Fortune cookies are a delightful change from ordinary desserts because you never know what is hidden inside the cookie. Pre-reading children can still enjoy fortune cookies, but you may want to adapt the “fortune” to pictorial language your toddler or preschooler can interpret alone. You might also want to caution your little one to pull out the paper before trying to eat the cookie so she doesn’t end up eating part of the paper fortune with the cookie.
Handwritten Pictograph Fortunes
Divide a sheet of unlined paper into a grid with 4.5-inch-wide by .5 inch-tall squares. These dimensions allow you to fit two columns with 16 rows each on a sheet of paper turned in a landscape orientation.
Draw small pictures your child will identify as a fortune, such as a dollar sign, a four leaf clover, smiley face or a heart. Use colored pencils if you want to add a splash of color to your artwork. Do not use crayons, as the wax will melt inside the cookies.
Cut the fortunes apart and have them ready to use when the cookies come out of the oven, because you will only have a few minutes to add the fortune to the flat cookie and fold it into the traditional shape.
Computer-Printed Picture Fortunes
Set up your page in a landscape format with a table that has two 4.5-inch-wide columns and .5-inch-tall rows.
Insert emoticons, pictures or text message-type fortunes, such as “I (heart shape) U”or “U R Gr8” that your pre-literate child can figure out without assistance. Center each message in the .5-inch cell.
Print the page and cut the messages apart so they will be ready to insert into the flat cookies when they come out of the oven.
Write or type messages using words instead of pictures, if you don’t mind reading the message to a child who has not learned to read.
Print messages on your 4.5- by .5-inch strips such as “I love you,” “You will succeed in life,” “You will have a good day today” or “You will make new friends in school.” Make your messages positive and upbeat.
Cut the strips apart for insertion into the hot cookies.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and grease several cookie sheets.
Beat 1 egg white with 1/8 teaspoon of vanilla until the egg white is foamy. Sift 1/4 cup of flour, 1/4 cup of sugar and a pinch of salt into the egg white mixture.
Drop batter on the cookie sheet in 4-inch circles with at least 1 inch between each circle. Bake the cookies for five minutes until the cookies are brown around the edges.
Slide a spatula under a cookie and flip it over. Insert the fortune and fold the cookie in half. Fold the points toward each other using the edge of a glass to shape the curve. Place the cookie into a cardboard egg carton until the cookie cools enough to hold its shape.