MANILA,  September 9
, 2004 (STAR)  A TASTE OF LIFE by Heny Sison - People are funny. Some learn their fate from numbers, others see their destinies in the position of the planets and the stars, the way the cards are dealt, or even by the way lines crisscross on their palms. I learn my fortune by the way my cookie crumbles.

The mystery of fortune cookies is always a delight. Everyone loves a good surprise and weve all enjoyed them at one time or another. There actually came a time when it was impossible to eat in a local Chinese restaurant without being served your destiny with tea. And at the end of a meal, I truly looked forward to cracking open my fortune cookie to read a slip of paper, which tells my fate.

Sometimes it would come in the form of a famous quotation: "The wise learn many things from their enemies." Sometimes, it comes in a humorous advice: "Marry a dentist and your relationship will never decay." Often, it comes in the form of enlightening words of wisdom: "Welcome change in your life, its an opportunity for growth." Pray that you do not crack open a mis-fortune cookie by mistake: "Youre a miracle worker if you work, its a miracle."

The origin of fortune cookies is as mysterious as the fortune it contains, but legend says it was born from the forbidden romance between a prince and a courtyard maiden in China thousands of years ago. Their only means of exchanging affections was through secret messages slipped inside little cakes and cookies.

Today, fortune cookies are popularly served to spice up special events, such as a birthday celebration. They are often given away as souvenirs or keepsakes. They also make a stylish alternative to the more traditional wedding favors.

I was recently approached by a client to make 300 pieces of fortune cookies for her wedding that led me to this recipe for fortune cookies. I was able to buy during a recent trip to the United States a little book entitled The Best Little Fortune Cookie Kit, which includes the recipe and the fortunes, from good fortunes to romantic fortunes and even mis-fortunes. I would like to share with you the recipe for fortune cookies, which I found in this book.

You can create your own good fortune! Write your own destiny, as well as for others, with these easy-to-bake fortune cookies

Fortune Cookies

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 egg white
1 tsp. vanilla or almond extract
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Equipment needed: large mixing bowl measuring spoons and cups electric mixer or a whisk teaspoon, the kind you use to stir coffee cookie sheet, well-greased or lined with parchment paper thin spatula work surface, either a cutting board, tray or clean countertop will do 2.5-inch x 1-inch plastic or metal rings ice cream stick or wooden spoon prepared fortunes

Preheat oven to 300 F.

Sift together flour, cornstarch, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl. Add egg white, vanilla or almond extract, three tablespoons water and vegetable oil. Beat until smooth. Mixture will look like pancake batter but not lumpy. You may pass the mixture through a sieve to make it free from lumps.

Using a teaspoon or the smallest ice cream scooper, scoop out the batter and pour onto a greased cookie sheet. With an offset spatula or the back of a teaspoon, swirl the batter into a circle three to 3.5 inches in diameter.

Bake in preheated 300F oven for eight minutes, or until the edges are golden brown. Do not overbake the cookies or you wont be able to fold them. Remove from the oven.

Using an offset spatula, lift the cookies off the sheet and onto your working area. Flip the cookie over. You have just about a minute to finish, but do not worry. A minute is long enough.

Place a fortune in the middle of the cookie. Using a popsicle stick, lift up the edge of the cookie closest to you and fold it over so that it rests against the far edge. It should now look like a half- circle. Place the tip of the ice cream stick on your working area just in the middle of the folded cookie.

Using the thumb and forefinger of your other hand, pull the corners of the fortune cookie back toward you, while gently pressing away from you with the ice cream stick. The cookie will fold itself around the stick and assume the classic fortune cookie shape. While holding the edges together, place the fortune cookie ring over the finished cookie. Allow the cookie to harden in the ring (about two minutes) and then remove the cookie to a plate or a container.


Do not make more than one cookie at a time. The cookie must be shaped quickly as it comes out of the oven. If you make more than one at a time, it is possible that you wont get to the second one before it hardens and becomes unusable. With practice, you will be skilled in folding the cookies, and you can even make two to three cookies at a time. If you do not have a cookie ring, you may use a muffin pan to retain the shape of the fortune cookies as they harden. Keep baking cookies until you consume all the batter. Patience is very important in making these cookies.

Fortune cookies can be stored in an airtight container for about two weeks. Unused cookie batter may be refrigerated for up to two days. Just stir the batter briefly because the ingredients tend to separate after they are placed in the refrigerator.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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