How are fortunes inserted into fortune cookies?

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How do fortunes get inside of fortune cookies? - The Library of Congress favicon
Fortune Cookies | How It's Made - YouTube favicon
This is how they make fortune cookies - YouTube favicon
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Fortune cookies are made by baking a thin batter into flat circles. While the cookies are still warm and flexible, fortunes are inserted into them. As the cookies cool, they harden and maintain their shape, effectively trapping the fortune inside15. The process begins with a batter typically composed of sugar, flour, water, and eggs. When warm, this dough is flexible and can be molded into various shapes. As the baked dough cools, the sugar hardens, resulting in a crispy, shiny cookie1. In the past, bakers would manually pour the dough into 3” circles, bake them, quickly place a fortune in the middle, and use chopsticks to fold them into the familiar shape before they cooled1. However, the process has been significantly automated since the mid-20th century. In 1974, Edward Louie, the owner of the Lotus Fortune Cookie Company in San Francisco, invented a machine that could insert the fortune and fold the cookie. Later, in 1980, Yong Lee created the first fully automated fortune cookie machine, called the Fortune III1. Modern machines follow the same steps as the handmade process. They mix the ingredients, pour the batter into 3” cups which are then covered with metal plates to keep the batter flat, and bake for about 3 ½ minutes. Vacuums then suck fortunes into place, use metal fingers to fold the fortune in half to trap the fortune inside, bend the cookie into shape, and cool and package the final cookie. Some machines, like the Kitamura FCM-8006W, can make up to 8,000 cookies in an hour15. Despite the automation, some factories, like the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory in San Francisco, still make their cookies by hand. The cookies start flat — the batter gets baked and pressed into small sheets. The fortune is placed in the middle of the hot cookie, and then the whole thing is hand-folded into shape with a metal pole
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