If you’ve ever spent a minute with my family, you know we are weird. Very, very, very weird. Since this would be our last baby, I knew this was my last chance to announce our pregnancy and when I told the family, it needed to be good.
I needed something crazy, different, surprising, not too expensive (although flying a banner over the city sounded fun) and bonus points for any additional creative or shock value.
I was kind of at a loss for ideas until my Dad called and asked us if we could come over their way for a birthday dinner at the Chinese restaurant and then cake and ice cream at the house afterwards.
Cake and ice cream sounded awesome, but the lightbulb went off for a fortune cookie surprise and the wheels started turning as to how (and if) we could actually pull it off….
The week before, I started to feel a bit queasy and I honestly just kind of threw everything on the back burner. Saturday rolled around, my parents had invited Annie M to spend the night and with her out of the house and the boys napping (i.e. no little mouths to prematurely spill the beans!), I looked at my husband, googled “easy fortune cookie recipe” and an hour and a half later, we were walking out the door with the boys and our cookies that contained our secret!
No lie that we didn’t start working on this til hardly an hour and a half before we left.
Yall know me. I kind of hate cooking and am awful at it. I do like to bake, but I only bake two things (and those are from a box). The fortune cookies were SO easy (and quick!) to make and I had all of the supplies for it in the pantry. I’ll show you the step by step below and if you want the detailed recipe that I used, the LINK is here.
- 1 egg white
- 1/8 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup of unbleached all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup of white sugar
Actually, I did not have unbleached all purpose flour, so I just used what I had. Not sure what the difference would be, but mine came out fine….see, told you I wasn’t a good cook! Step one and getting ingredients, I am already whatevs on! 😉
After I pulled out the ingredients, but before we got started cooking, I made the fortune strips. I could have typed them, but since we were in a rush, I really didn’t even measure and just wrote them as fast as my little hands could write. The strips are about 2 inches long and .5 inches wide (ish).
Now that my fortunes were ready and all ingredients pulled, we were ready to cook. Again, see the link above for step by step instructions, but you basically mix the egg white and vanilla til its foamy and sift the flour, salt and sugar into it to make the batter. I think we got 14 or so fortune cookies out of this batch, so if you need more, double it. Or better yet, made one set at a time as you cant cook them all at once due to the next steps…
Once your batter is ready, place teaspoons of the batter onto a greased pan. DONT do a bunch at a time as when they come out, you have to pull them off and shape them before they cool. If you do a bunch, they will cool too fast!
We read to drop the batter on the pan and then turn it to get the batter into a circle type shape. Ours weren’t perfect and I used a spoon to smooth out the center on a few.
Bake at 400 degrees for 5 or so minutes – or until the cookies are turning a golden brown. When you pull them out, have your spatula ready! We saw online to place them on a wooden board (we used a cutting board), so my husband would pull them off of the pan and I would place the fortune inside and then shape it. Our recipe mentioned using a pyrex measuring cup to help mold and that worked perfectly for us!
We placed the fortune on the circle and folded that in half. Then I took the warm, soft cookie (now folded in half), placed the folded edge on the pyrex glass measuring cup and pulled the two sides down. Just like that, they looked like real fortune cookies!
Both the hubs and I were thrilled!
At this point, they were starting to firm up – and they cooled/hardened a lot faster than I expected. I left them there for a few minutes, pulled them off and they had turned from a soft cookie feel to a crunchy, crispy fortune cookie like texture!
We had a few casualties (i.e. the ones that just didn’t look pretty) and I took that as an excuse to taste test. I’ll tell you below what others thought of the taste, but lets just say I was very pleased.
We tossed them in a Ziploc bag, put them in my purse and headed across town for the family dinner.
Dinner was your typical meal out with kids and they were half-way behaving and half-way not. My husband noticed that our waiter kept walking down the hallway towards the bathroom and we noted that there was a cut through down the hallway to the kitchen.
Towards the end of the meal, I got up and pretended to use the restroom. I waited in the hallway with my purse until the waiter came by and I handed him the bag and asked him if he would switch the restaurant cookies for mine when he brought our check and I told him that they had a special message in them for my parents.
I scooted back to the table and prayed he understood. He did a lot of nodding at me during our hallway conversation and in my haste to return to the table and our obvious language barrier, I was a bit uncertain.
When I got back to the table, Moose and the hubs were gone. Moose had been throwing food (lovely) so Husband took him outside. Not as soon as I could text to come back and that the goods had been delivered, he came back in and told me that there was a medical emergency happening at a table across from us and that fire and EMS would soon arrive.
I didn’t know whether to cry or pray or try to stop everything. I didn’t want to be insensitive and celebrate in the midst of an emergency, but the guy was coming soon with our news and I decided that what was done was done and shortly after, our server delivered our check and plate full of fortune cookies.
We were distracted for a second as, EMS arrived, the stretcher came in and they began their assessment. Ultimately, the person was having heart issues, I think, but in the end was okay.
Meanwhile, at our table, Dad paid the bill and my sisters and her husband commented on “the new fortune cookies” that the restaurant had brought out.
My Mom before opening hers, made her usual read/comment of her fortune cookie.
“You have very sexy legs.”
I think Mom has “had” this fortune her entire life – i.e. every time we eat Chinese, she opens her cookie and pretends to read as she announces about her legs. I kind of giggled to myself thinking of the true fortune she was about to see and when she finally looked at it, I had my iPhone ready.
Kristin saw hers shortly after and I turned the camera from Mom to her just in the nick of time! Dad kept asking everyone what theirs said and we kept telling him he had to read his to see….
Annie M just giggled the entire time and finally Aunt Kristin read her fortune to her. She was a bit perplexed at first with “You will meet baby Train in September” and then when someone rephrased it as “you are going to be a big sister” she joined the party with all of the squeals and happiness.
Meanwhile, and quite possibly the funniest part of the entire story is that my sisters hubs was enjoying his cookie so much that while he may have seen the fortune, he didn’t realize that we made them and brought them with us. When the waiter came back by, he complimented him on the restaurants fortune cookies and how much better they tasted than the other/pre-packaged ones. The funniest part was that the waiter, nodded his head and accepted the compliment as if they were theirs….see, I told you we were having language barrier problems.
In all, it was an awesome night. The surprise was perfect and could not have gone any better. We were happy to be with the fam and celebrating Dads birthday and I was so proud not only of the ease and taste of the cookie, but how it all played out!
This would be a fun way to do a gender reveal or share news with your families and it is really as easy as mentioned above! You’ll have to let me know if any of you try it!
Of course, when we announced it on social media (cause we all know its not real til it makes Facebook, right?!) we wanted to include the kids, so this was the picture we posted.
I am almost 18 weeks now and we are not finding out the gender again! I am thankful to be feeling a bit better (throw up only every other day!) and am praying for a great 20 week ultrasound, making it to 28 weeks (viability), and then hopefully cruise into full term!
How did you tell your families you were expecting? Any fun stories or ideas? Leave a comment or link to share with others!