Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Confucius say …
Fortune cookies can be real trouble ... if you take them fortunes seriously. Remember when Homer's fortune cookie told him he would find happiness with a new love in the Last Temptation of Homer (S9)?
Do you ever wonder who writes these fortunes and what goes through their minds when they do? Remember the time Homer got so fed up with the fortunes in his cookies he decided to do something about it: he became a fortune cookie writer in Chinatown? "You will invent a humorous toilet lid" may not have been a profound fortune ... but it's hilarious.
Seriously though, coming up with fortunes for them cookies are difficult. I've eaten a few fortune cookies in my time and the most common fortunes were courtesy of Chinese thinker Confucius. Haven't you cracked open a cookie to read something like: Confucius say (the bad grammar is intentional), "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" or "Man who run in front of car get tired". The second one isn't really Confucius. Or is it?
I made a bunch of fortune cookies for a gambling session on the second day of the Lunar New Year and it took me a while to come up with 40 fortunes. In the end, I repeated a few because I was getting sleepy thinking up new ones ... after a while, I came up with some doozies like, "If you believe this fortune, you're mad" .
Now if I though coming up with the fortunes were hard, I soon found that making the cookies were doubly hard. Well, actually its an easy recipe and making the batter takes less than 10 mins. But because you have to shape the cookies while they're hot -- as in STRAIGHT out of the oven, not a minute later (seriously), you have to bake them, at the most, two at a time. Now, let's do the math: I baked 40. At the snail's pace of 2 cookies at a go multiplied by each batch taking 7-10 mins; it took me about 2 hours and a half. And it's not like you can go watch a movie while it bakes; no have to keep working. Spreading batter onto tray, shove it in the oven, wait 7 mins, take it out and immediately put in another batch; rush to fold the two that came out (your finger will be sore touching the hot cookies); greasing the tin and repeating the whole process again. Also you have to keep an eye on the cookies that are baking cos though the baking time is estimated at 5-7 mins, sometimes, if you spread the batter to thin, it will brown quicker.
The cookies tasted yummy as did the batter (I must confess to being a batter whore) but will I make these again? Not likely. Too much hard work.
3 egg whites
3/4 cups sugar
3 tbsp melted butter
3/4 tsp. vanilla
1 cup all purpose flour
Dash of salt
Preheat oven to 180C. Mix egg white and sugar and whisk till fluffy but not till it forms peaks. Add rest of the ingredients; keeping the flour for last.
Drop a spoonful of batter on a greased baking sheet and spread it in a circle. Distribute the batter evenly. Put 2 per sheet. Bake for 5-7 mins or till 2/3 of batter (from the outer rim inwards) browns. Remove and immediately put in next batch to save time.
Work immediately on the cookies. Insert fortune and fold round cookie in half; sandwich in a cup and bring edges together (one edge goes in the enside of the cup and one on the ouside. Place folded cookied inside a muffin cup to keep the shape. Once cool (3 mins or so) store in an air tight bottle. Repeat. Repeat and repeat.
Be warned that if you dont fold the cookies immediately they start to harden and will crack when you fold them.I wasted a handful this way.