By Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet
May life throw you a pleasant curve.
Today is Labor Day and it doesn't surprise me that I worked. Yeah, I finished the Earth Changes column for the October issue of Oracle 20-20 magazine (online; September issue "Autumn Action", page 32) and dished out forecasts (again) for Mother Nature. Oh, on http://www.petplace.com/ I penned the Pet Horoscopes (running all this week; anytime you can read them to your pet(s) by going to the homepage and type in Pet Horoscopes 2009). I'm calm now that my book The Healing Powers of Chocolate is safe in New York. At last, it's my time for some much needed R&R. More good news: Tonight, while walking the boys, Simon and Seth, all is quiet as a crafty coyote at Lake Tahoe. It's now off season. Translation: It's back to the resort spas--warm pool, hot tub, steam and sauna. The grocery stores are empty. I can catch a good matinee, rake the yard, stock firewood, and enjoy the quietude of the good mountain life. But I can't stop wondering about the future, from health care reform to the economic ups and downs and how it will affect the Golden State, the nation, and the world...
Enter: Fortune cookies. These are one of life's simple little pleasures. It's so much fun to open up the crisp cookies after a Chinese dinner or take-out. Imagine if you could make up a batch of your own treasures paired with unique and profound forecasts created by you! I found a fine recipe penned by Gemma Sciabica in her cookbook California Olive Oil: Dolci and Biscotti Recipes. The batter part seems easy to create--and it had me at the word "olive oil". The dipping these unforgettable gems into dark chocolate was my idea or so I thought until I did a Google search. Yep, there's cookie companies that sell fortune cookies--chocolate dipped and in an array of flavors. Still, I'd like to create these cookies by myself. I'm up for the challenge. Are you? Warning: The batter part seems easy but molding the cookies may be a bit of a task...
Cookies must be shaped quickly while still hot, bake only 2 at a time. For the fortunes, use your favorite colored papers (cut into 3 inch by 1/2-inch strips) and write a personalized message for each one.
2 tablespoons Marsala Olive Oil
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon fiori di Sicilia (or 1/2 teaspoon orange extract)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 large egg white
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup all purpose flour (cake flour)
14 to 16 paper strips for fortunes
Set oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 small cookies sheets. In mixing bowl add dry ingredients. Make well in center, add egg, oil and flavoring. Stir until smooth. Drop batter by teaspoon 4 inches apart (2 on each sheet), spread batter with back of spoon evenly to form a 3 inch round. Bake 3 to 4 minutes until light golden. Loosen with metal spatula. Place a fortune across center of hot cookie 1 at a time. Fold hot cookie in half forming a semicircle, press edges together. Quickly fold semi circle over edge of a small bowl to create fortune cookie shape. Repeat with other cookies. Cool cookie sheets between batches, re-greasing as necessary.
* Tips: If cookie hardens before shaped, put in oven to soften for about 30 seconds. Wear cotton gloves when handling cookies so you many shape them quickly if to hot to handle. Makes 14-16 cookies.
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips [60% cocoa]
1 tablespoon Marsla Olive Oil
In top of double boil over hot--not boiling water, melt chips. Add in olive oil, stir until smooth. Cool slightly, dip cookie about 2/3 or 1/2 (your choice) of the way into chocolate mixture. Let excess chocolate drip back into container. Place on wax paper lined cookie sheet. Variation: substitute whilte chocolate for chocolate chips.
Note: This treat is from Gemma's recipe Chocolate Dipped Fruit from Cooking with California Olive Oil: Popular Recipes.
P.S. Want some clever fortune cookie sayings? Log onto this site for free! http://www.chinese-fortune-cookie.com/fortune-cookie-sayings.html
P.P.S. Too busy to create fortune cookies but crave 'em for a holiday party? No worries. A superb company will do it for you!