We have some hard and fast strict rules in our house for handling our son’s anaphylactic peanut and shellfish allergy.
I do want to note that I’m a huge proponent of supporting fellow allergy friends in how they choose to live safely in their world. We are pretty strict in some ways, but that works for us. Do what works for you, and discuss with your allergist. We researched and spoke with our allergist, and this is just what we decided on as a family after doing so, and what works for us. Some of them include:
- NEVER eating food others homemake
- NEVER sharing food with others
- NEVER eating something that is not pre-packaged without a label (unless mom or dad make it at home)
- NEVER eat something that says anything about being cross-contaminated or “may contains”, “shared equipment”, “same facility” etc as peanut or shellfish.
- NEVER eating from a buffet
- NEVER eating from a bakery
- NEVER eating asian cuisine (Chinese, Japanese, Korean) food as it has high odds for being cross-contaminated
Exceptions to the Rule
There are a few rare exceptions, such as for the bakery items, when we know and have investigated allergy safe bakeries such as Starry Lane in La Jolla, or certain WalMart baked goods that are prepared in a separate safe facility and then shipped in for sale.
Peanut & Shellfish Allergy with Asian Cuisine
The last one here, regarding eating asian cuisine, we have an exception ONLY when we are able to find our own recipes and make it in our own home with allergy friendly products. We have made several dishes that are safe for him such as teriyaki chicken, and chicken & vegetable stir fry. Recently, he came to me and asked a ton of questions about sushi.
Little side note here
I used to work as a waitress in a sushi restaurant and I never suspected peanuts an issue at the sushi bar until I was on a date with my husband and the sushi chef treated us to sorbet. I was eating the sorbet and to my surprise it had full on whole peanuts in it! First of all even though I’m not a fan of peanuts (even though I am not allergic I never loved them), but peanuts in sorbet… what?! It was weird and didn’t seem to go together for me, but apparently this is a “thing”. Thank goodness I am not allergic because who would have guessed that surprise! It was a good reminder to me that you just never know when an allergen will pop-up even in situations you are knowledgeable and have experience in. Always ask about ingredients and cross-contamination. But I digress…
Back to my son…
I think one of his friends was talking about sushi, how they have tried it, and how they love it. He was so curious until I explained the raw factor, and then he was so grossed out. He started asking questions about all asian cuisine. Which led to what he really wanted to know. He wanted to know if I could make safe fortune cookies. We have been able to find them a few times and they were safe pre-packaged and labeled well, but typically you don’t get fortune cookies unless you eat out at a Chinese restaurant.
These Fortune Cookies Can be Made Gluten Free or With Traditional All-Purpose Flour
So I wanted my gluten-free husband to also be able to indulge in this fun treat with all of us, and I just love King Arthur Brand Gluten Free Measure for Measure Flour. I tested several different recipes before settling on this final recipe in our home test kitchen. When I say several, I’m talking like literally a couple handfuls worth of batches over the course of several days. You can make this WITH gluten/wheat traditional flour, or gluten free.
Fun Homeschool or Family Activity
I let my kids make up all their own fortunes, and they had so much fun with that! It made the entire experience unique and they had a great time with it! This recipe makes about 12-16 fortune cookies depending how much batter you use in each cookie.
Some tips before you get started ***PLEASE READ***:
- Read through the entire recipe before beginning. It’s not a very forgiving process and these tips will help you. Depending on your elevation, exact oven temperature (mine says 350, but I’m pretty sure it’s off a bit if ya know what I mean and not really 350, for example), and other factors. Welcome to baking am I right?!
- While we are talking about oven temperatures THERE IS A DIFFERENT TEMPERATURE FOR GLUTEN FREE VS ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR IN THIS RECIPE!!!!! With gluten-free baking when subbing in any recipe, or otherwise, sometimes the gluten free mixes (homemade or store-bought) can have a tendency to come out chewy and soft. To get that same hard crunchy cookie as with all-purpose traditional flour, you will need to bake them “SLOW AND LOW” every time I say this I go back to my youth and Beastie Boy days… If you don’t know go find it and listen now. It’s so good. You can use that trick to fix other gluten free dishes/goods as well. So for this recipe if GLUTEN FREE BAKE AT 350. For this recipe if using ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR BAKE AT 400.
- You can really make your fortunes any size you’d like. I literally just typed out my children’s fortune’s using about 12 pt font, and printed out, cut, and used. So that they aren’t hanging out I would try to get them to be shorter than half the page, width-wise e.g. 4″. If they are bigger though just fold in half before placing in cookie. Although, I think they look neat sticking out a bit.
- Another idea for a fun cute party, if you don’t want to do fortunes, is to put about 4″ lengths of ribbon in your cookies. Super cute! Could be a fun baby gender reveal idea! Fill them with pink or blue papers or ribbons.
- If you want to get really creative and fun, you can make your cookies, let them “harden” and cool, and then dip them in chocolate and sprinkles for holiday colors/party colors, etc.
- You will want to make sure you lightly grease/oil your cookie sheet
- Only bake TWO cookies at a time. If you are like me you will be tempted to bake more than that. I had this process down pat, and was going SUPER fast, but they start to “set” so fast that if you do more than two, the rest will harden before you can put the fortune in and shape them.
- After each baking, use a paper towel to gently wipe clean the cookie sheet and add a little grease if needed.
- Whip the egg white until soft peaks form, not too stiff and not too runny.
- You will want your batter to be “runny”, “watery”, and the consistency that is more of a glaze as opposed to a “cookie” or even “pancake” batter. Even thinner than pancake batter. If you need to make it thinner, just add about 1 tablespoon of water, combine well, and then see if it’s good. Add more water as needed. If you draw up your spoon and let the batter drip/fall back into the bowl it should be like maple syrup freely flowing and thin.
- I used a measuring teaspoon to ladle the batter onto the cookie sheet. I’m pretty sure that if I look in my Emily Post book there is a better name for it, but most commonly, teaspoon AKA “the cereal spoon”. I then used the back of the spoon to gently press and smooth out the batter to a thin layer, with a diameter of about 3″-4″.
- You will know that your batter is thin enough when you place it on your cookie sheet. You should be able to lift and tilt your sheet so that you could draw the batter into a circle by tilting and letting it gently run into place. If it doesn’t, you need to add more water to thin it out.
- Have all your equipment set-up for placing strips of fortunes in cookies, a glass or mug for shaping, a muffin tin for holding while set-up, spatula and oven mitt. When you pull the cookies out, you will want to work as quickly as possible, they set FAST! Like the little boy Dash on Incredibles, fast!
- Every oven is a little different and you will want to bake your cookies for roughly 6-8 minutes, but especially once you get to your 2nd batch, with an already heated sheet, your time will most likely lessen a tad. Just stand there and keep an eye on them. What you will want to look for is that your cookies are turning a light golden brown. If you pull them and they are already hardened, or harden too quickly, try lessening your next batch by a minute or two until you find your sweet spot. The batter makes a bit extra, so don’t worry if you have to make 2-3 trial sets of two. For my oven, going gluten-free it was 350 for 6 minutes. If you are making with traditional all-purpose flour, I would do 400 for 6 -8 minutes.
- Once you pull them from the oven, remove the first cookie immediately and begin working. As soon as the first is done, again work quickly and complete the second cookie immediately. They are hot so be careful!
- When I placed my fortunes inside the cookies, this is a personal preference, I keep the top of the cookie as it baked on the cookie sheet, facing up when I transfer it to the counter top. This leaves the bottom that was touching the pan and more golden brown throughout, to show on the outside.
- When you use the cup, coffee mug, or even a deep round cereal bowl for shaping be sure to place the right direction onto the dish. You will want to have the sealed edge facing UP, and the folded crease is what you will press into the cup, while pulling down on seal edges to make that “u” shape.
- Finally, you will immediately place each fortune cookie into a muffin tin so that it can hold its shape, set and cool/harden. Note that the traditional flour hardens and stays hard, but as with most gluten-free flours they can be a bit temperamental as time goes on. My gluten free fortune cookies were perfectly crunchy just like “normal” flour-made cookies, and stayed that way for a good 4 hours, the longer the gluten free cookies sat out over time, they softened up a bit and didn’t have the same “crunch” and cracking when opening.
Allergy Friendly Fortune Cookies
- Fortune’s handwritten/printed and cut to about 1/4″-1/2″ x 4″ OR strips of ribbon
- Regular sized muffin tin
- Glass or mug for shaping cookies
- Oven Mitt
- 1 egg white whipped into soft peaks
- 1/2 C flour*
- 1/2 C sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp lemon juice optional
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 C water**
Read all 18 notes above. I know so annoying who has time for that?! But it will save you time later and help you a ton! This recipe is not forgiving, especially if you are doing gluten-free. I promise you’ll be glad you did!
Preheat oven to 350 IF BAKING GLUTEN FREE.
Preheat oven to 400 IF BAKING WITH TRADITIONAL ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR.
Whip egg white until soft peaks form. Add sugar, lemon juice, vanilla and salt, and mix well. Add flour and water, and mix well. Grease cookie sheet. Using a teaspoon ladle two cookies on your sheet, several inches apart, and use the back of the teaspoon to spread them out into circles with a diameter about 3″-4″. Bake for 6-8 minutes, or until you see that they are turning a very light golden brown. Remove from oven, working quickly, remove one cookie and add a fortune strip to it in the center of hot cookie. Quickly fold up cookie in half, and then placing the fold/crease side down onto the rim of a cup, bring down the outer corners to create the classic Fortune Cookie shape. Place cookie in a muffin tin to set and harden. Repeat QUICKLY with other cookie. Continue until batter is gone.
*You can use regular all-purpose flour, OR a gluten-free option such as King Arthur Gluten Free. I used King Arthur Gluten Free for the ones pictured in this blog post.
**I would recommend using 1/2 C of water, and then spooning up a bit and drizzling back into bowl to see if it is liquidy and thinner than pancake batter. If it is not, slowly add about 1 T at a time until it is thin like a donut glaze or syrup. Adversely if yours is too thin, you can add about a tablespoon of flour at a time, mixing well, until it thickens up.
Having trouble? See notes above, or some pictures below for visuals.
Shaping the Fortune Cookies:
The Gluten Free Flour Mix I used, I ordered off Amazon. You can click in this post, or find it anytime in my favorites tab/page on this blog/site. I love it. You can definitly make your own gluten free mix, but I just love this one.
Syrupy, runny batter consistency, as well as how thin to “shape” them and the coloring to look for when pulling from oven. Note that the “upside” of cookie will appear more pale, and when you fold them the “bottom” or side directly touching baking sheet will have that nice golden baked color once folded:
All done! Ready to crack open and find your fortune…
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