Sunday, March 20, 2011

Unfortunate Fortune Cookies

Prior to filleting my finger, I had decided to try to make fortune cookies for a friend's birthday get together. I haven't got anything particularly pithy to say about it, and I've stalled long enough trying to come up with something clever. So, while I am out of the kitchen, I might as well get you caught up on some of the cooking-goings-on about the joint.

Our core group of friends is scattered all over the city. That may not seem like such a big deal until you realize that Houston has a circumference of over 100 miles. Observe:

Not true to scale because the map does not quite go wide enough North/South to capture the distance between the Hovel and Roy-mantha's, or far enough East to get the true location of Kail's joint.

We chat through Facebook from time to time, and OF COURSE they are all loyal readers so you might be able to guess who some of them are. Anyway, Facebook may bridge a gap, but it does not fill the void that is left when you miss the people who were your best man, your future baby's godparents, your matron of honor, your ambulance driver, and the group that will show up for a last minute birthday dinner when everyone else blows you off. Hence, we have monthly game night at a different house each month. February was Team Robinson's turn due to being proud new home owners, and having a birthday to celebrate. So, we all piled into our vehicles and made the trek.

I had known that I wanted to make fortune cookies for Mrs. Robinson's birthday for awhile, but I hadn't got any practice in so I had no idea how they would turn out. I Googled what appeared to be a basic recipe: Mostly egg whites, flour, vanilla, water, and a bit of almond extract. "No big deal," I thought. "I've got this."

I started out by making up a few fortunes and printing them, and cutting them to size.

My favorite fortune ever: "Man who stands on toilet is high on pot."

The dough (that I have seen in several YouTube videos) is supposed to be very thin and runny. My dough was very thick and coarse. I decided to slowly add more water until I achieved my desired consistency.

When the batter was runny enough to my liking, I made coaster-sized discs on a well greased cookie sheet and baked until that magical "just done" time in a 400 degree oven. Working quickly, you have to get a cookie off the pan, place the fortune in the middle and fold it in half. You have to work fast, in theory, because the cookies harden into little crisps that won't bend if they cool. So snap to it!

Ouch, hot tamale! Wait, wrong ethnic group. Ouch, hot Wonton!

The next part sounds a bit weird, but you then have to bend the cookie over the rim of a coffee cup and put in a muffin tin to cool and harden. Bending it over the rim of the cup makes it into the exact right shape. 

Well, most of my fortune cookies never got truly hard. They tasted okay, but they were more like thin, almondy sugar pancakes. I had to make up for this failure by at least making them prettier to look at. If people were busy oooing and awing over them, they wouldn't notice that tell-tale texture was completely missing slightly less than ideal. Besides, Mrs. Robinson loves that sort of thing (meaning cutesy stuff).

Being now that I am a Goddess of the Double Boiler, I decided to chocolate dip them and sprinkle with, well, sprinkles. Do I need to remind y'all how to do that? Okay, last time for you newbs:

1.) Never melt chocolate in a microwave! Always use a double boiler. (i.e. pot of boiling water with a bowl of chocolate snugly placed over it. Stir frequently and do not walk off or this may happen.

 Next, all you have to do is dip your cookie tips into the melty goodness and sprinkle with rainbow sprinkles.

Dip and Sprinkle!
Everyone at the party ended up liking them despite their unfortunate texture. I thought y'all might enjoy a self-portrait with the completed product. Enjoy and happy Sweets Sunday.

Andrea c.2011, the Chocolate Sprinkle Period.

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