Fortune cookies are often served as a dessert in Chinese
restaurants in the United States and some other countries, but are absent in
China. The exact provenance of fortune cookies is unclear, though various
immigrant groups in California claim to have popularized them in the early 20th
century, basing their recipe on a traditional Japanese cracker.
2 egg whites, room temperature
6 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour, sifted
1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
Cut a stencil out of a plastic coffee can lid in the shape of a 3-inch disk. Whip the egg whites until stiff and chill. In a mixer, cream the butter, then add the sugar and continue mixing. Add the flour and blend in, then add the vanilla and blend again. Add the chilled egg whites and mix on low until well incorporated and the batter is smooth. With a small spatula, spread batter through the stencil so it is a circle onto parchment paper, about 6 per cookie sheet. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven until light golden brown, 7 to 8 minutes. Quickly remove the pan from the oven and one at time place a fortune across the center with a bit hanging out. Fold cookie circle in thirds over fortune with flaps only slightly overlapping each other. Turn over and bring opposing sides together and pinch. Let cool.