Thursday, January 26, 2012

Day 179.5 Chinese New Year Green Tea Fortune Cookies

This recipe for Green Tea Fortune Cookies was sent to me by my awesome friend, fellow Cantabrigian and foodie, Becky V. Featured in the Huffington Post, this recipe came complete with commentary from Joanne Chang, who just so happens to be my baking goddess-idol, so how could I go wrong?  Actually, things could have gone very wrong because the recipe calls for matcha green-tea powder, which I didn't have and had no time to get. But, seeing as necessity is indeed the mother of invention, I took some Chinese green tea I had in my pantry, got out my handy-dandy mortar and pestle and ground it to a to a semi-fine powder, (leaving some flakes for texture). Presto - sort of matcha green tea powder. I can't say for sure that my pedestrian stand-in rivaled the finely milled Japanese tea (because I haven't had it), and it's definitely not the lovely green hue of matcha, but all things considered, the recipe was both flavorful and fun to make and that seems like the perfect combination to honor the Chinese New Year. Enjoy!

Celebrated from January 22-28, 2012 is the Year of the Water Dragon. Now referred to as the Spring Festival, the Chinese New Year dates back to the 20th century and is the most important holiday celebration in China. At one time, the celebration was tied to the lunar-solar Chinese calendar during which time heavenly deities and ancestors were celebrated. In 1912, the Chinese adopted the western calendar and began observing January 1st as the New Year but kept the traditional customs of the Chinese New Year/Spring Festival as time to renew family ties. Of course food plays an important roll in the celebration. Fortune cookies were first introduced in San Francisco in the late 1800, and many other foods represent wishes for health and prosperity. For example, spring rolls are equated with wealth, fish signifies abundance, tangerines and oranges signify luck and wealth and sticky rice cakes offer up wishes for a sweet, rich life. I just love that.

Make up your very own fortunes or use some of your favorites
 I didn't have Japanese Macha Green Tea, so I improvised with a few bags of Chinese tea
 The basics: egg whites, sugar, flour, melted butter and green tea
 Pour in the egg whites
 Add the flour
 Whisk until smooth, then refrigerate for an hour
 Spread in 4-inch rounds using an off-set spatula or the back of a spoon
 Invert the cookie, put the fortune on, fold the edges together and crease over a coffee mug
 Place in muffin tins to hold the shape while they cool
Happy New Year!

** A note about these cookies. The original recipe called for 2 tbsp. of batter, spread to 6-inch rounds. I found these to be too big and too thick, so I've adapted the amount to create a smaller thinner cookie. Also, be sure to let the edges of the cookie bake up to a fairly golden color, otherwise they'll be too chewy and the fortunes will stick to the dough.

Green Tea Fortune Cookies (Recipe adapted from Joanne Chang, Huffington Post)

3/4 cup sugar
3 large egg whites
4 ounces unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon matcha green-tea powder or 3/4 Tbsp ground Chinese green tea
18 small paper fortunes

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk the sugar with the egg whites, butter, flour and green-tea powder until smooth. Cover the batter and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325° and line a baking sheet with a silicone mat. Have a coffee mug and standard-size muffin tin handy. Spoon two 1-tablespoon-size mounds of batter onto the baking sheet, 6 inches apart. Using an offset spatula, spread the batter to make two 4-inch rounds.
  3. Bake in the center of the oven for 12 to 14 minutes, until the edges are browned and the centers are still light. Let cool for 10 seconds, then using a spatula, invert one tuile and place a paper fortune in the center. Fold the tuile in half and then bring the ends together, using the rim of the coffee mug to make the crease. Set the fortune cookie in a muffin cup to hold its shape. Repeat with the second tuile. If the tuile hardens, return it to the oven for a few seconds. Repeat with the remaining batter and fortunes. Let the cookies cool completely before serving.

© 2010-2011, What's Cooking in Your World? Sarah Commerford/All Rights Reserved


Sylvie + family said...

Sounds fantastic ! And I love cooking with matcha tea !!! Thanks Sarah, Gong Xi Fa Cai ! Take care.

sadie said...

Thanks, Sylvie! What else do you make with matcha tea? I'm going to our Asian market this weekend to pick some up. Best to you and yours. xoxo

Sylvie + family said...

I have some great recipes for matcha tea rolled cake and cake. Will e-mail you. Take care.

sadie said...

Merci cheri!

Karen said...

oh wow, how did I miss these ?? Looks great !!

OysterCulture said...

Looks beautiful and fun to do! thanks for posting

sadie said...

Thanks, Karen - maybe I'll make 'em for the ffbrunch?!

sadie said...

Thank you, Ms. OC! :)