Fortune Cookies

Your friends and family will be fortunate to taste your homemade fortune cookies. Top photo courtesy The Semisweet Sisters; bottom photo courtesy National Honey Board.




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February 2008
Last Updated July 2018

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Cookies & Brownies

Fortune Cookie Recipe

Your Fortune: Homemade Fortune Cookies Taste So Much Better!

The Chinese New Year, or Lunar New Year, is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. It begins in the first lunar month in the Chinese calendar—late January to mid-February in the Gregorian calendar. There is a 12-year animal zodiac cycle that designates the year of the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog or Pig.

The Year of the Rat commences on February 7, 2008 (hear are all the zodiac years). You can celebrate by making homemade fortune cookies with this easy recipe.

  • Personalize the fortunes creatively for family and friends. Have fun and make “misfortune” cookies, make wild predictions, or include your favorite one-liner jokes.
  • Invite people over for a Chinese dinner, or simply for dessert—ice cream, tea and fortune cookies.
  • Play “Fortune Cookie Gamble” by baking guests’ names and activities into the cookies—“You will get a kiss from Jennifer,” “Billy owes you $1.”


The History Of Fortune Cookies


The history of the fortune cookie is a short one. No ancient Chinese treat, it’s less than 100 years old. The fortune cookie is an American invention—even Chinese Americans call them “fortune cookies,” since there is no Chinese word for them.

In one version of its origin, Makoto Hagiwara of Golden Gate Park’s Japanese Tea Garden invented them in San Francisco in 1909†; in another, David Jung, founder of the Hong Kong Noodle Company in Los Angeles, originated them in L.A. in 1918.‡


The original fortune cookies contained a slip of paper with a string of numbers (used by some as lucky lottery numbers) and a Chinese proverb or a prediction. Today, a Chinese word or phrase with a translation is often included: In the era of globalization, learning Chinese trumps lucky numbers and proverbs.



†Martin, James (2004), Fortune Cookies: A San Francisco Invention,
‡Brunner, Borgna (2005), The History of the Fortune Cookie", Infoplease




This recipe, which uses honey instead of sugar, is much tastier than what you’re accustomed to.

Ingredients For 16 Cookies

  • 3/4 cup cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup orange blossom honey (or other mild-flavored honey)
  • 1/8 teaspoon pure orange oil (or 1/2 teaspoon pure orange extract)
  • 16 proverbs or fortunes written on 4" long x 1/2" wide strips of white paper


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a small bowl, combine flour, cornstarch and salt; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg whites, honey and orange oil until slightly frothy. Add flour mixture and whisk until smooth.
  3. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat baking mat or parchment paper. Using a tablespoon measuring spoon, place 4 (1 tablespoon) portions of the mixture on baking mat, evenly spaced. Using a small spatula or the back of a spoon, shape each portion into a 3 -1/2 to 4-inch round.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from oven. Working quickly, use a small spatula to loosen cookies; place the fortune on one side of each cookie. Fold in half, and then fold points toward each other. Place cookies in a muffin pan to hold the shapes until cooled.
  5. Repeat with remaining batter. Store cookies in an airtight container up to one week.
  6. Serve with ice cream: Chocolate, ginger, pistachio and vanilla work best. Check out Reed’s Ginger Ice Cream.

You can see a video on fortune cookie preparation at, and also download printable proverbs about honey (“You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar,” for example).


Recipe © Honey Board. Other material

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