On Sunday, February 14, 2010, The Year of the Tiger starts. This year, the date has special significance since it also happens to fall on Valentine's Day, making it a doubly auspicious day to celebrate in the West. If you were born under the sign of the tiger, like myself, you are one of the most caring and thoughtful signs in the Chinese zodiac. You have a lot to say on the best way to right society's wrongs, and quite capable of defending children, friends, and loved ones against all enemies. In honor of our new granddaughter, Madison, the February Give-Away is an apron done from a line of fabrics entitled "Chinese Take Out." I also baked up homemade Fortune Cookies, which are easy to make, but challenging to create. I recommend you start with two at a time because they set up fast.
Ingredients: 2 large egg whites
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. pure almond extract
3 T vegetable oil
8 T all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
8 T granulated sugar
3 tsp. water
1. Write (or type) fortunes on pieces of paper that 3 1/2 inches long and 1/2 inch wide. Preheat oven to 300F-degrees. Use a piece of parchment paper to draw two 4 inch circles on the underneath side. Flip it over and place on a baking sheet.
2. In a medium bowl, lightly beat the egg whites, vanilla extract, almond extract and vegetable oil until frothy, but not stiff.
3. Sift the flour, cornstarch, salt and sugar into a separate bowl. Stir the water into the flour mixture.
4. Add the flour into the egg white mixture and stire until you have a smooth batter. The batter should not be runny, but should drop easily off a wooden spoon.
5. Place level tablespoon of batter onto the cookie sheet, spacing them at least 3 inches apart. Gently tilt the baking sheet back and forth and from side to side so that each tablespoon of batter forms into a circle 4 inches in diameter.
6. Bake until the outer 1/2-inch of each cookie turns golden brown and they are easy to remove from the baking sheet with a spatula.
I baked these about 10-12 minutes.
7. Working quickly, remove the cookie with a spatula and flip it over in your hand. place a fortune in the middle of a cookie. To form the fortune cookie shape, fold the cookie in half, then gently pull the edges downward over the rim of a glass, wooden spoon or the edge of a muffin pan. Place the finished cookie in the cup of the muffin tin so that it keeps its shape.
Remember...if you want a chance to win this apron, all you have to do is "comment."