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Saturday, June 09, 2012

Fortune Cookies and Chinese Almond Cookies

The Altitude Adjustment Section
Fortune cookies are something I grew up with. Every Sunday my family would go out to dinner and often we chose Chinese food. At the end of each meal, the waiter would always bring out pineapple slices and fortune cookies. Before I was old enough to read them, I would pass them to my mother or father to read to me and they would always tell me "It says be good to your mommy and daddy." Somehow that is still funny to me. Anyway they are actually quite delicious when made right and its a great opportunity to pass on your wisdom on little strips of paper to unsuspecting strangers. Here is the recipe from Susan Purdy.

Fortune cookies

Ingredients
1/2 cup AP flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large room temp egg whites
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Paper fortunes printed on strips of white paper 1/4 inch by 3 inches

Procedure
Preheat oven to 400. Spray 2 flat cookie sheets with spray oil or butter, Take a 3 inch diameter glass and mark 3 circles on the cookie sheet by turning it in the butter. In a large bowl or your electric mixer combine all the ingredients and mix till smooth and creamy. Drop 1 teaspoon of the batter in each circle and using the back of a teaspoon dipped in cold water to spread the batter into a thin even circle. Each time you do this the pan must be cool and greased. Bake each cookie 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 minutes till the edges begin to turn golden brown. Over baked cookies will not bend so keep a good watch. Once you take the cookie sheet out of the oven place it on a cooling rack and work quickly. With a large spatula pick up the cookie and turn upside down,place a parer fortune in the center and fold the cookie in 1/2. Grasp both end of the cookie and place the middle of the folded cookie on the rim of a measuring cup and pull the ends together,hold it there for a second or two and then place in a little muffin tin to help it keep its shape while it cools. And then just keep going.

Almond cookies

The other great cookie found in Chinese restaurants.

Ingredients
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup lard
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon almond extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole almonds
1 egg white
1/2 teaspoon water

Procedure
In a large bowl, cream butter, lard, and sugar. Beat in egg and extract. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture. Roll into 1-in. balls. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Flatten with a fork. Push 1 almond into the center of each cookie. In a small bowl, beat egg white and water. Brush over cookies. Bake at 325° for 14-16 minutes or until edges and bottoms are lightly browned. Cool for 2 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. Makes about 30 small cookies.