Kevin was participating in a conference recently and he asked me if I wouldn’t mind baking a cookie or snack for him for the event as a way to get more people to his booth. If you live in the world and are human, you will likely have noticed that people don’t care what you’re selling, if you’re giving away free food, people will show up in droves. “Yes, I have always been interested in….uh…what are you selling again? Right, I’ve always wanted to know more about the book binding process. My dream ever since I was a small child was to be a…book binder? (is that a thing? seems like kind of a dying art in this day and age, but whatevs). Now where is this free food you were purporting to give away?” (see people don’t even need to know what food your giving away. Say the phrase “free food” and they will show up).
I of course, wanted to come up with something that would really catch people’ s attention, be unique and if at all possible, relate to Kevin’s business in some way (a little plug for Kevin here, if you’re in the market for some marketing help, he’s a super genius, aka The Story Architect). Now, you can at least somewhat tell by his title/ business name where I would be starting with my inspiration. Stories! Ok, now where to go with that? After many really really stupid ideas as well as a few that I didn’t completely dismiss outright, my brain stumbled upon the idea of doing fortune cookies. It’s unique, and encompasses the idea of unleashing the story inside which was what I was going for. When I passed this idea by Kevin he was like “actually that’s brilliant! I wanted to give away a booth prize too, so now I can hide a “winning ticket” inside one of the cookies.” So, with approval in hand, I set to work researching and thinking about how I wanted these to look. Also, how one goes about making fortune cookies in general because it had never even crossed my mind before as something I wanted to make. Part of the reasons for that is that people like fortune cookies for the fortune, not so much the cookie (I mean how many times do you even hear people mention the cookie when they crack open fortune cookies? Half the time they’re not even eaten and people just them open for the (terrible) fortune inside). I simply can’t abide by that though. I don’t care how clever and creative these are, they need to taste at least somewhat good as well or else they’re not worth my time. Now enter, slightly fancier fortune cookies.
I decided to make five different flavours – original (which I topped with chocolate and sprinkles because who’s not attracted to sprinkles?), maple cinnamon, chocolate, hazelnut and lemon. According to Kevin, they were pretty popular and people were raving about them (although he might’ve said that to me anyway to make me feel better? “Fortune”-ately for me though, Kevin has what I call his “lying face” that always tells me if he’s trying to pull one over on me. For some reason, I’m the only one able to detect this though. For me, he might as well be wearing a siren on his head with flashing red lights and all the while screaming “bullsh**!! bullsh**!! bullsh**!”. For everyone else though, Kevin will make the most ridiculous and outlandish claims and they just respond with “oh really? That’s interesting, I’ve never heard that before.” I think it’s his superpower. Unfortunately for him, I’m the jerk wife (aka his kyptonite) who always wrecks if for him by calling him out on his nonsense 😉 ).
These are actually pretty easy to make, but somewhat time consuming because you can really only do a few at a time. You also need to literally be willing to burn the fingerprints off of the tips of your fingers. If this doesn’t sound like something you’re willing to do, I have 2 suggestions for you. 1) Do not, under any circumstances, make these cookies. 2) Trick…err…ask someone to help you make them. Suggested wording for this request? “I was thinking of making some fancy fortune cookies today. Doesn’t that sound fun?! You could help me if you wanted. Maybe write out some fun fortunes and shape the burning hot umm….pleasantly toasty cookies into their ubiquitous shape.” (if you are attempting to bribe a child in this way however, I suggest using a word other than ubiquitous. Notice how I didn’t say that you shouldn’t ask a child? 😉 ). Who could possibly turn down such a request? You could also give the added incentive of telling them you might let them eat a few after 🙂 .
For your viewing pleasure, here’s a couple of pictures of the cookies in action (well…they’re not actually in action, that would be kind of creepy. I know people say we still have a primordial urge to hunt moving things, but nobody wants to have to hunt down and trap their cookies…or maybe it’s just me that’s lazy like that? 😉 ):
Yield: 20 cookies
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter, melted
- 1/3 cup cane sugar
- 1 egg replacer
- 1/3 cup flour
- pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon almond milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Print out and prepare your fortune cookie messages in advance (there are a bunch of templates online either blank or with prewritten messages if you’re not feeling creative).
- Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper or silpat (there’s a high probability of stickage if you just grease the sheet, so I wouldn’t recommend it, but if that’s all you have, give it a go).
- Make sure to have a muffin tray and a cup, mug or small bowl at the ready.
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- In a medium sized bowl, combine butter and sugar and blend with an electric mixer. Add egg replacer and blend. Sift in the flour and salt and mix until it has the consistency of pancake batter.
- Next add the coconut milk, coconut oil and vanilla and mix until fully incorporated.
- Using a teaspoon, place a blob of batter on the cookie sheet and use the back of a spoon to create a thin 3″ circle. Don’t put more than 6 on a sheet at one time (once they’re out of the oven you have to move very fast).
- Bake for 8-10 minutes watching closely (until they just start to brown).
- Remove from the oven and, working quickly, place the fortune in the centre of a cookie and fold in half like a taco. Quickly press the folded side over the rim of a cup so you get a crescent shape. Place immediately in muffin tin so it retains it shape while cooling. Repeat for the other five cookies.
- Repeat steps 7-9 until you’ve used up all your batter.
Note: I made 5 different varieties of these, this recipe is just for the plain version. Feel free to make any of the following substitutions if you feel like being fancier.
Maple Fortune cookies – replace vanilla with maple extract, replace sugar with maple syrup. Make a simple maple glaze/icing with icing sugar, maple syrup, vegan butter and a splash of almond milk. Drizzle on top of cookies and sprinkle/ dust with a mix of cinnamon and maple sugar.
Chocolate Fortune Cookies – replace the flour with 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder plus a 1/4 cup + 1 teaspoon of flour.
Lemon Fortune Cookies – add the zest of one lemon. Make a simple lemon glaze with icing sugar, lemon zest and a splash of lemon juice. Drizzle on top of cookies.
Hazelnut Fortune Cookies – replace vanilla extract with hazelnut extract. Add a splash of hazelnut liqueur if the spirit moves you.