I’m sure if you own a cell phone, TV or some sort of electronic, you have probably heard about cookie cereal. At the beginning of the pandemic, it was a huge trend on Tiktok, because I guess everyone had time on their hands to shape hundreds of little tiny cookies. So, I’m going to be completely honest with you, I made this cereal because of the trend and because I think really tiny things are super cute, so with that, I give you Fortune Cookie Cereal.
A Brief History of the Fortune Cookie
Here’s the thing about the Fortune Cookie, no one knows who exactly came up with the idea, although, many claim to be the creator. However, it is most widely agreed upon that the cookie was invented in America in California. There is debate over whether it was Chinese immigrant David Jung, founder of Hong Kong Noodle Company, Japanese immigrant Makoto Hagiwara, designer of the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park, among various other theories. However, due to Americans being accustomed to some sort of dessert after a meal, it became a staple in Asian restaurants around the country.
So, even though the history is scattered, as a young hapa (a person who is partially of Asian or Pacific Islander descent) American, I associated the fortune cookie with the Chinese restaurants my family took me to, Dim Sum and of course the festivals for Chinese Lunar New Year (this year it is Feb. 12th). Even though my Fortune Cookie Cereal is partially to follow a trend, it is a modern-day homage to the cookie of my childhood, with a twist.
Like I foreshadowed, making cookie cereal (in general) is for people who have time on their hands. So, if you are currently an unemployed actor, you may fall into this category. It takes a really long time, especially because unlike Chocolate Chip Cookie Cereal, you’re not just rolling your dough into little balls, you are folding each teeny-tiny fortune cookie like a paper crane, like a piece of edible art. Maybe I’m being dramatic, or maybe I’m just a slow fortune cookie folder, but I’m pretty sure the whole process took me at a minimum 7 hours. Like I said, all for the trend. A 7 hour project for a 40 second Tiktok video, I think we’ve established, I am crazy. But honestly, each mini fortune cookie brought me joy, so according to Marie Kondo, I should keep on keeping on, and I did. And guess what, it was actually out of this world delicious. Don’t believe me? I guess you’ll have to spend 7 hours to find out for yourself.
Making Your Fortune Cookie Batter
I honestly just used my regular fortune cookie recipe, obviously these vary, so if you’re worried that one you use won’t work for the minis, just use my recipe below. Mine just includes, egg whites, sugar, flour, various natural flavoring extracts, and water. I’ve also seen some recipes out there with cornstarch. However, with my batter, it should be thick but a little runny. It will harden up a bit as you make the cookies. If you’re vegan and want to give these a go, I’ve seen vegan fortune cookie recipes on Pinterest, but I don’t know how well they will actually fold for you, especially at such a small size for this cereal. Feel free to give it a go and report back on how it goes!
Folding Your (mini) Fortune Cookies
Even though we are making mini fortune cookies for this cereal, the process is not much different than making your regular sized cookie. Basically, what we are going to do is take a tiny dollop of our batter – I’m talking like TINY tiny, I think I used a half a teaspoon. And you are going to dollop that onto your parchment paper or silicon mat and spread the batter until it is flat and circular. If you watched my Tiktok/Instagram Reel you will see that I used a silicon mat with macaron outlining. I used the innermost circle as my guide and that way, my cookies came out more uniform. Here’s the kicker about fortune cookies though, and also why they take so damn long to make. You can really only cook three at a time. This goes for the large ones as well. Why is this? Well, you’re only going to be able to fold about three at a time (at least when you start out). And if you have more cookies than you can fold immediately from the oven, then they are going to harden up on you and be a complete wash. So, as tedious as it is, if you are going to attempt to make this, only cook about three at a time. I think I gradually made my way up to six at a time, but I definitely ended up having some harden on me. Also, fair warning, if you have delicate hands, you may want to skip this endeavor and wait until I charge $500 a bowl in my future café. I say this because, like I said, you have to fold these immediately after coming out of the oven. I do not recommend this as a project for children. But if you always got hot glue stuck to your fingertips for your middle school projects and survived, I think you’re gonna be just fine. Also, you may be wondering about the “fortune” part. If you want little flecks of paper in your cereal, I say, be my guest!
How to Eat Fortune Cookie Cereal
Once you have labored the day away folding thousands of tiny fortune cookies. You are literally just going to toss them into a bowl and douse them with milk, how’s that for anticlimactic? Just, kidding. Honestly, the taste of the cereal alone made the 7+ hours well worth it. And besides, what else did I really have going on? If you’re vegan, go ahead, try it with some of your fancy plant milk, let me know how it tastes! So, moral of the story is, if you’ve got some spare time (7+ hours), like tedious rituals, and you really love cute stuff like me – give it a try its super fun! But, if you’re lazy and just want to see what it would taste like, go to your local Chinese restaurant, get some takeout. Repeat this step until you have an abundance of fortune cookies, then crush them up into a bowl, pour milk over and you will taste a similar result. I hope you enjoyed this TED talk.
Fortune Cookie Cereal Recipe
- 3 egg whites
- 3/4 cup white granulated sugar
- 1/8 tsp. almond extract
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 4 Tbsp. melted butter
- 1 cup flour
- 3 Tbsp. water
1. In a standing mixer (or with a whisk) beat together egg whites and sugar.
2. Then add in almond and vanilla extracts.
3. Next, fully incorporate your flour, followed by your water. Mix until smooth.
4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
5. Take a half teaspoon of batter and spread thin and circular on your parchment/baking mat. Do this three times.
* I recommend using a baking mat that has outlines for macarons (as an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases), that way you can use the innermost circle as a guide and keep your mini fortune cookies uniform.*
6. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 5-6 minutes.
7. Fold your cookies immediately (this is why we only cook three at a time, because they harden quickly). Fold in half like a taco and then fold the two side edges together. Then repeat this process for the remainder of your cookies.
8. Finally pour your "cereal" into a bowl with some ice cold milk & enjoy immediately!