Fortune Cookies and Tuiles

Fortune cookies are served in “Chinese” restaurants around the world except China. It is so true because these oddly shaped, crispy cookies originated in Japan, not China.

Japanese immigrants or Japanese-Americans in California used to own many restaurants that served Americanized Chinese food. They were responsible for introducing these cookies to Americans as early as before World War II.

As these cookies gained popularity, Chinese bakers eventually started making them, but again not in China. In 1980, a U.S. fortune cookie maker attempted to introduce them in China, but the effort was fruitless.

Over ten years later, a Japanese researcher, Yasuko Nakamachi, located a drawing dated back in 1878 depicting Japanese bakers making fortune cookies1. This only confirmed their origin.

Making them at home is a fun activity that children probably love to help, especially with the shaping part. Just take your time and understand that practice makes perfect.

ingredients for fortune cookies and tuiles

Butter 2 Tbsp
Confectioners’ sugar ¼ cup
Egg white 1 large
Vanilla extract 1 tsp
A pinch of salt
All purpose flour ¼ cup
10 – 14 strips of paper (3″ x ½” each) with fortunes

batter for tuiles

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease two small cookie sheets.

  • Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat and whisk in confectioners’ sugar, egg white, vanilla extract, and salt until well blended.

  • Stir in flour until the batter is smooth.

  • Drop a heaping teaspoon of batter onto a greased cookie sheet, then repeat with another, spacing them about 3-inches apart. Using the back of a spoon, spread the batter evenly to form two 3-inch rounds. Make sure that the batter is not too thin around the edge because it tends to burn more readily than the middle part.

  • Bake for about 3 minutes or until fortune cookies are lightly golden. Remove cookies from oven, and loosen them with a metal spatula.

    Shaping fortune cookies

  • Immediately place a fortune across the center of a hot cookie, fold it in half, and press edges together. Then quickly hold the ensemble over edge of a small bowl to create a fortune cookie shape.

  • Making homemade cookie baskets for ice creamFor an alternative shape, hold a hot cookie over the bottom of a small up-side-down glass to make a basket. It is a terrific homemade way to serve your favorite ice cream.

    For larger cookie baskets, use a tablespoon of batter instead of a teaspoon.

    Shaping almond tuiles

  • Making almond tuiles by placing sliced almonds on the rounds of batter before baking them. Then place hot cookies over a rolling pin to shape tuiles.

    The possibilities of shaping these hot cookies are limited only by your imagination.

    Other Easy Recipes for Party Cookies


    1Lee, Jennifer – The Fortune Cookie Chronicles, Twelve Books – 2008.