Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Misfortune Cookies



I have always wanted to do a dark humored twist on the standard fortune cookie. I had long assumed that fortune cookies were a pain to make, so I had been putting them off for months. Finally, I made them and learned that yes, I was correct in my assumption.

They are an absolute chore to bake.

The recipe makes almost 50 cookies and I don't think I made it past 20. I was baking them 2-3 at a time and at 6 minutes a batch it adds up to roughly two hours of baking. Never mind how long it takes to create the batter circles and then form the cookies! Even as fussy as I can be about baking, I really don't have that kind of stamina.

Still learning the new lens, so bear with me.

Regardless of all the effort involved, they were just crying out to be created. I had to make my misfortune cookies.

You can too, of course. Provided you have the patience for these pesky cookies and a family who understands how weird you are.

Misfortune Cookies
from Martha Stewart's Cookies
4 large egg whites
1 cup superfine sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
pinch of salt
3 tablespoons heavy cream
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon almond extract (I used an almond emulsion)

nonstick cooking spray
paper strips of doom


Pre-heat your oven to 400°F

Prep two cookie sheets with a generous amount of nonstick spray.

Since I do not have superfine sugar on hand, I made my own by assaulting granulated sugar in the food processor (a blender will also do the job) for roughly a minute. Feel free to do the same, just be aware that doing this often will dull your blades.

Using your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, blend the egg whites and sugar on medium speed until foamy (roughly 30 seconds). Add the salt and flour and blend for 30 more seconds. Add the remaining ingredients and mix to form a batter.

Space three single teaspoons of batter onto your prepared pan and spread each into a 4-5 inch circle using the back of a spoon. This is easier said than done, you'll understand when you try.

Bake the cookies for 5-8 minutes until golden brown.

Pull the out and working quickly, lift a cookie off the sheet with an offset spatula and onto a stack of paper towels (a cold counter top would set the cookie instantly). Curve the cookie into a loose tube slip in the paper fortune and fold the ends together to form the fortune cookie shape.

It may take some practice to get it just right, so practice on a circle of paper before baking the cookies. You will need master your cookie forming skills to turn them out before they harden (which is in seconds).

They were a lot of work, but the reward of fresh, crisp fortune cookies with wry messages was worth the hassle and burnt fingers... well almost.



The doom is best served hot, since these cookies go stale quickly.

42 comments:

  1. SO awesome =D

    I might just give these a try with a friend over to keep me company and chat whilst I painstakingly try them out.

    I've noticed often fortune cookies tend to be lemon-y. Might make half a batch of each...

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  2. You can use any flavor, really. You can even add food coloring to the batter.

    I briefly toyed with making these cookies black, but then changed my mind, feeling that the natural cookie better disguised the evil that lurked within.

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  3. Being a biologist myself, and a recent certified medical laboratory scientist, the botfly fortune made me cackle with glee! I was wondering if you ever read the Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan. She talked about Chinese immigrants pinching hot cookies together and burning their fingers. Looks like you had another version of torture!

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  4. That's sooo adorable! I probably couldn't serve them to my Chinese elders tyhough. But such a great laugh!

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  5. Hahahaha! I love these :) Your humor is awesome :)

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  6. haha, these are great. i love your wacked sense of humor!

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  7. oh I love these I so need to try them

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  8. I love this. I'll have to go through the hassle of making them!

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  9. halloween must be fun at your house!

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  10. Hahah!!! The "boyfriend" one is the BEST! Love it!

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  11. Hahahah! Classic! "the End is near and it's all your fault" is my favorite.

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  12. LOL. that last one is hilarious! I've been wanting to make ones for fellow grad students in my department that say things like "you'll soon finish something big, but not your dissertation." :-P Thanks for the heads up on how long these take.

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  13. you really have a dark sense of humor - but i would love to see the looks on people when they read those. lovely looking cookies!

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  14. oh my goodness! we have the same sense of humor. i love these!

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  15. Two hours of baking sounds harsh! But I love your idea of misfortune cookies, a very nice twist to the standard ones and I believe those are awsome for parties - migth serve as a great conversation starter!!

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  16. 2 hours of baking is harsh...thanks for your effort. You should try making fabric ones (google it). They are pretty, last longer and you can still stick in the witty fortunes. Yes I know it is not baking but they can be beautiful.

    botfly...ha ha ha

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  17. Ha ha,
    those are beyond awesome.
    I already fell in love with your valentine cookies. "Die in a fire", LOL. I'm going to make Red Velvet Lamingtons for the boyfriend as a belated valentine, though (being a german gal, I've never encountered red velvet cake before!). But there will be occassions... *rubs hands*
    Also, the boyfriend and me are medical students and love, love, love your awesome lab cookies. He is doing lab work for his dissertation at the moment.
    Kundos for you spending so much time and physical integrity on those awesome misfortune cookies!

    Keep up the good work!

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  18. This would be great for Halloween parties!

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  19. Too hilarious! I also made "misfortune cookies" for my blog last Halloween (lots of gory things predicted), and I added black frosting color to the dough.

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  20. The last one was HIL-arious. I spit up my morning coffee on that one (like you needed to know that).

    That is priceless. I wish these were available at a store, I'd be buying them out.

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  21. I'm afraid the fortune cookie-botfly association is going to stick in my head for quite a while... thanks for that, I guess...

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  22. How did you know botfly is my worst nightmare?

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  23. LMAO - LOVE these! I don't even know what a botfly is but I still laughed!

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  24. Can I just say...I love your blog! I blogged about your blog...that's how much I love it. Your recipes are to-die-for. I couldn't be more excited to check your thread each day.... your sweet treats are awesome!

    Thanks for bringing a little morsel of sugar into my days :)

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  25. I have made these myself years ago. They turned out great and my fortunes were customized to the group of friends who ate them. I haven't made them since though because of the time committment.
    Yours are great!

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  26. Did you have help coming up with the misfortunes for these? As I read this, I was like "Forget the recipe, I wanna see more fortunes!" Have I already told you how much I love your creativity?

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  27. you are dark ms. h...& oh so funny!
    delightful! :)

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  28. this are FANTASTIC!!!! you could make a fortune selling them.

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  29. Try holding them on your paper towels on a cake rack over a bowl of hot water... the humidity and heat keep them pliable a little longer. Not a LOT longer, but every little bit helps.

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  30. I made fortune cookies several years ago and I don't think I'd feel too motivated to try again. They were such a pain! You made it much further than I did... I stopped as soon as I had one for each family member, so that would have been about a dozen at the time.

    I'm passing a blog award along to you. ;) Please read my post to find out about it!

    ~ Michelle

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  31. These are darling! I am definitely going to be trying this recipe. And I love how you can type up your own personal fortunes to put inside, very cute!

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  32. I love the idea. First I thought making them black would underline the theme even more, but then I read your comment where you stated that "the natural cookie better disguised the evil that lurked within." Ha ha, totally agree with that.
    I was thinking about a hypothetical full-course menu that you could serve a frenemy. It would be perfect to start it off with this misfortune cookie.

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  33. i just made these over at http://incrediblecrunchyflavor.com (although i haven't gotten around to posting them yet...) i agree they were tedious, but my biggest problem with them was that they didn't get crispy! in fact, they were chewy... until i left them out on the counter for 3 days. you didn't seem to have this problem?

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  34. I just made my first (and last?) fortune cookies this past weekend. They were ridiculously hard to work with and I think I only made a dozen or so.

    That said... the recipe I used was a bit different and I'm almost curious enough to try the one you've posted here. Not for a long while though...

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  35. Anna,

    I didn't have an issue with them being too chewy. I used exactly one teaspoon of batter and spread it out very thin. So my cookies came out very crisp.

    I probably could of made them a little thicker, as it was they went crisp very, very quickly.

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  36. ms.humble....
    what happends if it says "if you read this you will die"

    keep bloging-video game geek

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  37. This is not dissimilar to how krumkake is made, except krumkake takes much less time to do; it's cooked on a griddle for a few minutes then formed.

    I made a bunch of it with my dad on Christmas and it was pretty fun.

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  38. Ha ha. Too funny! Btw, I love your site!

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  39. Years ago (like sometime in the 1970s) my friends and I made some fortune cookies that were cooked in a pan on the stove, then quickly folded taco-style around the fortune, and draped over the edge of a highball glass to cool & harden. Each glass holds two. The batter was much like krumkaken. They were flavored with almond extract, and the result was a bit oilier than we expected. But they looked right, and everyone was freaked by the crazy fortunes we put inside.

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  40. Graduate students have to provide cookies for our seminars in my department, and I'm seriously thinking of doing something like this for my exit seminar (only I couldn't be so mean... I'm sure I'd get in trouble and fail completely if I had something like "You'll never get tenure" or "your PCR has overrun listening to me").

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  41. This is GENIUS! I cracked up at the botfly!
    Makes me want to try this myself.

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