This tasty activity gives your child international cooking experience, as he makes his own, creative fortune cookies. He can personalize them for friends or family, by including made-for-them messsages. Writing fortunes and “lucky numbers" gives him some valuable writing practice. Plus, eating the cookies makes for some yummy fun!
What You Need:
- 12 slips of white paper (2 inches x ½ inch each), pen.
- Baking sheets
- Glass bowl
- Electric mixer
Ingredients for 12 cookies:
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large egg whites
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup butter, melted
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Baking grease
What You Do:
- Fill your child in on some of the interesting history behind fortune cookies. In 14th century China, a soldier used mooncakes to hide secret messages. Immigrant Chinese railroad workers in California made biscuits, instead of mooncakes, due to ingredients that they had available. Today, "fortune cookies" are common in many Chinese restaurants.
- Have your child come up with 12 “fortunes," such as predictions, personality descriptions, and fun sayings, to write on paper slips. For example, “You are wise and funny.” or "An event will soon make your life more exciting."
- To incorporate math, have her write “lucky numbers” on the back of each paper slip. Ask that “lucky numbers” all be multiples of 2, or 3, or 4 (etc.) on various slips to give multiplication practice!
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Ask her to grease three cookie sheets.
- In a large bowl, have her measure and pour ½ cup sugar.
- Next, separate 2 egg whites, and add those to the sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved.
- Have her measure ¼ cup flour, ¼ cup melted butter, and ½ teaspoon vanilla, and add them to bowl. You’ll use a mixer to beat until smooth.
- She should drop 2 teaspoons of batter onto greased cookie sheets, about 2 inches apart. Only put 4 cookies onto each cookie sheet, because they will spread into large circles. This recipe makes 12 cookies.
- Bake 5 minutes, or until edges are browned.
- After carefully removing the circles from the cookie sheets, ask your child to place a fortune slip into a circle’s middle.
- Fold the circle in half, then fold again in half over the edge of a glass bowl to give the cookie its folded shape. The cookies look homemade, but she'll be proud to have made them!
- When cooled, crack open your cookie, read your fortune, and enjoy! (Eat soon, as they may get soggy.)
Beth Levin has an M.A. in Curriculum and Education from Columbia University Teachers College. She has written educational activities for Macmillan/McGraw-Hill and Renaissance Learning publishers. She has a substitute teaching credential for grades K-12 in Oregon, where she lives with her husband and two daughters.