This unique multifunctional dessert. By the way, she is of Asian origin. More precisely – Japanese-Chinese. No, that does not mean progressive bilateral cooperation between the two Eastern powers in one joint culinary project. Exactly opposite. Soon, a hundred years later, as only the Chinese and Japanese have done, they are pulling out a cookie cutter, trying to apply the idea of baking cookies that predicts the future. Why? Well… It’s probably a matter of national part.
If you look for an answer in the wilderness of history, there will be no end. Therefore, since I have significantly reduced the long and embellished versions of both sides, I will present you with only a brief summary of them.
Version number 1. Chinese
Once upon a time (namely, in the fourteenth century), the Chinese Chu Yuan Chang lived in China . Like any Chinese Chinese who deeply respects ancient Chinese traditions, he baked so-called moon cakes every year on the fifteenth night of the eighth month (note: very, very Chinese and exclusively for the Chinese harvest festival – Zhongjiujie).
The story will not be complete, if we do not mention that moon cakes have always been especially important for decent Chinese fans. Parental care weakened this holiday, and young Chinese were given a wonderful opportunity to stare at the high Chinese moon all night, cracking pies and reading intricate excerpts from Confucius’ philosophical treatises. Very romantic (and very Chinese).
And at that time (that is, all in the same XIV century), China was not ruled by the Chinese at all, but by the Mongol Yuan dynasty itself. And that fact greatly overshadowed the lives of all true Chinese. Especially on holidays. The uprising broke up. But since, according to ancient Chinese rules, the date of the rebellion should be reported to each other in writing, none of the Chinese knew when it would happen. No one could think of an effective and not attract the attention of the Mongol “occupiers” by transmitting written messages (which is why the Yuan emperors remained in China for a hundred years).
And then one day, on the eve of the next Zhongkiujie holiday, the Chinese Zhu Yuan Zhang came up with a great idea: should I put a note with Chinese characters in a cake note? And if you write the date in the note… The Chinese liked the idea and the uprising finally happened. And Zhu Yuan Zhang ascended the throne and became the first emperor of the twenty-first Chinese Ming dynasty.
Since then, everything handwritten, printed on printers or any other notes created in any culinary products is considered Chinese national knowledge. Default. Which is, in fact, quite fair: where did Zhu Yuan Zhang patent his invention in the 14th century?
Version number 2 Japanese
Once upon a time (much longer than in China), visitors to Japanese temples were served tsujiura senbei cookies with predictions inside. That’s the end of the story. The key word here is “long-term.” Let go of Zhu Yuan Zhang of the Ming Dynasty.
American independent opinion
Ask any American, “What’s the name of the fortune cookie so popular in the United States?” In nine and a half cases out of ten, he will answer you – Chinese Fortune cookies. “Chinese” means Chinese. That’s the whole story.
Unofficially, the Chinese have, in fact, long ago won the Asian culinary dispute. And in order to consolidate the result (and at the same time throw the Japanese off the track), a darkness of different baking names with predictions was created. One of them sounds like this: kingiun bing – a fortune cookie (this is in case you suddenly have an idea to show your knowledge in great and powerful Chinese).
So how do you bake?
I’m sure you’ll be surprised when you learn the recipe. You, like me, will begin to “torture vague doubts” about the validity of the Sino-Japanese culinary conflict. Too non-Asian (read: pretty European) technology may seem.
Recipe. Whisk in the foam two large egg whites. Add 1/3 cup of sugar (or better sugar than icing) and continue to stir until a strong white “tip” is formed. Then, stirring constantly, carefully add 4 tablespoons of melted and cooled butter, half a cup of top quality flour, with (pinch). If desired, you can add half a teaspoon of lemon juice and / or almond essence. Or a little vanilla. Mix well. The dough is ready.
Baking. Preheat oven to 160 degrees. Bake it with one spoon, put the dough on a baking sheet (if you have doubts about the non-stick properties of baking paper – cover it with greaseproof baking paper). Coat the dough with the back of a spoon. You should get neat thin round “pancakes”.
If you want the edges of the cookies to come out perfectly, you can use special cookie cutters. Another option is to bake the biscuit in one large layer, and then cut the biscuits out of it into a round shape with sharp edges (for example, a thin wall).
That is all. Sent in the oven.
Design Quickly remove the finished biscuits from the pan and arrange on a suitable wide surface. Under no circumstances leave it to cool. We put a paper strip with a prediction in the middle. Fold each pancake in half (paper tape is inside). We bend the resulting semicircle again with a pyramid (as if we want to show an Indian wigwam or a Soviet cloak-tent). So much for Fortune cookies – Fortune cookies. When it cools, you can serve it (traditionally with green tea).
Note 1. Biscuits cool quickly, lose flexibility and crumble when folded. That is why it is better to bake cookies in small batches in several passes.
Note 2. It is recommended that you print the label on paper on a laser printer. If you write by hand, then the heat can cause the ink to float and the inscription will not be readable.
Note 3. Predictions are easy to make yourself (which is room for creative momentum!). And you can use special databases of traditional oriental wisdom or international aphorisms in small towns, phrases, etc., of which it is full on the Internet and on “solid” media. This is for adults.
If you plan to please your little one with kindergarten / kindergarten cookies, then instead of predictions, wishes and advice, you can use a series of cartoons, pictures of wise counselors from a fairy tale character (like Moidodir, Znaik, Aibolit) or celebrity heroes (like Harry) Potter and company. People X, Magnificent Four, Superman, Spider-Man and similar television pictures). All types of “jokes with humor”, cool “tricks” and jokes are suitable for teenagers.
Yet these Asians are naive. From time immemorial, we Slavs have been investing in our cakes of buttons (for family happiness), coins (for wealth) and subway tokens (for travel). So, it’s our idea. Ours is ours! It is easy for us to fall into an empty Asian argument…
Postcript to postscript
Surprisingly, sometimes Fortune cookies bring good luck. For example, the Briton Danny Williams from the county of Essex won half a million dollars in the summer of 2008 – he entered the numbers on the lottery ticket that he discovered in the cookie forecast.