Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Write fortunes on strips of paper about 10cm long and 1cm wide. Generously grease 2 baking trays.
Mix the egg white and vanilla until foamy but not stiff. Sift the flour, salt and sugar and blend into the egg white mixture.
Place teaspoonfuls of the batter at least 10cm apart on one of the prepared baking trays. Tilt the sheet to move the batter into round shapes about 8cm in diameter. Be careful to make batter as round and even as possible. Do not make too many, because the cookies have to be really hot to form them into their final shapes and once they cool it is too late. Start with 2 or 3 to a tray to see how many you can do.
Bake for 5 minutes or until cookie has turned a golden colour around the outer edge of the circle. The centre will remain pale. While one tray is baking, prepare the other.
Remove from oven and quickly move cookie with a wide spatula and place upside down on a wooden board. Quickly place the fortune on the cookie, close to the middle, and fold the cookie in half. Place the folded edge across the rim of a measuring cup and pull the pointed edges down, one on the inside of the cup and one on the outside. Place folded cookies into the cups of a muffin tin or egg carton to hold their shape until firm.
Altered ingredient amounts.
I used some of the suggestions from prior reviewers. These cookies actually come out better than expected. I used 2Tbsp of sugar instead of the 4. I also added 1/8 tsp almond extract. I folded them in half on a cutting board, bent them on the rim of a mug and then let them cool in the tin as suggested. Be careful if you are going to try to crisp the cookies by reheating them. When they warm up again, they begin to unfold. Perhaps leaving the cookies in the muffin tin would help keep their shape. - 21 Jul 2008
I strongly recommend adding 2 tablespoons of butter to the batter or they will stick to the tray. Also, we had to thin it out a bit with a tiny bit of water. I added both vanilla and almond extact, and reduced the sugar to 2 T a batch. I made over 100 of these for a wedding. We had best results by making no more than 4 at a time and cooling in a muffin tin. Also, the cookies were just not crunchy enough for my liking. - 21 Jul 2008
I absolutely love this recipe. The key to this recipe is to make sure you make each circle VERY thin before baking to prevent a soft pancake-like centre. Follow the rest of the directions closely and you will have successful fortune cookies for your special event! - 21 Jul 2008