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Dec 11, 2006 09:34 PM

Vanilla-free Light corn syrup

HI ! I'm new to this board and need a little culinary help-
I have to make a gluten-free version of coconut macaroon for my family for Christmas.
The only problem is the corn syrup , which has vanilla, which my gluten free family can't eat -

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  1. I know you can substitute 1 c. corn syrup with 1 c. sugar + 1/4 c. water. Depending on your macaroon recipe, you may be able to just sub 1:1 with granulated sugar. I've been making the Cook's Illustrated version and it only calls for 2 T corn syrup.

    2 Replies
    1. re: leanneabe

      yes ! that's the recipe I'm using ! the macaroons are shaped like littlel haystacks - dipped in chocolate - I just love Cook's Illustrated - so would i just use T of water and 1 T of sugar?

      1. re: brooklinegrl

        I would actually just use 2 TB granulated sugar (the recipe calls for 2 TB corn syrup, right?) since the amount of water added would be so miniscule.

        I also bake my macaroons an extra 5 minutes to brown them more and get them a little less mushy in the middle. I think the coconut cream (not milk!) keeps it so moist. But check them to make sure they are burning.

    2. I am intrigued. Where does gluten come into corn syrup from vanilla? Not challenging just curious.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Candy

        Apparently, someone somewhere thought the alcohol used in the extract came from glutinous matter than might leave residue. They were, of course, wrong. So vanilla is not an issue for celiacs, but it might be lingering erroneously on lists of Things To Beware.

        1. re: Karl S

          Thank you. I had never heard of vanilla containing gluten. It just made no sense to me.

          1. re: Karl S

            I"ll send your link to my brother - he is like the gluten police ! which is why I almos t never cook for my family!

        2. Corn syrup won't crystallize/stays liquid. Texturally I think it will be important to the macaroon recipe. A sugar syrup could crystallize on you/do strange things, depending on how concentrated it becomes in the final cookie.

          Rice syrup should be able to be subbed for corn syrup. You'll need to adjust the sweetness, though. Same thing for agave nectar.

          There are brands of corn syrup out there that are vanilla free. I would call various supermarkets asking if they have any other brands than Karo.

          1. For years I've substituted "Lyle's Golden Syrup" for corn syrup in recipes. It is a form of pure cane sugar and absolutely delicious, with a richer flavor than corn syrup. It even enhances home-made caramel corn recipes and other sweets. I first began using it to make English "flapjacks" - an flat oatmeal "biscuit" or bar cookie, in which American versions of the recipe use the more commonly known light corn syrup. It works in pecan pie and other desserts or cooking wherever corn syrup is called for.

            It's superb, and now pretty easily found on supermarket shelves either in a green and gold tin, or jar.

            I just found their website for you and it states "All our products are gluten free."

            And this is the link to the main homepage: (& recipes

            I hope this helps and that you enjoy it. You can also mail-order from some websites, but I'd recommend asking locally first, as the shipping will add to the price. (You can find it on Amazon, I see!

            It's incredibly delicious, as reviews there confirm.

            Sincerely... Donna

            2 Replies
            1. re: rgallica

              Thank you so much ! I will go find it ! :)

              1. re: rgallica

                I was under the impression that golden syrup was originally developed to be a honey for the masses (i.e. cheaper version with similar qualities). I think honey could give things a different taste but maybe in a good way. Just a thought.

              2. PS: Lyle's Golden Syrup Recipes: the recipe for "Golden Flapjacks" is a version of the flapjack recipe I mentioned above. If your family likes macaroons, they might love these, as the texture is of caramelized chewy oats. Use organic oats for the most flavor, old fashioned or thick-cut, if possible.

                But! As far as the other recipes on the Lyle's site: you can only use the recipes on this U.K. site that do NOT call for flour, because the milling of English flour is different and almost never works out to an equal substitution using American flours. I tried for years to make it work - living in London and desperate to get some of my cherished American baking recipes to work. Fortunately, there were many many great British alternatives.

                The Lyle recipes using ground nuts, for example, or no flour, should all work.

                Their "Almond Syrup Tart" sounds great...and the sesame bars...
                ...hope you find some more non-gluten sweets to enjoy.