Last Updated on March 18, 2022 by Corinne Schmitt
With Chinese New Year approaching, it seemed like the perfect time to learn how to make homemade fortune cookies. As usual, Pinterest made this look deceptively simple so I pulled up one of the recipes that claimed it was SO EASY.
As I read through the instructions, I realized that the process was, of course, more complicated than I had been led to believe, but the kicker was that although you only had to bake them for 5-6 minutes, you could only do one or two at a time because otherwise they would cool too quickly and break before you were able to shape them.
Do the math with me. 5 minutes for every 2 cookies, plus one minute for placing the fortune and shaping the cookie and another minute for prepping the next batch for the oven (these numbers assume MAXIMUM efficiency).
That means to make one and a half dozen cookies (the standard amount from one batch) it would take 9 (the dozen and a half total cookies divided by 2 since we can bake 2 at a time) times 7 minutes = 63 minutes. And that’s just BAKING time. Never mind all the mixing and prep work ahead of time plus the cooling time afterwards.
What I Did To Make Fortune Cookies Faster
I’m a busy working mom! Where was I going to find well over an hour to bake fortune cookies? And why would I when I could go buy a whole bag at the store in under 10 minutes?
There had to be a more efficient way. Since up until you bake them, it’s basically like making crepes, I decided to try making them like pancakes. This way, I was could make up to 8 at a time instead of just 2.
My friend Liz laughed at me for attempting this. She figured it would take hours to figure it out and work out all the kinks. Well, HAHA Liz!
Though I did lose the first half of the batch as I struggled to find the right technique and did burn the tips of all my fingers, I was able to perfect the system in well under an hour.
I was going to post some pics of my failures as a consolation prize for you but my family ate them all before I got the chance. Apparently homemade fortune cookies really taste better.
Base Fortune Cookie Recipe
For the base recipe, I used one I found on I Wash, You Dry. Her pictures for preparing the batter and shaping the cookie are excellent so if you want a step-by-step please check out her post.
I followed her recipe to the letter (it is the same one you will find all over the net, with only slight variations here and there) up until it came time to do something with the prepared batter.
Use The Griddle
Instead of using a cookie sheet, I turned on my griddle. Then, I spooned a generous spoonful of batter onto the griddle and spread it in a larger circle using the back of the spoon.
Keep the griddle on the lowest heat possible or the batter will cook too quickly, preventing you from spreading it thin enough and into a large enough circle. I waited one minute and then spooned another circle of batter beside the first.
One minute later, I did another one. You want to wait one minute in between each so that you have time to pull each one off, insert the fortune, and fold and shape the cookie.
The trickiest part is that you have to flip the first one before you’ve filled up the griddle since you only want to cook them for 3-4 minutes on each side. As you remove cookies to fill, fold, and shape, you can continue to fill in the empty space so that once you fill the griddle (mine accomodated 8 at a time), you can keep it filled until you run out of batter.
How To Fold The Cookie
When you remove a cookie from the griddle, lay it on a cutting board and set the fortune in the middle. Fold the cookie in half.
Then, gripping each side of the now semi-circle, bend the cookie over the rim of a mug to achieve the fortune cookie shape and set the folded cookie in a muffin tin cup to hold its shape until it has cooled completely. Again, the photos at I Wash, You Dry are great if you want a better visual aid for these steps.
Faster Homemade Fortune Cookies
- 2 egg whites
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 3 T vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon corn starch
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 T water
- Print and cut out fortunes.
- Set out cutting board, mug, muffin tin and fortunes in a workspace on your counter.
- In a large bowl combine egg whites, vanilla, almond and oil. Beat until frothy.
- In a separate bowl sift together the flour, sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Add the water and mix until you form a thick and pasty dough.
- Slowly add the frothy egg whites to the thick and pasty dough, and mix until the dough becomes soupy.
- Turn on griddle, set heat to low.
- Spoon a generous spoonful of dough onto the griddle and use the back of the spoon to spread the dough into a thin circle.
- Wait one full minute between laying out the batter for the next cookie.
- Cook each circle for 3 minutes, then flip and cook for another 3 minutes. Circle will be lightly golden on each side.
- Remove fully cooked circle to the cutting board.
- Place fortune in center of the circle, then fold circle in half.
- Holding each side of the semi-circle, fold over the side of a mug and immediately place in muffin tin cup to cool.
24 thoughts on “Faster Homemade Fortune Cookies”
Hi, this recipe looks very doable. I wanna try these for a friend’s birthday, however the only issue is eggs. Can the eggs be substituted with anything else?
I’m a middle school history teacher and we are finishing up a unit on Ancient China. I’m going to do these as a treat for after the test. Thanks!
I left these to cool overnight in the muffin tin and no they are soft:(
How long do these last. I am hosting a homemade Chinese Dinner Party next weekend and am wondering how far in advance I can have them ready to go??
If you store them in an airtight container, they should be good for up to 2 weeks. I haven’t had any around for more than two weeks (anything that passes for dessert gets eaten up pretty quickly in my house) so I can’t vouch for how well they hold up longer than that.
A little old but just in case anyone finds this: these were wonderful! If you’re like me and your griddle has a wide range, I found that 250 works best. Anything lower and they won’t harden! You really have more time to fold than you think. Also they’ll start to “crackle” when you need to flip.
I’m so glad you liked them! Thanks for the tips and feedback!
Thanks for the tips! I’m going to make these to announce my pregnancy! Wish me luck!
Good luck Lesha!! What a clever idea for announcing your pregnancy. I love it!
I have never made fortune cookies before but this looks simple enough. Now I need to find a fun event to make them for
Sept 13th is fortune cookie day!
What a fantastic idea – you make it sound so fast and easy. 🙂 Thank you for linking up to the Bloggers Brags Pinterest Party. I have pinned your post to the Bloggers Brags Pinterest Board.
These look awesome! I’m visiting from Bloggers Brags and your cookies have been pinned! I would love it if you’d share it at Totally Terrific Tuesday Link Party. It starts tonight at 10pm. I hope to see you there!
I don’t think I would have ever thought of attempting this. With your tips, I think I could do it. They turned out great!
I grew up celebrating Chinese New Year in Hawai’i, but never made my own fortune cookies. Can’t wait to try it this weekend!
My kids raved about how much better the homemade cookies were even before I showed them my burned finger tips (so I know it wasn’t out of guilt). Speaking of the finger tips, I can’t stress enough how important it is to keep the heat LOW. It will also give the cookies a more consistent color. Thanks for stopping by!
I made these today (Chinese New Year) with my 7yr old son. They came out very cute once I got the pan and technique down. How long does it take for the cookies to dry out?
Not very long. My first batch is usually crisp by the time I am folding the second batch.