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Making your own fortune cookies is a lot of fun. As always, when making something from scratch, I love how you can control the ingredients. Most fortune cookies are made with wheat, so many unlucky people are unable to enjoy them.
With fortune cookies, though, making your own is just so much better than that because you can also control your fortune!
How fortunate, right? 😉
Valentine's Day is the perfect time of the year to be making fortune cookies because they make a really cute non-candy valentine. Plus, Valentine's Day is conveniently near the celebration of the Chinese New Year.
If you are being even more strict with your diet, and grain free isn't good enough, you could even make these out of paper, craft foam, or felt as a cute way to leave someone a note, or a fun way for kids to make their own valentines.
I've been wanting to try to make these since last year when I finally achieved a good grain free combination recipe for a type of cookie that would get crisp and hold its shape when well baked. I developed it for my grain free ice cream cones and bowls, but imagined that it would work just as well for fortune cookies since the method to making them is very similar. While I waited to try them out until closer to Valentine's Day, I think they are really fun project for any time of year.
How did I make my fortunes?
I used Google Docs to make a spreadsheet template for my different fortunes. When I printed it out on a regular sized sheet of paper, which was automatically oriented to landscape mode, they printed out to be a decent size for my cookies. You are welcome to use my template if it will help you.
A quick google search for fortune cookie fortunes and templates should also help you get your creative juices flowing. My favorites for Valentine's Day were these, because I'm a bit cheesy and a bit of foodie, so fortunes like “I love you more than bacon,” and “If you were ground coffee, you’d be Espresso because you’re so fine” amuse me, but there are plenty of ideas all over the internet, so have a look if you're in the need for some inspiration.
A good pun is always fun, too, so you could always remind your significant other of how “fortunate” they are to have found you!
Once you have your fortunes ready, you are ready to make your grain free fortune cookies.
Before I share the recipe, I'll explain the different methods that I used to make them.
At first, I used my pizzelle maker to make my cookies.
This was by far the fastest and easiest way to make them. The problem with this method, though, is that the fortune cookies ended up having a waffle texture which keeps them from looking like a commercially made fortune cookie. If that doesn't bother you, and you have a pizzelle iron, by all means use this method as it really does work the best!
The cookies are heated from both sides so they are quickly and evenly cooked to the right stage needed for making your fortune cookies. Because they have been heated evenly, the cookies are less likely to break as you form them into the right shape. Plus, the iron presses the batter into shape, so the cookies end up thin enough for making fortune cookies without having to work at getting the thickness right.
Next, I tried using the oven.
For the oven method, you take a spoon and spread out about a tablespoon of batter into a thin circle, as evenly as possible, onto a baking tray covered with baking/parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Working with two or three circles at a time, you bake the cookies until they begin to brown around the edges.
Once they have become a golden brown, you take one circle at a time and fold it into shape. Then, moving quickly, you finish with the rest of your prepared circles and repeat the process until you have made all of your cookies.
This method gives the best looking cookies, but it is also the trickiest method and the most tedious.
It takes a while (like around 10 minutes or even more) to get the cookies browned enough so that they will hold their shape once formed and cooled. In the oven, the cookies don't bake as evenly either, and they brown more on the edges than in the center. While that gives a nice looking effect in the final cookies, it makes it trickier to form the cookies because the edges are crispier and more fragile, meaning they are likely to break when you try to fold them into shape.
To help solve that problem, I tried only lightly baking my cookies in the oven, and then flipped them and finished browning for a minute or two on a skillet over the stove.
That did seem to help make the process a bit quicker and easier, and resulted in less broken cookies.
Finally I tried using the skillet method.
I figured that on the stove, the cookies would bake more quickly and evenly, making it much easier to make the cookies.
While that is true, I wasn't completely happy with making them this way.
It was tricky to spread the dough out quickly enough to get the dough thin and even on the hot skillet, and even when I did, the cookies took on a sort of pancake-like appearance. The browning on the cookies is spotted all over the cookie, rather than just browning the edges, and the texture isn't as smooth because the dough has a tendency to bubble up on the griddle just like pancakes do when you cook them.
To make matters worse, they have a tendency to roll up on the edges, making a less perfect looking fortune cookie.
So, what method do I recommend?
It really depends on what your priorities are.
If you really want a more perfect looking fortune cookie, I'd suggest using the oven method, or a combination of the oven method and stove method where you finish browning the cookie over the stove.
If you want like having a textured cookie or at least don't mind it, the easiest and quickest method by far is to use the pizzelle iron. I didn't have any fails at all with that method.
So, with all of that said, let's make some grain free fortune cookies!
I hope I haven't intimidated you. They really aren't that difficult to make!
Grain Free Fortune Cookies
- Preheat your iron, oven (around 400F), or skillet (medium heat), depending on the method you are using to make your cookies. (See above)
- Blend all of the ingredients together well.
- Spoon about a tablespoon of the batter onto the hot iron and close. If you are using your oven, spread the batter in a thin, even circle (around 2 1/2 -3 inches in diameter) on a tray prepared with some parchment paper or a silicone mat. If using your stove, quickly spread the batter in a circle on your hot griddle. The batter has quite a bit of butter in it, so I didn't need to add oil to the pan before making each cookie, but depending on the type of pan you are using, you may need to. (I was using a stone based non/stick pan.)
- Close the iron and wait a minute or two before opening it to peek at how the cookie is looking. Once your cookie has browned, carefully remove it and form it into a fortune cookie shape (see next step). No matter which method you are using, you want to achieve a golden brown color. If the cookie doesn't reach this stage, it won't crisp up enough to hold its shape or have the texture of a fortune cookie. If you are using the stove, you want to bake the cookie until it begins to brown; the edges will be a darker color than the center. If you use your stove, cook until the top of the cookie is no longer sticky before flipping it like you would a pancake. Your cookie is ready when it is lightly browned on both sides.
- To form the fortune cookie, begin by placing your fortune in the center of the circle, then fold the cookie in half over the slip of paper.
- Immediately fold the cookie in half again, this time by bringing the folded edges together. This can more simply be done by bringing each edge down on either side of the rim of a glass or a bowl.
- Once you have achieved the right shape, place your cookie in a muffin tin to help it keep its shape until it cools. Once cool, it will harden enough to be crispy and hold its shape on its own.
- Eat immediately or store in a well sealed container to prevent the humidity from reaching your cookies and making them soggy!