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21Oct/111

#strangefortunes: A DIY fortune cookie experiment

Baked fortune cookies in a Tupperware box

I've always had a bit of a thing for fortune cookies, which are (in my opinion, at least) truly the Kinder Egg of biscuits. However, they're never terribly exciting. I bought and ate a wholesale bag of them once, and I didn't even get told I'd meet a tall/dark/handsome stranger (although to be fair, I haven't. Probably because I go around eating wholesale bags of fortune cookies).

Then, a month or so ago, it occurred to me: what are we doing? Why are we letting fortune cookie writers decide our futures? Why can't we decide our own futures? This is the modern age, after all: has our society entirely run out of optimism amidst all the bad news, bad money and bad politicians which daily surround us? Why can't humanity, in the form of popular social networking website Twitter (don't know if you've heard of it) decide its own fate?

Basically, I had a worryingly optimistic moment. I promise not to do it again.

So, after much research (read: no research) I found this recipe for fortune cookies over on allrecipes.com. And doubled it. Tip 1: don't do that. Fortune cookies have to be made one at a time and moulded when molten hot. So really, don't do that.

Meanwhile, I'd set up a hashtag on Twitter - #strangefortunes - and asked my followers to suggest fortunes. The response was overwhelming, which made me feel slightly better about doubling the recipe. However, I didn't want to waste the fun fortunes on the first few cookies, which I just knew I'd ruin, so I made some Lorem Ipsum ones:

Lorem Ipsum text on paper, being cut up into strips

...which turned out to be a rather good idea.

Soggy fortune cookie failure: flat soggy mess with fortune limping resting on top

Next, I mixed up some egg whites, which I will show because I'm rather proud of the snazzy whisk my friend Edward got for me.

Whisked egg whites in a bowl with an awesome squid-shaped whisk

I then added flour and blah blah blah, and (by putting them directly onto a greased baking tray and baking them ONE AT A TIME) started getting the cookies together. When they came out I have seconds to scrape them off the tray, put the fortune in, fold the cookie in half and bend it over the edge of a cup. I then put them into muffin trays ready for double baking (as they were still vaguely squidgy):

Fortune cookies in a muffin tray, waiting to be baked

And here's what they ended up looking like:

Baked fortune cookies

I don't have any pictures of them being eaten, because the moment I got to work and opened the lid, WHOOSH: instantly gone. Everyone loved them - even the poor sod who got Herm Baskerville's submission (something about blood and gristle and sweetmeats: I forget). Unfortunately my favourite ("I know I'm a fortune cookie, but I can't tell you anything without a tarot pack") didn't make it: ke sera sera, I suppose.

Broken fortune cookie

If you have any suggestions for fortunes, leave them in the comments section - or tweet me @isntit.

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  1. Ah, my tarot one. I liked that one too.


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