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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." http://www.lylesgoldensyrup.com/Lyles...

            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! http://www.amazon.com/Lyles-Golden-Sy...

            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. http://www.lylesgoldensyrup.com/Lyles...

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

                1. oooh yeah, flapjacks. Love them! Here's an old thread:


                  1. The _corn_ component is the problem, not the vanilla . (Corn has gluten; vanilla, I don't know for absolute sure but I think it's very unlikely, at least not in measurable quantity in a final product.)

                    A brand of golden syrup made from sugar is probably your best bet, cane syrup has a very strong flavor that you may or may not like (I don't, for example.)

                    1. Lyle's Golden Syrup isn't cane syrup by a golden light by-product of sugar cane refining. It has almost no flavor, more an almost buttery richness. I'd say it adds more depth to a recipe, rather than taste. "Treacle" syrup is different, dark and strong and on the line of molasses, though to me more bitter - and unappealing.

                      Lyle's has a good page about its origins and history:

                      And to Chriv VR: thanks so much for the Chowhound link to flapjacks. Everyone loves them once they discover them, and nothing could be faster or simpler to bake.


                      1. Right, I meant cane syrup is another alternative, but not one I myself would find pleasant. Apparently, there are brands of golden syrup made with corn syrup, though not the Lyle's - the only one I've ever seen here in NYC.

                        1. Thanks for all your help ! I just love chowhounds :)

                          1. As if on cue, today's NYTimes has a great & fascinating article about sugar in its various guises.....including golden syrup (cane sugar by-product)and how it's made in this country...& much more.


                            The article reminded me of the American source for golden syrup, Steen's. Though I've never used it and have no idea how it compares to Lyle's, I did see in the article one of the Steens refer to its rich depth as "buttery" - which is how I described Lyle's Golden Syrup. (Steen's website: http://www.steensyrup.com/ ) It seems Steen's no longer produces its golden syrup, though, from its own sugar cane fields. Wonderful piece...especially if you want to learn more about how to use the various kinds of brown and raw sugars, etc.

                            By the way, if one is going to make English flapjacks, use Demerara sugar (also described in the Times article)instead of brown sugar, for best flavor and caramelised texture, besides authenticity. This country's brown sugars bear no comparison, for flavor or crunchy/chewy bite.

                            Agree about how great chowhounds are...learn so much, and it's so much fun. Donna

                            1. Vanilla IS GLUTEN-FREE.

                              All the latest research and knowledge about gluten shows that THERE IS NO GLUTEN IN DISTILLED ALCOHOL regardless of what it is made from, which means there is no reason there would be any gluten in vanilla. The ingredient people thought made vanilla unsafe for celiacs was the alchol used in vanilla extract. As with most vinegars, we now know that DISTILLED ALCOHOL IS SAFE FOR CELIACS. The alcohol used in extracts is DISTILLED and therefore SAFE.

                              There is NO scientific evidence for people avoiding distilled alcohols made from gluten-containing grains, and it is sad that so many people are still avoiding them for no reason (similar to the situation with vinegars, which are well known in the medical community to be completely safe for celiacs except in the case of malt vinegar)

                              From the BBC website (http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/mos...


                              "Beers, lagers, stouts and real ales must definitely be avoided by coeliacs. However there are a number of gluten-free beers and lagers now on the market. Wine, champagne, port, sherry, ciders, liqueurs and spirits, including whisky, are all gluten-free. Although whisky comes from barley initially, the distilling process involved in its production means it is suitable for coeliacs to drink, as there is not gluten present in the end product."

                              From the Canadian Celiac Association

                              "Distilled alcoholic beverages such as gin, vodka, scotch whisky and rye whiskey are made from the fermentation of wheat, barley or rye. Since they are distilled, they do not contain prolamins and are allowed unless otherwise contraindicated."

                              The USDA says (http://wheat.pw.usda.gov/ggpages/topi...):

                              "There has been concern expressed at times about products made from
                              grain alcohol, when the alcohol might be derived from wheat. Because
                              the toxic peptides (in fact all peptides) have low volatility, whereas
                              alcohol produced by grain fermentation has a high volatility, properly
                              distilled alcohol derived from wheat grain will contain no toxic
                              peptides. Consequently, all vinegars made from a base of grain alcohol
                              should be safe and this is true also for alcohol extracts as well, for
                              example, alcoholic extracts of vanilla. In general, it appears that
                              distilled liquors such as vodkas and whiskies should be safe, as

                              It's amazing how much misinformation is out there about this stuff! Hope this info helps :)

                              1. Corn does NOT contain the type of gluten that damages celiac's guts. Someone gave you some serious misinformation. Corn is one of the safest grains available for celiacs (unless, of course, you have an actual corn allergy!)



                                1. Hi
                                  I am gluten-free and corn-free I believe I just used a non-vanilla recipe....but I use 100% pure vanilla for other recipes and haven't yet reacted . And I react to everything! Good Luck