet.  She bought some fortune cookies online with something like "will you go to the dance with me?" written inside and gave them to him.  That's pretty creative, right?

      Now, here's where I come in.  She's asking him to prom this year, but no, not with fortune cookies.  She's sending him a teaser: fortune cookies with messages like "you're going to be asked a very important question," but not the actual question.  Very devious.  I must say it was mainly my idea; I really wanted to make fortune cookies.

     So when she asked begged me to make fortune cookies, I said yes, of course.  But I wasn't going to make a boring, run-of-the-mill cookie.  Honestly, I'm not a huge fan of those.  Instead, I'm making these gourmet-like, I-can't-stop-eating-them fortune cookies.  They have the same crispiness as the original, but they have a new and improved lemon, blackberry flavor.  What's more, they are dipped in white chocolate ganache and embellished with a few sugar pearls.

Here's what you do:
Put some fruit jam or preserves in the microwave for 10 seconds to liquefy it a bit.  Any flavor will work, but I used blackberry. 
Whisk together some egg whites and extracts until frothy.  Again, any flavor extract will work, but here I chose lemon.   
Add all the dry ingredients. 
Mix it up into a sort of stretchy batter.
Place a teaspoon of batter on a well-buttered pan.  Spread it around in a circle by tilting around the pan and/or using the back of a spoon.  This should have a diameter of about 3 inches.  Make sure it's really flat so that it ends up crispy.  
Drop a bit of jam onto the batter and swirl it in with the back of a spoon.
Bake until the edges are golden brown.  Only bake 2 or 3 at a time because the next steps need to be done really quickly. 
Flip the cookie onto a board.
Place the fortune in the middle. The fortune should be about  3-4 inches long and 1/2 inch wide.
Fold the cookie in half.
Place the folded edge (the diameter of the circle) over the edge of a measuring cup, mug, glass, etc.  
Bend the edges down.
Place the cookie in the cup of a muffin tin so that it holds its shape while it cools.
Drizzle some melted white chocolate ganache over the cooled cookies, or just dip the cookie in.  Be careful not to get chocolate on the fortunes.  
     And there you go!  The fortune cookie has been demystified.

Lemon Blackberry Swirl Fortune Cookies

recipe adapted from All Recipes
Makes about 20 cookies


2 egg whites
1/4 tsp lemon extract
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tbs blackberry jam or preserves, microwaved for 10 seconds

20 (or more) fortunes on thin strips of paper, about 4" x 1/2"

2 oz white chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup heavy cream


  1. Preheat the oven to 380*F.  Place the rack in the middle position.  Generously butter a heavy baking sheet.  If the baking sheet is too thin, it may bend in the heat, resulting in oddly shaped cookies.  
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg whites and the lemon extract together for a few seconds until frothy. Add the salt, flour, and sugar and stir until well-combined.
  3. Drop a teaspoon of batter onto the prepared baking sheet.  Spread around in a 3" wide circle by tilting the pan or using the back of a spoon. Drop a bit of jam on top and swirl that around with the batter with the back of a spoon.  Repeat for another 1 or 2 cookies. Don't bake too many cookies at once, or they will be harder to shape.
  4. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown on the edges, 4-6 minutes.
  5. Remove pan from oven.  With a spatula, gently remove a cookie from the pan and flip over onto a board.  Place a fortune in the center of the circle and fold the circle in half.  Place the folded edge (the diameter of the circle) over the edge of a cup.  Bend the sides of the cookie down.  Place the shaped cookie in a muffin tin to cool completely.  Repeat with other cookies.
  6. Bake and shape the rest of the cookies.  Keep the pan greased as you go along.  I suggest cooling down the pan by putting it over ice before you put more batter on it.  Or alternate baking sheets.  
  7. To make the white chocolate ganache, bring the heavy cream to a boil.  Pour it over the white chocolate and whisk the mixture until all the chocolate is melted.  Let the mixture cool and thicken a bit before drizzling it over the cooled cookies or dipping the cooled cookies in it.  

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