OK, only in Mexico... or maybe it's just me.
So Shelley and I are going through a book called 101 Romantic Evenings. Yes, I need all the help I can get. My first "romantic" evening was awesome as it could possibly be. My task was to get fortune cookies and swap out the fortunes for my own creative, romantic sayings (thankfully the page for this night had lots of examples), and coordinate with my favorite local Chinese restaurant to serve the cookies I brought over earlier that day. What a nice surprise. How easy! How?
Challenge #1: One Chinese restaurant that is not worth going to.
Challenge #2: no fortune cookies to swap out the fortunes.
Challenge #3: language barrier to set up the plan.
So having been here for almost three years, I think I can overcome all these challenges. Since I like baking and cooking, I figure I can just make my own fortune cookies and well, that was the only thing that I really got right - the cookies & fortunes.
The evening started out with a stop off at an ATM machine to get some cash. As I try to be a gentleman to open Shelley's door for her. I have to unlock mine first because the lock on her side doesn't work. Well, I locked the keys in the car. Fortunately our neighbor could quickly bring us our other set of keys that were at home. Whew, I was saved from total disaster.
Dinner at Hangman's (we're on a tight budget, and we just like it)
Desert at the Club 96 restaurant in Palmilla.
So I figure at Club 96 where they cater to some of the most well-to-do who live or visit Cabo could handle the surprise delivery of the cookies. When I brought my home made cookies to them in a Tupperware and told them to serve us these cookies just before we get the check, their clear confirmation and accommodation seemed like they could do just that... serve us the cookies.
Things were going perfect. The chef had brought out two other sample treats that we didn't order... it would seem just perfectly normal to have them bring out another one. As Shelley was in the restroom, I confirmed with our server that he had everything ready. The moment of truth: Out comes the server proudly bringing on a beautiful plate... my Tupperware with the cookies inside.
There went the surprise, total flop.
Fortunately, Shelley is just awesome about rolling with things down here; and we got a good laugh.
For those of you who want to give this a try, here is the fortune cookie recipe I used:
2 tablespoons butter (no substitution)
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
1 large egg white
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
14 strips paper (3 by 1/2" each) with fortunes
1. Preheat oven to 375F. Grease 2 small cookie sheets. [I used our toaster oven, because you only want to do two at a time, max... I ended up doing one at a time. TIP: Put wax paper on the tray that comes with the toaster oven, and a drop of vegetable oil to ensure easy removal.]
2. In 1-quart saucepan, heat butter over low heat until melted. Remove saucepan from heat. With wire whisk, beat in confectioners sugar, egg white, vanilla, and salt until blended. Beat in batter until batter is smooth.
3. Drop 1 heaping teaspoon batter on to cookie sheet. Repeat with another teaspoon batter, at least 4 inches away from first. With small metal spatula or back of spoon, spread batter evenly to form two 3-inch rounds.
4. Bake about 4 minutes or until cookies are lightly golden. [TIP: wait until the edge is golden brown about a half inch around the cookie] Loosen both cookies with metal spatula. [If you use the wax paper getting them off is just as easy as picking off the wax paper and turning them upside down] Working with 1 cookie at a time, place a fortune across center of hot cooke. Fold hot cookie in half, forming a semi-circle, and press edges together(a). Quickly fold semicircle over edge of small bowl to create fortune-cookie shape(b). Repeat with other cookie. Let shaped cookies cool completely on wire rack.
5. Repeat with remaining batter and strips of fortune paper to make 14 cookies in all [Yea right, makes 7 to 8 cookies], cooling cookie sheets in between batches, and regreasing sheets as necessary. Store cookies in container up to 2 weeks. Makes about 14 cookies.