If you’re looking for a quick last-minute gift, there’s nothing sweeter or more thoughtful than something homemade. Why not make Fortune Cookies for that special someone? Grab a non-toxic marker like Sharpie, cut up some cute paper (like origami) into strips and write your own little messages for the best-ever fortunes.
Whether it’s Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s, a special birthday or just Ordinary Tuesday, these little sweeties will win over hearts in a snap. I made these for my husband and Daisy, then again for my parents and for my sister. They’re so cute and delicious that I was looking for every and any excuse to make another bunch.
We have take-out at least once a week and it’s usually Chinese food. Daisy looks forward to the fried rice, but really polishes off her plate in anticipation of the fortune cookies which she divvies up to us. Fortune Cookies are synonymous with Chinese food, but their true origin is 19th Century Kyoto. Yes, they’re actually Japanese!
Fortunes called O-mikuji are written onto paper, rolled into scrolls or folded and tied onto a string. After making an offering to the temple, a person may randomly pick an o-mikuji which will reveal fortunes as such:
Great blessing (大吉, dai-kichi)
Middle blessing (中吉, chū-kichi)
Small blessing (小吉, shō-kichi)
Half-blessing (半吉, han-kichi)
Future blessing (末吉, sue-kichi)
Future small blessing (末小吉, sue-shō-kichi)
Blessing (吉, kichi)
Curse (凶, kyō)
Future curse (末凶, sue-kyō)
Half-curse (半凶, han-kyō)
Small curse (小凶, shō-kyō)
Great curse (大凶, dai-kyō)
It then lists fortunes regarding specific aspects of one’s life,
which may include any number of the following among other possible combinations:
hōgaku (方角) – auspicious/inauspicious directions (see feng shui)
negaigoto (願事) – one’s wish or desire
machibito (待人) – a person being waited for
usemono (失せ物) – lost article(s)
tabidachi (旅立ち) – travel
akinai (商い) – business dealings
gakumon (学問) – studies/learning
sōba (相場) – market speculation
arasoigoto (争事) – disputes
ren’ai (恋愛) – romantic relationships
tenkyo (転居) – moving or changing residence
shussan (出産) – childbirth, delivery
byōki (病気) – illness
endan (縁談) – marriage proposal or engagement
Note: Because these cookies are very thin, the batter bakes very quickly and cools very quickly.
You will need to work quickly to form them into the signature fortune cookie shape. For this reason, it is best to bake only 2 cookies at a time. Wear gloves to protect your hands when shaping the hot cookies. Be patient and enjoy the process. It’s very fun!
Prep: 15 mins
Oven: 400 *F
Bake: 10 mins
Total: 1 hour
10 strips of cute paper, 1/2″ x 2″ each
Sharpie marker (it’s non-toxic)
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 pinch salt
2 egg whites, @ room temp (use yolks to make something yummy, like this or this
1 tsp vanilla or almond extract
3 Tb water
1 drop red food coloring
First, make the fortunes.
Cut cute paper into 10 strips that are 1/2 inch by 2 inches each.
Write cute messages onto each using a non-toxic marker like Sharpie brand. Set them aside.
Line 2 baking sheets with silicon baking sheets.
Preheat oven to 400*F.
Put flour, sugar and salt into a small bowl.
Whisk egg whites, vanilla (or almond) extract and water til frothy.
Slowly drizzle egg mixture into the dry flour mixture, stirring gently.
This will minimize the lumps in the batter.
Place 1 tablespoon of batter the prepared baking sheet and swirl into a 3-inch circle.
Repeat with another tablespoon of batter, making sure to only leave 2 circles on the silpat.
Remove 2 tablespoons of batter and mix with 1 drop of red food coloring.
Use a syringe (like for baby medicine) to suck up some of the red batter.
Drop dots of red batter around the edges of each circle.
Drag a clean toothpick to through the red dots, forming a circle of little hearts!
Wipe the tip of the toothpick before moving on to another circle of batter.
Bake for 10 minutes, until the edges become golden brown.
Prepare another 2 cookies on a 2nd baking sheet.
While the cookies are in the oven, put on a pair of thin cotton or food-safe disposable gloves to protect your hands from the heat of the cookies.
Remove the first baking sheet from the oven and tuck the 2nd baking sheet in to bake. Reset timer to another 10 mins.
Working quickly, use a spatula to remove the cookies from the pan.
Add a fortune in the middle, bring opposite edges together, then pinches the ends toward the center.
Drape the cookies onto the rim of a bowl, pushing down for a moment.
You can also use a cupcake pan to help shape the cookies.
Repeat with the rest of the batter.
Store in an air-tight container. Eat quickly!
Tips for Young Players
Making Fortune Cookies at home sounds outlandish, a bit like making fresh pasta. Look where we are now, whipping out the pasta machine and cranking out delicate deliciousness every week.
Everything seems harder at first. But, with some practice, things become more familiar, easier and you inevitably come up with your own tricks to making things better and more consistently.
There are a few things that will guarantee your success. Firstly, a good recipe. You already have that here. The “special” baking item I’d suggest is the silicon baking pads. This batter will stick and parchment paper is just too delicate and thin to separate from the hot cookies.
Speaking of heat, the cookies are bendy while still warm and, because they’re so thin, they cool and harden quite quickly. Hence why you have to bake two at a time and work fast.
A clean pair of cotton gloves will let you bravely handle hot cookies and shape them quickly without hurting yourself. I looked into gloves pastry chefs use to shape molten sugar, but those are either too expensive or difficult to find. A pair of thin cotton gloves or disposable food-safe gloves will do just fine here.
Remember to just make two at a time so you’re not rushing and, don’t be afraid to ask for help. I grab Daisy as often as I can to get her unplugged and engaged in something creative. These homemade fortune cookies are just so much fun to make and just the most special gift, as you’ll find out.