Can I steam a fortune cookie 'blank' to make it temporarily flexible?
February 27, 2014 10:54 AM   Subscribe

I'd like to write fortunes and fold them into home-made fortune cookies. Can I make the cookies ahead and then reheat or steam them to make them flexible enough to fold?

My hope is that I can make a good number of them ahead of time, let them cool flat, and then steam or otherwise reheat them to make them malleable. There are plenty of recipes for fortune cookies on line, but they all recommend baking two cookies at a time so so they won't cool before you can shape them.

Why would I want to do such a thing? Because I'll be doing the folding with a couple of children, and don't want them to lose interest while we wait for each separate pair to bake.

Ingredients: 3 egg whites, 3/4 cup white sugar, 1/2 cup butter (melted and cooled, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/4 teaspoon almond extract,1 cup all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons water
posted by wryly to Food & Drink (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
It's not really going to do what you want it to do. If you get them hot/wet enough to bend, they're going to just turn into a soggy mess.
posted by xingcat at 11:13 AM on February 27, 2014 [3 favorites]

Not in my experience. I would not actually let children do the folding either-- you gotta fold them when they are piping hot or else they break; re-heating just makes them burn and steaming would turn them into a soggy mess as xingcat stated. I made these as a teen with my teenager sister and I remember lots of finger blisters and broken cookie pieces.

Perhaps the kids can be entertained by writing/decorating fortunes as you fold the cookies?
posted by holyrood at 11:30 AM on February 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

I think you'd have better luck making them as usual, and folding them with enough of an open gap that you can slide a fortune in even after the cookie has fully hardened. This would remove all time pressures. Maybe stick the end of a pencil or something into the gap as you fold the cookie?
posted by jessicapierce at 11:55 AM on February 27, 2014 [3 favorites]

I've made custom fortune cookies by buying a big bag of fortune cookies, pulling out the fortunes with tweezers, and reinserting the custom ones.
posted by ottereroticist at 12:13 PM on February 27, 2014 [4 favorites]

I don't know about your recipe, but it's absolutely doable with "normal" fortune cookies. My friends have done it for me one birthday. They used some wet paper towel and a microwave. Probably something alone the lines of this tutorial:

The result was quite good, but I'm not sure how many cookies they broke, if any. I also don't know if it's kid friendly at all, since the cookies might be very hot, as mentioned by holyrood.
posted by ethidda at 12:25 PM on February 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

Thanks for all the useful input! I'll make them according to jesicapierce's suggestion, or if I'm short on time I do what's shown in ethidda's link. I appreciate the great advice.
posted by wryly at 1:41 PM on February 27, 2014

Custom fortune cookies are one of my favorite gifts to make! It's a lot of work but people will be so impressed that you did it. I tried the way you are describing, with regular fortune cookie batter, and didn't like the results at all. (Texture and flavor were subpar) My method requires a Scandinavian Krumkake iron that you heat on your stove (like this antique one: The batter took a while for me to get right, but I started with the basic Krumkake recipe which I am constantly tweaking for flavor/texture. The results are more like one of those sweet wafer cookies that people roll into cigar shapes and dip in chocolate. Better than any fortune cookie I've ever tasted. Unfortunately, the process requires some nimble fingers and as mentioned above, is probably not safe for kids, because you have to remove the hot pancakes from the iron and quickly fold them into the right shape while they are still hot. It took me many attempts to get something workable, but fortunately, the rejects are still tasty. As soon as I fold the paper into the cookie, I place it in a muffin tin to hold its shape. Here is a batter recipe to get you started. Perhaps the kids can be assigned some other official task like "quality control" where you ask them to sort them into good/better/best.
posted by oxisos at 9:22 PM on February 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

If you want to try getting the fortunes out of unsoftened cookies you might try using a tool invented by spy services: a thin skewer with a split in it, like a very narrow and very thin tuning fork.

You stick the skewer into the envelope (i.e., the cookie) with the paper going into the split, and you rotate the skewer until the paper is wrapped around the skewer. Then you pull the skewer out, and voila.
posted by Joe in Australia at 12:04 AM on February 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

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