Friday, December 6, 2013

Gluten Free Vanilla Wafers

Gluten Free Vanilla Wafers

The original recipe that I used for the Gluten Free Vanilla Wafers came from Gluten Free Cooking.  It is among the many websites I use frequently.  Sometimes I can use the recipes on the site as is but I usually convert the recipes to use less sugar.  I find the website to be an excellent reference.

Some of the reviews on the website for the original recipe were not kind.  Some stated that the batter was runny and made a mess.  Another reviewer said that it was a wonderful recipe and liked it.  So I thought that it must have some merit.  When I made the batter, I didn't find the batter to be runny.  I think the reason for that was maybe I used a different flour blend. I used the exact wet ingredients. (The flour blend I used is noted below).

I agreed with one of the reviewers about making the wafers as Madeleines are made.  I tried the suggestion of using the mini muffin pan but the batter shaped like muffins as they baked, making a peak in the center.  The mini whoopie pie pan baked them perfectly, though I need to adjust the temperature and cooking time.  Some of the wafers baked too long. The wafers made in the mini pans are smaller than those of the original recipe.  (That problem is also an oven problem.  I really need to get a new one.  This one has no light switch to see in the oven; I have to open the oven door for the light to come on.)  The wafers would cook perfectly in my convection oven.  I was disappointed that the mini whoopee pie pan was too long to go in the convection oven.  The pan cannot be larger than 13x9-inches.

The Wilton Mini Whoopie Pie Pan can be found in Walmart, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Macys and I'm sure many other  places.  I found mine on a clearence shelf in Walmart.  I think that I might be able to make a smaller mini whoopie pan by using heavy duty aluminum foil, using the  mini whoopee pie pan as a mold.  Since the English muffin rings using the aluminum foil worked, I'll try making the pan next time.  Using the convection oven is great because one rarely can burn food because the oven timer cuts the oven off.

 I probably will  make only minor or no adjustments to the ingredients using this gluten flour blend for the wafers.  The wafer in this recipe has a wonderful taste.  One ingredient change I did make in the orginal recipe was in the sugar content.  I cut the amount of sugar to 1/3 cup and added, with the sugar,  2 tablespoon of Stevia in the Raw. If you have no problem with sugar, use the 2/3 cup in the original recipe.  You could substitute all the sugar with another sugar substitute but remember without honey or sugar, the cookies will be a little tough.  (Sugar is needed for tenderness.)  Also, I didn't use sugar to press the cookie down.  I used a wet measuring teaspoon to flatten the dough.  (The teaspoon was slightly rounded on the bottom, which made flattening the dough easier.

A new product I used when making this recipe was the glass mixing bowl for the Kitchenaid mixer.  Being vertically challenged has gotten worse in the past couple of years. (I guess I'll continue to get shorter). I have never been able to see the bottom of the metal bowl of the mixer and even recently,  I have to use a small step stool to reach the second shelf in the kitchen cabinets.  Oh, with the glass mixing bowl,  I no longer need to stop the mixer and tip the bowl.

Hope the wafers are successful for you.  I can imagine these wafers in a gluten free banana pudding.  I'll try using them in a gluten free trifle, also.  I'm not sure whether they can be processed as crumbs and used in a pie crust but I'll give it the try and let you know.  I might experment with some chocolate in the batter. In the mean time, I need to perfect the shape and baking temperature of these wafers because the recipe is a keeper.  Thank you, Terri Lee Gruss for inspiring me.

One last comment -- there are several recipes for vanilla wafers on the web.  Some of the wafers appear more uniform than mine, but most are made from rice flour.  Because rice flour has a high glycemic index, I do not use it.  If you use rice flour, give some of those recipes a try.  Some of them look exactly like "Nilla Wafers".

Here is the converted Gluten Free Vanilla Wafer I used.

Gluten Free Vanilla Wafers  

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar + 2 tablespoons Stevia in the Raw
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh lemon peel (optional)
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 cup gluten-free all purpose flour mix (with xanthan or guar gum  in the mix --  See rule below for    using gum and the recipe for the gluten-free flour blend I used)
  • 10 tablespoons melted, cool unsalted butter OR a dairy-free butter substitute
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar to dip glass in to press cookies (optional

1.  Preheat oven to 375℉ or 190°C.
2.  Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper, silicone pads or lightly grease.  Mini whoopie pie  pans or mini muffin pans can also be used.  Lightly grease only the bottoms, not the sides if using the mini pans.  Gluten free batter needs the sides to help the wafer rise.  ( Remember that the batter baked
     in a mini muffin pan may look like mini muffins, not cookies or wafers.) 
3.  In the bowl of a mixer, combine eggs, sugar, and sugar substitute, if using sugar substitute.  Beat on high until creamy, about 3 minutes.
4.  Add vanilla, lemon peel and salt and combine with egg mixture.
5.  Lower the speed of the mixer and combine the gluten-free flour, 1/4 cup at a time, with the egg/sugar mixture.
6.  Add the melted butter slowly to the batter and beat until combined.
7.  Place heaping rounded teaspoons of dough on the parchment paper approximately 1 1/2 inches apart or  place that same amount in the mini whoopee pie pan or in mini muffin pan.


8.  If using a stiffer dough, like mine, the dough needs to be smoothed down with a wet teaspoon.  The  dough can also be pressed down with a small glass coated in sugar.

Smoothing batter with wet measuring teaspoon

9.  Bake in oven for about 12-15 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown and crispie.  Immediately and carefully place the wafers on a cooling rack.  Store in a airtight container.  (If using a mini pan, the baking time may be slightly less than 12 minutes.)

Notice the muffin shaped cookies in the back.  They were baked in a mini muffin pan.

If using a mini pan, the yield will be approximately 50 wafers.  The original recipe stated the yield was approximately 36 wafers.


Linda's All Purpose Gluten Free Flour Blend

  • 3 cups Oat Flour
  • cups Sorghum flour
  • 3 cups Tapioca starch
  • 1 cup Corn flour (Masa Harina)
          Whisk the flours together. Place in an airtight container.

          Potato starch and corn starch can be substituted for tapioca starch. I have used a combination of the three when       
            there wasn't enough tapioca in the pantry. Guar gum or xanthan gum will be needed for most baking.  The rule ,   
            provided my Cooking Gluten Free!, for using the gums is as follows:
     1 teaspoon per cup of flour mix for sandwich bread or pizza crust
     1/2 teaspoon per cup of flour mix for cakes, muffins, and quick bread
     1/4 teaspoon per cup of flour mix for cookies

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