Introduction: Venus Fly Trap MisFortune Cookies
I have always wanted to create something edible in the guise of a Venus fly trap plant since having bought a plant for my older daughter last year when she was in Kindergarten. Fast forward this week in haste of entering a food item for the Halloween Contest, I went back to the idea of Venus fly traps. It hit me -- they look like fortune cookies with teeth (Although, they don't really have teeth. Those are hairs). So I was set to take on the challenge, with another Halloween Contest soon to close in a matter of hours. I managed to create what I believe to be quite convincing Venus fly traps in the form of fortune cookies. But they don't bring you fortune. Quite the opposite. They bring you misfortune in the shape of a fly. As for taste? They are sweet and buttery, like any French tuile cookie. Afterall, fortune cookies are nothing but tuile cookies.
I had so much fun on this kitchen project. Just as much fun as the Cockroach Donuts I made two years ago. I hope you vote for me again this year in the Halloween Contest. Thank you so much for your support!
If you want to see how else tuile cookies can be formed other than in fortune cookie form, you can check out the Almond Tuile Cookie Roses I've made in a past Instructable: https://www.instructables.com/id/Almond-Tuile-Cookie-Roses/
Step 1: Materials
For making the Venus Fly Trap misFortune Cookie template, you'll need:
-Plastic flexible chopping board
-Very sharp scissors
For baking, you'll need:
-Offset spatula and spatula
-BBQ skewers (not shown)
Step 2: Venus Fly Trap MisFortune Cookie Templates
To make the template:
1. Sketch Venus fly trap silhouette on paper in the size you desire.
2. Using a Sharpie, trace the design on a plastic flexible chopping mat.
3. Cut a hole in the chopping mat using a craft knife.
4. With very sharp scissors, cut away the design. You are left with a reusable template for making many Venus fly trap misfortune cookies!
Step 3: MisFortune Flies
Venus fly traps trap flies, so it only made sense that the messages here are in the shape of flies. You'll need black construction paper, white pen, cellophane (I used the wrapping that contained the plastic chopping mats), fine point Sharpie felt pen, and double-sided tape.
1. Cut black sheet into tapered strips, as shown, approximately 1" x 3" (narrowest is 1/2" wide).
2. Write your misfortunes.
3. Roll tightly.
4. Draw fly wings on cellophane.
5. Cut fly wings.
6. Using double-sided tape, seal and adhere misfortune rolls to look like flies.
Step 4: Making the Cookie Batter
For the cookie batter, you'll need:
-2 egg whites
-1/3 cup sugar
-1/2 cup all purpose flour
-1/4 cup melted butter
-1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
1. Beat egg whites in medium speed until foamy.
2. Gradually add in sugar at high speed.
3. Beat until stiff peaks form.
4. Combine sugar, flour, butter, and vanilla.
5. Mix by hand with a spatula.
6. Separate in 4 bowls.
7. Tint 3 shades of green and 1 shade of purple-pink. I used Wilton Juniper Green, Yellow, and Aster Mauve. It really helps to look at images of Venus fly traps online to accurately gauge the colors and tint the batter.
8. Place each colored batter in a piping bag.
Step 5: Coloring and Baking
1. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Grease parchment paper.
2. Place the template on the greased parchment paper.
3. Using the purple-pink batter, pipe batter on the inner blades of the Venus fly trap, as shown. The "blades" are the correct term for the "head" of the fly trap. You want to go really thin on this as you need a thin cookie in the end and there are still other colors to add on.
4. Pipe bright green batter in the middle of the blades and on the leaves (stem).
5. Pipe lighter green on the blade. I preferred a zig zig pattern so it eventually looks veined. Again, you want to make this cookie thin, so no need to be generous with your piping.
6. Pipe the darker green on the leaves.
7. Using the back of a teaspoon, spread the batter outwards. The batter has to be thin so the cookie isn't soft and doesn't puff up. A good indication of thinness is the plastic mat template. Do not go too much thicker than that.
8. Remove template.
9. Bake in a preheated oven at 375F for 5 minutes.
In the meantime, scrape off any batter from the template. Wipe template in between each use.
Baking will require a few test runs. You will need the right combination of getting the batter the right thinness and getting the baking time precisely. If the batter is too thin, it will overcook and turn brown. You know when it is the right thickness and baking time when the batter bakes with the colors still vibrant and the cookie cools with a snap. If it's too soft, it means you spread the batter too thick.
Step 6: Shaping
WORK QUICKLY! It's hot, but you want to make sure you work while the cookie is pliable. As soon as it cools, and it cools quickly, it will break.
One by one, lift the trap with a BBQ skewer and shape the cookies as shown. I like to curl the leaves in various directions.
Step 7: Piping Hairs
You'll need to pipe hairs using royal icing made with 1/3 cup icing sugar, 1/2 tbsp meringue powder, and 2 tsp water. It is a stiff icing so that the hairs can hold their shape well.
1. Mix the icing sugar, meringue powder, and water in a bowl until very smotth.
2. Place icing in a piping bag. Cut a very, very small snip at the end. You want the piping to be very thin.
3. The best technique I found was to put pressure on the piping bag while it's beside the cookie, pointing downwards. Pipe downwards just below the fly trap blade until the icing is about 1/4" long, then put the tip of the piping bag right up against the cookie to stick the "hair" to the cookie and then release pressure.
4. Continue adding hairs only to the top side of each cookie for now. Wait for 5 minutes until dry. Do not turn the cookies over yet, as tempting as it is to pipe the other side. The icing will flop down.
5. After 5 minutes of drying, now you can turn the cookies over and repeat piping the hairs as in step 3.
6. To add the misfortune fly, pipe a small dollop of icing on the inside of the cookie and place the fly on the icing to secure it.
Now go ahead and spread some misfortune!
Tenth Prize in the
Halloween Contest 2019