Every other week, Anna Hezel talks about the innovations, decorations, and other quiet touches that make a party memorable.
Today: A nutty take on fortune cookies that you can make at home and fill with your own fortunes.
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Everybody should spend at least one week of their lives making dumplings. Over the course of a few days, what once seemed complicated and mysterious becomes second nature.
When Gabriella and I decided to have a dumpling party, we knew it was an ambitious idea. We also knew that with a little work in the week leading up to the party, the party itself would be easy and delicious. We dedicated a work week night to each type of dumpling we were making, froze them, stocked up on cheap utensils from a restaurant supply store, and the day of the party, all we needed to do was steam, fry, and have a nice time.
After you've folded 250 dumplings, making fortune cookies is a walk in the park. But even if you haven't made 250 dumplings, making your own fortune cookies is a lot easier than you think.
Since they have to be folded while hot, the one important trick to keep in mind is to have all of your fortunes and supplies ready to go and to bake them in very small batches (I did two at a time). The possibilities for fortunes are endless, but we settled on half Jack Handey quotes and half Kanye West quotes -- a fun guessing game for our guests and an instant cocktail of worldly wisdom. (We also loved Molly Yeh's Twitter-inspired idea for fortunes.) I printed my fortunes out in size 4 font and cut them into 3-inch slips of paper, using a paper cutter.
I wanted to create a fortune cookie with a delicate crunch and a rich toasted almond flavor. After researching many recipes for fortune cookies and for almond tuiles, I landed on a standard egg white, flour, and sugar cookie flecked with sandy bits of toasted almond. A scoop of almond butter helps to make the cookies pliable for folding, and the little bit of fat makes them easier to pop off the baking sheets in a hurry.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spoon a teaspoon of batter onto the baking sheet. Using the back of a teaspoon, gently spread the batter out into a circle about 3" in diameter. Leaving at least an inch of space in between, repeat with another teaspoon of batter.
Bake for about 5 minutes, or until edges turn brown. Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Very quickly, while the cookies are hot, place fortunes in their centers, and gently fold them in half.
Remove from baking sheet, one at a time, setting each cookie gently over the edge of a glass or a bowl to create a crease in the bottoms. Set the finished cookie inside a muffin tin or a small glass so that it holds its shape as it cools.