Gung Hey Fat Choi! Happy Chinese New Year! I learned something funny recently. Did you know that fortune cookies were invented in California? It sounds so odd since every Chinese meal ends with those but it’s true. The cookie’s hometown is disputed between San Francisco and Los Angeles but one thing is sure: Fortune cookies are an American thing. So just in time for Chinese New Year, here is my take on the classic fortune cookie. Except, why make them plain when you can add patterns? Here is how to make them:

Cute Fortune Cookies

makes 12 fortune cookies
  • these ingredients are enough for one batch or classic fortune cookies. We will need to make 2 batches to add designs to our cookies:
  • 2 egg whites
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp water

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk egg whites until soft peaks form. Add sugar, flour, extracts and water. Whisk together until combined.
  3. Line a cookie sheet with a silicone mat. Pour 1 tbsp of batter and spread with the back of the spoon into a 4″ circle.
  4. Bake for 7 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.
  5. Take out the oven and immediately remove the cookie with an offset spatula. While the cookie is still hot, flip the cookie, place a fortune in the center, fold in half and then curl it oven the edge of a glass. Let cool.

This cookie is fairly easy to make but you have to be quick to shape it before it cools. With practice, I also found that using a template to shape my cookies helped give them a consistent size.

To make a template, you’ll need the top of a large plastic container (I used a large pot of yogurt), a glass that is roughly 4″ in diameter and a marker. Start by drawing a circle onto the lid using the glass as a guide:

Using an exacto knife, cut out the circle in the center and wash off the marker ink:

Now let’s make our fortunes. I found some on Google, printed them with double spacing and cut them into strips:

Now let’s make the cookies. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.

In a small bowl, whisk egg whites until soft peaks form:

Add sugar, flour, extracts and water:

Whisk together until combined and no lumps of flour remain:

Add red food coloring and mix to combine:

Pour the red batter into a squeeze bottle:

Now make another batch of batter but don’t color it.

Line a cookie sheet with a silicone mat. Place your template down and pour 1 tbsp of plain batter in the center. Spread with the back of the spoon into a 4″ circle:

Use your red batter to add designs to your cookie. Polka dots and lines were my favorites:

Lift the template:

Bake for 7 minutes of until the edges of your cookie turn golden brown:

Once your cookies have baked, you’ll need to work fairly quickly. the cookie will harden as it cools. Start by making only 2 cookies at a time until you master the next steps and can go up to 4 cookies or more.

With the cookie still hot and using an offset spatula, loosen the cookie from the silicone mat and place it upside down on your work surface. Place a fortune in the center:

Fold the cookie in half:

Now fold it over the edge of a glass to give it its traditional shape:

Let it cool completely.

Happy Chinese New Year!