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Paul's Almond + Orange Fortune Cookies

July 31, 2023

A plate of fortune cookies and a cup of tea.

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Welcome to Katrina's Great British Baking Project, aka Bake Along with Bake Off! If you haven't checked out my post about the hows and whys of this project, please head over there and give it a quick peruse. (TL, DR: I am baking the recipes from Bake Off that sound the best to me for fun, deliciousness, and learning!)

Check out the other bakes from the episode:

A plate of lemon cookies
Sophie's Lemon Limoncino Sandwich Biscuits

Rules of The Challenge

The Technical challenges provide the bakers with a *simplified* recipe so they must rely on their instinct and expertise to properly execute the bake. For this challenge, the contestants had 2 hours to complete their fortune cookies. They had to make:

  • 6 almond fortune cookies with white chocolate and hazelnuts
  • 6 orange fortune cookies with a heart pattern
A close up of the fortune cookies on a plate

Words of Wisdom from Paul Hollywood

The Technical bakes are all recipes created by the judges, and they alternate between Prue and Paul each episode. Whichever judge's recipe is being baked imparts some knowledge onto the bakers before they embark upon their baking journey. This is what Paul had to say about these mini-rolls:

"Don't fold under the pressure."

Genuinely, the least helpful advice I've ever heard.

Research and Recipe Choice

While the bakers on the show have a pared-down version of the recipe, I will be using Paul's full, actual recipe from the show's official website.

A screenshot of the official recipe

Making This Bake

Prepping the Ingredients

The recipe called for caster sugar, but I only had granulated sugar. Caster sugar is slightly finer than granulated, but not as fine as powdered sugar. It might have been fine just to use granulated sugar as is, but I didn’t want to risk it, so I popped it in the food processor for a few moments until it looked like this.

A small bowl of finely ground sugar

While the food processor was out, I also chopped up some hazelnuts for the almond-flavored cookies, and toasted them for a few moments in a 350ºF oven, just until they started to get golden.

A tray of chopped hazelnuts

Making the Batter

After getting all the ingredients measured and the supplies out and ready to go, I separated the two eggs. Eggs separate better when they are cold, so I made sure they were straight from the fridge. I put the whites into a big bowl, to which I added vegetable oil and whisked until quote, “frothy but not aerated.”

A bowl of frothy but not aerated egg whites.

Then I sifted together the dries, which were flour, baking soda, and a pinch of salt. The sugar went in next and after a good mixing, I gently mixed the wets into the dries. Then I separated out half by weight so I had one bowl for each flavor.

Pouring the wets into the dries

Starting with the almond cookies, I added the almond extract and then got my sheet tray ready with a silicone mat. I think the silicone mat might be the most important part of this recipe! (Although parchment might work too?) Working with two cookies at a time, I spooned out 2 tablespoons of batter and swirled with the back of a spoon to smooth it out into a circle.

Spreading out two unbaked cookies

Baking the Almond Ones

Then the tray went into the oven and baked. The oven temp for this recipe is relatively low, so even though the cookies are thin, they took about 12 minutes to fully bake. I think the slow bake time makes the cookies bake more evenly so the outside and the inside can cook at the same rate. Which therefore makes a fully snappy cookie. I think.

Putting the cookies in the oven

While the cookies were in the oven, I realized to my shock and chagrin that I had totally spaced on writing fortunes! So I ran to my craft supplies and got some paper to write out my 12 fortunes.

7 fortunes, Love comforteth like sunshine after rain, do it scared, error 404: fortune not found, oops - wrong cookies, may the force be with you, if you can't love yourself how the hell are you going to love anyone else? To get to the other side

I also got my landing zone set up. I had my offset spatula, a tumbler, and the fortunes, plus a muffin tin to put the cooling cookings in so they didn't unfold. (Isn't that brilliant? I think it's so cool!)

A muffin tray

Folding Time

When the first two cookies were done, I moved quickly so that the cookies didn't start to harden at all. I flipped the cookie over, popped in fortune, and folded the cookie in half with the spatula until it looked like a half circle. Then I picked up the corners and pressed the flat side of the half circle over the edge of the glass to bend the cookie into the classic shape. Then it went into the muffin tin, and I repeated the whole process with the second cookie.

Folding a fortune cookie over the edge of a glass

Problems Arise

As the cookies cooled, I noticed that they were both cracking, which to me would indicate that they were overcooked when I went to fold them, but also not hardening, which would indicate that they were not cooked enough. I chalked this up to a size issue - I think that they were too thick so in my attempt to get them cooked enough, they actually ended up overcooking slightly, while still being too thick to ever harden properly. But I digress -

A cracked cookie

Baking the Orange Ones

For the orange cookies, I separated out a few tablespoons of the batter to leave as is and then added orange extract and orange food coloring to the rest of the batter. I made a piping bag using a very hot knife blade and a freezer bag (which worked REALLY well!) and put the plain batter into the piping bag.

A homemade piping bag made out of a freezer bag

To make the decorative pattern, I piped tiny dots of the plain batter around the edge of the orange circle of batter and then used a toothpick to drag through the center of each dot which turned the dots into adorable heart shapes. Then these went into the oven and were flipped, filled, folded, and cooled like almond ones.

Shaping the orange cookies

A Brief History Interlude

While the next batches of cookies were baking, I did a little bit of research into the history of the fortune cookie. I did not think that these fancy versions I was making were rooted in any cultural truth (Bake Off has been called out before for taking... liberties) and I was not wrong. I found a great article on the History Channel's site that shared a brief history of the fortune cookie in the US. The whole article is great, but the TL, DR is:

  • Fortune cookies actually originated in 19th-century Japan.
  • The Japanese version of the cookie, known as "tsujiura senbei," had a similar folded shape with fortunes tucked into them, but they were larger and made with sesame and miso.
  • Japanese immigrants brought these cookies to the United States, particularly in places like Hawaii and California, where they set up bakeries and made miso and sesame-flavored "fortune cookie-ish" crackers.
  • In the early 1900s, the modern vanilla and butter version was introduced, to enjoy with tea.
  • Americans at the time did not want to eat Japanese food, but did want to eat Chinese food, so Japanese immigrants opened Chinese food restaurants and began serving the vanilla version of the cookie at the end of the meal.

I found this fascinating and if you are interested too, I highly recommend checking out the whole article!

Finishing Touches

To finish the almond cookies, I dipped the ends of the cookies first in some melted white chocolate and then the chopped hazelnuts. Those went into the fridge to set up while the final orange cookies baked. I folded the last cookies, and finally, my 12 fortune cookies were done!

Dipping the almond cookies in white chocolate and hazelnuts

Tasting Time

I tasted the almond ones first and while these were delicious, they were definitely chewy and not crunchy. They tore instead of snapped. I also think the white chocolate and hazelnuts were totally unnecessary, but they do look pretty!

An almond fortune cookie

The orange ones fared a bit better! I didn't have as much batter because of taking some out for the decoration, but I think that worked to my advantage because I made the cookies much thinner as I was rationing the batter. The flavor of these was very strong, I think I would use a tiny bit less extract if making these again. Which leads me too...

An orange fortune cookie

The Official Rating

A muffin tin full of fortune cookies

Paul’s handshakes are only bestowed upon the bakers when they have baked something really exceptional.

My rating for how likely I am to bake this recipe again is: 6/10 handshakes


As is, I'm not super likely to make these again. If I did, I would probably just do vanilla. The extra flavors, colors, and toppings didn't do much for me.

My rating for my execution of this bake is: 8/10 handshakes


Since the almond ones had no snap but tasted great, I gave myself a 7 for those. The orange ones came out a bit better, so I gave myself a 9 for those, bringing my total to 8!

To Sum Up

A plate full of fortune cookies

All in all, these were fun! They are pretty time-consuming, (and you WILL burn the tips of your fingers, no way around it that I can think of) but I got into a good flow and I could imagine getting a lot of other stuff done in between baking and folding. These would be super fun for a party, but it's gotta be a special occasion for the time involved!

A broke fortune cookie with the fortune "There is still some good in this world, Mr. Frodo."

Catch up on what you may have missed and stay tuned for the rest of the bakes from Collection 5, Episode 2 - Biscuit Week!

Head to the links below for the previous bakes from Episode 1 - Cake Week!

I hope you have a beautiful rest of your day and thank you so much for being here!

💖, Katrina



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