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Fortune cookies (history, making at home, and ordering custom wholesale)

Updated on July 25, 2008

History of the Fortune Cookie

The Bay Area is regarded as the fortune cookie capital of the world with a half a dozen or so family-owned factories churning out more than a half a million cookies a day. Fortune cookies are non-existent in Asia, being indigenous to the United States, similar to Chop Suey. It is said the fortune cookie dispensed its first messages in California in the 1920's when served by some ingenious Chinese restaurant owner as an inexpensive and unique dessert item.

How Fortune Cookies are Made

Starting with the ingredients, contrary to popular belief, the flour used is not made from rice, but wheat flour. You add sugar, either regular, cane or beet, and powdered whole eggs. For shortening margarine is generally used rather than butter along with some flavoring and artificial coloring to give the final product an even golden color. Liquid added is water which makes the mixture similar to pancake batter. If you made small thin wafer pancakes cooked on both sides and pressed to squeeze out all air pockets, you would have a fortune cookie!

Fortune cookie recipe

Makes one dozen cookies.


  • 1 egg white
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup white sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Butter a cookie sheet. Write fortunes on strips of paper about 4 inches long and 1/2 inch wide. Generously grease 2 cookie sheets.
  2. Mix the egg white and vanilla until foamy but not stiff. Sift the flour, salt, and sugar and blend into the egg white mixture.
  3. Place teaspoonfuls of the batter at least 4 inches apart on one of the prepared cookie sheets. Tilt the sheet to move the batter into round shapes about 3 inches in diameter. Be careful to make batter as round and even as possible. Do not make too many, because the cookie have to be really hot to form them and once they cool it is too late. Start with 2 or 3 to a sheet and see how many you can do.
  4. Bake for 5 minutes or until cookie has turned a golden color 1/2 inch wide around the outer edge of the circle. The center will remain pale. While one sheet is baking, prepare the other.
  5. Remove from oven and quickly move cookie with a wide spatula and place upside down on a wooden board. Quickly place the fortune on the cookie, close to the middle and fold the cookie in half. Place the folded edge across the rim of a measuring cup and pull the pointed edges down, one on the inside of the cup and one on the outside. Place folded cookies into the cups of a muffin tin or egg carton to hold their shape until firm.

Recipe from Allrecipes.

The Fortune Cookie Factory, Oakland, California

Note: I am not affiliated with this company in any way. I do stop by every week to pick up a bag of fortune cookies for our office, since we all love them. The process by which they make fortune cookies is cool, and their cookies are reasonably-priced (and taste great). It's family run, and they're low-tech in a charmingly atavistic way (I scanned the text below from their photocopied version they had at the counter).

We are very happy to have you visit our family business which has been in operation for over 30 years. In that time we have shipped our products all over the 50 states and around the world to places such as Australia, England, Japan and Hong Kong.

Whatever its origins, the fortune cookie has grown with the popularity of Chinese restaurants and food. Our factory, during the course of an 8 hour day, produces over 50,000 cookies. The cookie machines are custom-made right here in Oakland by a Chinese U.C. Berkeley graduate mechanical engineer. The machine is motor driven, qas-fired and travels at a constant speed capable of cooking 15-16 cookies per minute.

We make fortune cookies for any and all occasions where you want to convey a message or sentiment. Wedding announcements, births anniversaries, birthdays and celebrations of any kind can be commemorated with a fortune cookie. Business promotions, advertising, election campaigning-- all can be done with a short message or greeting in this edible wrapper, the fortune cookie. You may give your friends personalized messages with our cookies.

We offer free tours of our factory here in Oakland, where you can see yourself how simple the process of placing a fortune into the cooked cookie is. We wish you all good fortune in the future...and keep eating those fortune cookies to make sure your fortune comes true!! And we stay in business!! Have a good day! The Wong family predicts good fortune for you in the years ahead!

Contact information for ordering

Karl Wong


261-12th Street

Oakland. CA 94607

Phone (510) 832-5552

FAX: 832-2565

Special Order Form & Prices


(Orders with 100 cookies or more with have no service charge)

Setup and service charge: $15.00

Customize message with a regular size fortune cookie: $.15/cookie

Supplying your own precut message: (2.5" x 5"): $.13/cookie

Giant size fortune cookie: (no message) $5.00/cookie

Each addition customize message per order: (Choose Separated or Mixed): $1.00

Rush orders charge: (requiring less than 7 working days): 10% surcharge

Additional Services:

Individually wrapped: $ .05/cookie

Chocolate dipped and individually wrapped: $ .45/cookie

Chocolate dipped for a Giant size fortune cookie: $ 1.50/cookie

Flavored / Colored: $ .10/cookie

Choices: Red/Strawberry, Orange/Orange, Yellow/Banana, Green/Lime, Chocolate/Chocolate

Color paper message:

Pink, Peach, Orange, Yellow, Light Green, Light Blue, Lavender, Cream

Shipping and Handling

(300 cookies maximum per box)

Packaging service only without freight: $10.00/box

Packaging service and Freight: (U.S. only) $28.00/box

* All Special Orders Are Prepaid, Make Payment to A&K Inc. *


Phone:_____________ Fax:______________

Order Date:__________________________

Required Date:___________________________

(For ship orders only) Address:_____________________________________________________

City: State: Zip:_______________

Number of Cookies _______________

Customized Message (please print clearly):


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    • profile image

      wholesale dude 8 years ago

      My partner is half chinese, so this was good for her, thanks

    • profile image

      me 8 years ago

      i dont know but they are GOOD!!!!

    • profile image

      nisha 10 years ago

      hey, does any1 know how much 1 giant cookie costs? and has any1 tried the recipe?

    • profile image

      George 11 years ago

      Tht was very interesting, livelonger!

    • jimmythejock profile image

      James Paterson 11 years ago from Scotland

      Its very rare these days for chinese restaurants to have fortune cookies in the uk i have never actualy seen one except on tv...jimmy

    • vic profile image

      vic 11 years ago

      Thank you for the recipe.