Not All Fortune Cookies are Made Equal

Why We Don't Make Fortune Cookies for Restaurants

Ever wonder why the fortune cookies you get for free from restaurants don't always taste that good?

People are always surprised when we tell them that we don't make fortune cookies for restaurants. They always remark how different our cookies are from the ones they normally eat. That's because each bakery has their own recipe and method.

The fortune cookie itself, while retaining the same shape, has actually gone through multiple changes over the decades. The first machines that automated the process of folding the fortune cookies were introduced in the 1980's.

That means our parents and family members who grew up before the 80's most likely grew up eating hand-made fortune cookies. As the usage of automated machines grew, more and more bakeries that handmade their cookies either abandoned the traditional methods or dissolved into obscurity altogether.

As an item that most places give away for free, it's necessary to make fortune cookies as cheaply as possible so that clients can afford to buy them at a low cost. Once the cost of labor is removed from the equation, the next thing to do is cut cost on ingredients. This process has evolved the original fortune cookies into what you see today.

1. Oven Temperatures

Gas and electricity is expensive! So the first step is to make a batter that cooks at a very low temperature to save on municipals. You can do so by thinning out the battery and substituting some of the ingredients with ones that cook at a lower temperature.

Some places don't thin out the batter, but even so their cookies come out super hard.

We've had people tell us about how they've tried cookies that are so hard to chew it feels like they're breaking a tooth. The high temperature of our ovens are necessary to create a light, crispy texture.

2. Artificial Coloring

Ever wonder why the fortune cookies you get are a bright orange color? That's because of our previous point, they were baked at a low temperature. What happens is the cookies come out looking almost white, they're not baked enough to have a natural golden color. White, pasty fortune cookies are not very appetizing, so to fix that bakeries will add artificial coloring.