Baking has been a comfort in my life for as long as I can remember. I grew up watching my grandmother craft the best rich chocolate fudge and turn flour and sugar into perfectly chewy cookies. My very favorite part of baking with my grandmother was that when I would ask her why she did something, she would simply say, “I don’t know, I just do”. It fascinated me. The words “from scratch” impressed me- and the fact that I could break the rules reeled me in. I found a hobby (and later a career) doing something that has always felt natural and comfortable to me. A question that seems to come up often is how I ever decided that this is what I want to do, and she always comes to mind.
My grandma lives on the other side of the state, but a few months ago I had the pleasure of having her company in my kitchen. She watched as I threw ingredients into my mixing bowl, and then cautiously asked how I stay sane constantly baking. The only thing I could think of was, I don’t know. I just do.
In honor of Valentines Day, I want to share with you a simple little recipe that looks more ambitious than it really is. Even if you feel slightly intimidated by the thought of making something from scratch- holidays are the perfect excuse to suck it up, get out your bowl and whisk and try a new recipe.
These fortune cookies are fairly simple to make and adding personal fortunes was fun! I’ll admit I am a pretty tough cookie critic- and fortune cookies have never quite tickled my fancy. (It’s the fortune we all love, not the sugared cardboard tasting cookie!) With that being said, these took me by surprise. They are so much better than the ones tossed in your take out bag!
Home-made Fortune Cookies: (25-30 cookies)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 egg whites
Combine all of the above in a food processor and pulse/blend until smooth (so simple!)- then toss the processor bowl in the refrigerator for an hour to chill.
Once chilled, preheat oven to 400 degrees F and grease a cookie sheet. I am an avid believer in parchment paper- but these do best on a greased sheet in my opinion! Drop about a teaspoon amount of the mixture onto the sheet and spread into a circle with the back of the spoon. They should be about 3 inches in diameter- but no need to pull out your ruler, they don’t need to be perfect!
Bake 4-5 minutes until lightly browned around the edges. Now comes the slightly tricky part. Wait about 10 seconds once they are out, and then (using a metal spatula) flip the cookies over and insert your folded fortune. Working as quickly as you can, pick them up (yes, hot fingers!), fold them in half, and then place them on the rim of a coffee mug to secure their shape.
I wanted to sweeten them up for Valentines Day, so I choose to dip mine in chocolate and sprinkles- but you could really do anything with them! Have fun with it!
Fill them with a sweet note, package them up pretty and send them on their way.