Pastry & Baking Arts students' original, decorative cookie recipes for a Valentine's Day contest

Valentine's Day Fortune Cookies

Pastry & Baking Arts student Brianna Farrell adds flavor, color and edible fortunes to fortune cookies.

We asked Pastry & Baking Arts students at our New York campus to submit original, decorative cookies for a Valentine's Day contest, and we love sharing their creativity with the top three dessert recipes.

Brianna Farrell's pink, chocolate-covered fortune cookies won first place, complete with a Chinese takeout box, heart-shaped sprinkles and edible fortunes. Who needs conversation hearts?

"I decided on fortune cookies because I have always loved collecting the fortune saying from inside the cookies, but I have never really liked the cookies. They are lacking flavor," Brianna says. "I made these cookies decorated to give more of a dessert vibe, and I love the added flavoring I used. Hope you enjoy them!"

Here's Brianna's recipe in time for a creative Valentine's Day gift or your next date, followed by recipes from our runners up.


Brianna Farrell's fortune cookiesValentine’s Day Fortune Cookies with Edible Fortunes


  • 100 grams egg whites
  • 150 grams sugar
  • 113.5 grams butter, melted
  • 0.25 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 0.125 teaspoons almond extract
  • 0.25 teaspoons pistachio/almond liquor
  • 40 grams water
  • 135 grams all-purpose flour


Wafer or rice paper and edible markers to create edible fortunes; otherwise regular paper can be substituted.


  1. Pre-make the edible fortune strips by cutting the wafer paper into the small rectangle shape and writing out the custom fortunes using an edible marker.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line a sheet pan with a silicone mat.
  3. In a stand mixer combine the egg whites and sugar, whip on high speed until the mixture begins to enter a soft peak.
  4. On medium speed, add in the melted butter, vanilla extract, almond extract, pistachio almond liquor and water; mix until incorporated.
  5. Add the flour and mix on low speed until just incorporated. If desired, dye the color of the batter with a rose shade in order to create light pink-colored cookies.
  6. Spoon the batter onto the silicone mat and spread it out into a thin and even 3-inch circle. The cookies should be baked off only 2-3 at a time since they set very quickly and you will not be able to fold more than that.
  7. Bake the fortune cookies for 9-10 minutes, until the edges are browned slightly.
  8. Remove the cookies from the oven and quickly flip the circle over, fold the cookie in half, into a semicircle. This is when you slip the fortune into the cookie quickly: Place the semicircle onto the edge of a cup or mug, and quickly fold the ends down to crimp into a fortune cookie shape.
  9. Place the cookie in a muffin tin to let it cool and hold its shape. Repeat with the remaining batter.
  10. Use white or dark chocolate for finishing and decoration.
Kelly's Almond Sugar CookieRunner Up: Kelly’s Almond Sugar Cookie with Lemon Lavender Royal Icing

"I wanted to change up my typical sugar cookie recipe to give it a little more flavor by substituting some of the all-purpose flour with almond flour," Kelly Bedford said. "Another thing I changed from my normal sugar cookie recipe was adding glucose syrup. I had read that glucose syrup could help keep a cookie soft in the center but still keeps that crispy edge."

Happy with her initial changes, Kelly added lavendar oil to her royal icing, discarding a test batch when she realized how little was needed. "The royal icing was an adventure. Second time around it tasted pretty well while it was still wet, but once it dried, the flavor faded. At that point I had already completed the cookie so the trial and error of getting the best flavor will continue."

As for decorating: "I use the same consistency of royal icing to do the border and flooding," Kelly explained. "For this cookie, I airbrushed silver lines using a stencil (it is difficult to see in the photo). After that I used a projector and edible pen to give me the general outline of the girl. Then, I mixed all the colors and got them to the consistencies I needed by adding water to small portions of the royal icing. As I decorated I prioritized what layers needed to be done and allowed them to dry before moving onto the next layer. Some layers just needed to set enough so the colors wouldn’t bleed together."

For the almond sugar cookie:


  • 225 grams butter
  • 225 grams sugar
  • 50 grans eggs
  • 20 grams sour cream
  • 16 grams glucose syrup
  • 16 grams vanilla bean paste
  • 5 grams vanilla extract
  • 350 grams all-purpose flour
  • 60 grams almond flour
  • 8 grams baking powder


  1. Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  2. Mix in the eggs.
  3. Add the remaining liquid ingredients.
  4. Add the dry ingredients.
  5. Dough may need to chill for about an hour before rolling depending on the temperature of the kitchen. Once the dough is workable, roll and cut desired shapes. (I like to put them in the freezer for a minimum of 1 hour in cut shapes.)
  6. Bake at 350 F. Time will depend on thickness of cookie. In a home oven, bake for 7 minutes, rotate, and bake for another 7 minutes.

For the royal icing:


  • 907 grams powdered sugar
  • 65 grams meringue powder
  • 150 grams water
  • 15 grams corn syrup
  • Flavoring of choice


  1. Mix powdered sugar and meringue powder in stand mixer with a paddle until combined.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl and add to the powdered sugar mixture.
  3. Continue to mix on medium speed until it is shiny and smooth. (I start at 150 grams water and add more depending on the thickest consistency I will need for the project.)
Penguin heart cookiesRunner Up: Penguin Sugar Cookies with Hazelnut Flavoring

"For this competition, I wanted to create an edible cookie box," explained Cherilene Guzman. "I love penguins and they have heart-shaped faces, so I created a little penguin design and made him look like he’s holding the heart."

To see inside the box, Cherilene cut a hole in the top cookie and poured pink-dyed, hard crack sugar syrup and let it set. This created a little window to see in. "I couldn’t leave the box empty so I created tiny cookies inspired by those heart-shaped candies that are popular around Valentine’s Day that have all kinds of messages," she added.


  • 227 grams butter
  • 200 grams sugar
  • 50 grams egg
  • 20 grams yolks
  • 4 grams vanilla extract
  • 1 grams hazelnut flavoring
  • 360 grams all-purpose flour
  • 4 grams baking powder
  • 3 grams salt


  1. Cream butter and sugar till pale and fluffy.
  2. Gradually add eggs, yolks, vanilla and hazelnut flavoring.
  3. Add flour, baking powder and salt. Mix till just combined.

Make more than 30 types of cookies in ICE's Pastry & Baking Arts program.

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