Brown Edge Wafers

When I think of butter cookies, I think of the fancy shaped “Danish” kind which come in a blue tin and which you find at places like Walgreens and (oh, of course) CompUSA. So when I saw the recipe on the side of the potato starch box for Swedish Butter Cookies, I was expecting something similar – something along the lines of shortbread cookies. Surprise. The resulting cookies were almost identical to Nabisco’s old Brown Edge Wafers which were discontinued over 10 years ago. If anything, these were better. The potato starch is key, of course. The recipe is on the back of the box, but here’s my adaptation below for you to consider. Of course you might as well follow the recipe on the box, because you’ll have to buy the potato starch flour anyway. Don’t worry about finding other uses for it, because there are many.

Brown Edge Wafers

 

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Brown Edge Wafers
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Brown Edge Wafers (aka Swedish Butter Cookies) made with a secret ingredient -- potato flour.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 60
Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter (regular, not unsalted), softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup potato starch flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
Instructions
  1. Cream together butter and sugar. Beat in egg and vanilla. Sift together flour and potato starch flour; add to butter mixture and stir until combined. Chill dough for about an hour. Roll into small balls and place on ungreased or parchment lined cookie sheets. Press gently with palm of hand to flatten slightly. Bake at 375 degrees F for 10 minutes or until edges are brown.
Notes
Makes about 60
(I only ended up with about 50)

Note: This recipe is one where you can let your premium vanilla extract (Penzey's, Nielsen Massey) shine. I think they'd be incredible with vanilla bean!

Another Note: I used unsalted butter and a generous pinch of salt. The recipe on the box just says "butter", so I'm assuming they used salted. Whatever you do, don't leave out the salt if you use unsalted butter or else the cookies will taste flat.

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Comments

  1. says

    the compUSA note is funny. duz austin have Frye’s? they have a nutty-huge selection of cookies and candy, much of it semi-rare and/or imported. (cuz everybody knows that techies just sit in front of their computer and binge on snack foods)

    lovely photos today!

  2. Anna says

    Hi T!

    We have a Frye’s, but it’s on the other side of town and I never make it over there. Todd’s been there, but he’s never mentioned the cookie/candy section. I’ll have him scope it out.

  3. says

    Hey Anna – these look good! What about vanilla paste – besides taste, do you think it would add any visual apperance in the final baked cookie?

  4. Anna says

    Amy, Central Market has potato starch flour.

    Joe, I think vanilla paste would work beautifully and the little flecks would definitely add so the visual appeal.

    Carole, if you did lemon juice, you’d probably want to get rid of the vanilla all together, use at least 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and use some lemon zest along with it.

  5. Ms. Chevious says

    Oooh, I still have that box of potato starch I bought just because I got so excited I found it (looks just like your picture!) and haven’t done anything with.

  6. smash says

    Not that I doubt the many uses for potato starch, but could you give a few examples? I’m kind of excited about finding some and making these cookies.

  7. Anna says

    Uses for potato starch.

    Well, to start, it can be used in place of cornstarch in most fruit pies. The filling is smoother and velvetier, but still sets. If you buy Swans brand, they have an angel food cake recipe and a “Swedish Sand Cake” recipe on the box, so those are two more uses.

    However, potato starch’s best attribute is it’s ability to thicken, so you could use it in white sauces, stews and soups when needed.

  8. smash says

    Not that I doubt the many uses for potato starch, but could you give a few examples? I’m kind of excited about finding some potato starch and making these cookies.

  9. says

    Hi Susie,

    Good luck with the recipe. I haven’t made it in a while, but I remember the potato starch really made a difference. If your cookies don’t come out light and crispy, email me and let me know.

  10. Robert Haygood says

    In addition to Nabisco’s “Brown Edge,” Weston offered “Weston Wafers,” which came in lemon and orange flavors. Weston today reportedly offers only mint coookies and some sort of donuts. Thin cookies with brown edge were also sold by FFV, a brand that seems to have vanished. Someone has claimed that Weston also owns Entenmans bakery goods.

    I suppose it’s progress that causes one’s favorite items to vanish from supermarket shelves. In southern Arizona it’s impossible to find sweet pickle chips, cracked wheat bread, Heinz or Del Monte dill pickles, banana nut or black walnut ice cream, and–of course–brown edge cookies.

    (Yes, I know that Frys markets sells something called cracked wheat bread, but it’s a rather heavy multigrain bread little resembling the traditional bread.)

  11. Donniebingo says

    I’m really old and have not thought about the Nabisco brown edge cookies for quit sometime now. I have been looking in all the stores for them the past month and finally did a search on the web and found this site. I’m glad to have the recipe but now I can’t find the Patato flour… I’m in Maryland and have never seen it… Help please.

  12. J Chapman says

    I’m in Atlanta and I will check at Whole Foods to see if they carry the potato starch there. Those cookies were a fond memory from my childhood as my grandmother would offer them to us at “tea parties” after we finished swimming. Can’t imagine a better cookie, so this is worth a try! THANKS!

  13. kim f says

    Who knew potato starch is the clue. Gotta take a batch to my dad for Father’s Day! THANKS Anna!

  14. barbara says

    GREAT NEWS! Brown edge wafers were my favorite cookies! I actually called Nabisco to “complain” when they were discontinued :(
    This summer, while in France, I found cookies called ‘cigarettes’ ,which were as close as I’ve ever come to the real thing. They are large brown edge wafers rolled up to resemble a cigar. A similar imported cookie is available here, but they all have chocolate or ? in them. Can’t wait to find some potato flour and relive my youth! Thanks! Babs

  15. Peter LeVan says

    Darling…Please don’t forget Potato Flour in yeasted donuts, apple fritters or my personal favorite BANANA-CARDAMOM FRITTERS. The beauty is that you get a texture and density like Brioche but light at the same time.
    Peter
    I MISS BROWN EDGE WAFERS TOO!

  16. Mr. Davis says

    Dear Anna and Friends:

    A good friend of mine mentioned these cookies to me earlier today at work, so I Yahoo! searched and found this site. The recipe was so easy I memorized it and made some earlier this evening. AMAZING! I was so pleased they came out exactly like the your photo! I’ve never had the real McCoy, so I’m taking them to work tomorrow to see how well they compare to my friend’s fond memories of Nabisco’s Brown Edge Wafers. I’ll let you know.
    P.S. Substitute 1/4 cup of butter with coconut creme and add 1/2 cup of regular coconut flakes(NOT confectioner’s sweetened coconut flakes), and you’ve got a real treat! ALSO…white rice flour or tapioca flour are both extremely fine powdered starches, and work as an excellent substitute for the potato starch. –Thanks!

  17. says

    Hello Mr. Davis,

    Thanks for testing the recipe! I hope your friend finds them similar to Brown Edge Wafers. If not, at least you’ve got a good cookie. I’m out of potato starch at the moment,but next time I buy a box I’m going to try the coconut creme and shredded unsweetened coconut variation.

  18. Mr. Davis says

    Hi, Anna…

    Thanks for your reply. As promised, I’ve got my friend’s response: 5 STARS!
    Everyone in the office enjoyed them, so I’ll be making lots more throughout the holiday season, and it’s all thanks to your posting, so Kudos for helping us revive a long-lost favorite treat!

  19. Ann Atwood says

    I have been so disappointed not to be able to find those wonderful brown edged cookies/wafers, so when I found this site I was excited. I’m going to try to find the potato starch flour and as soon as I do, I’ll make up a batch and let you know how they came out. Yummy, I can’t wait to try the recipe.

  20. Shadykay says

    In almost any recipe you see for baking, the butter should be unsalted. The eggs should be large eggs. I’ve watched countless baking shows on television, and read many, many cookbooks – and all call for unsalted butter and large eggs. If you don’t have large eggs, you can go by measure: 1 large egg = 2 ounces = 1/4 cup. You could beat an extra large egg, and just use 1/4 cup of the mixture.

  21. says

    In a perfect world, that would be true. However, many recipes come from sources (church cookbooks, etc.) where people originally used margarine (which is salted) or salted butter. So if a recipe looks suspiciously low in salt, as does this one, it’s best to just use salted butter or add in the equivalent amount of salt which in this case would be somewhere between 3/4 and 1 teaspoon. It’s difficult to say for sure because salted butter is not always the same saltiness.

  22. PattyB says

    We made these cookies, and they came out very, very good. The taste is almost exactly as I remember the boxed Brown Edge wafers. The cookie bottoms come out all golden and good, as with the originals. The one small difference, I think, is that the Nabisco ones had just a bit of flexibility/stickiness to them, while these are more of a dry texture. Thanks for the recipe!

  23. Cynthia says

    Hi Ann,

    I wanted to try to make these cookies with my little girls, but we could not find the Potato Starch Flour anywhere. Please help !

  24. says

    Hi Cynthia,

    I’m not sure where you live or what types of stores you have access to, but finding the potato starch might take a couple of store visits. I buy mine at Central Market which has specialty foods and a nice array of Kosher products. A store with a good Kosher section is most likely to have the potato starch.

  25. Mel Levine says

    Anna,

    What would the recepie look like for the lemon flavored cookie variety? I finally found some ener-g potato starch flour locally and purchased it yesterday. I hope it bakes like the swan brand does. Do you have a website address for SWAN? I can’t find it either.
    Thanks, Mel

  26. Mel Levine says

    Anna,

    Thanks for your help. I’ll be baking some this afternoon! I’ll let you know how it turns out tomorrow, after others have tasted them. I will make both the butter and lemon flavors. I was hoping to get some other recepies from the swan site. Amazon will not help me. Ener-g has some recepies but nothing exceptional.

  27. Mel Levine says

    Anna,

    I modified the recepie as suggested, 1/2 tsp Vanilla and 2 tsp Lemon Zest. They baked up beautifully but not quite lemonny enough. I also agree with PattyB, that there was a stickyness to the Nabisco cookie.

    If I add 1 teaspoon Lemon Juice along with the 2 teaspoons Lemon Zest what other changes would I need to make to keep the cookie as crisp as it is now?

    Also, can you define “a touch of corn syrup” in a measurment? Would I need any other modifications to keep the cookie baking as it does now?

    I found my Potato Starch Flour in a health food store called Nutrition S’mart in Pembroke Pines Florida for those still looking for it.

    Thanks for all of your help!

  28. says

    I’m not sure lemon juice would do the trick since it’s not quite as lemony as peel and adds extra moisture, but it probably wouldn’t hurt. Your best bet might be to keep the lemon peel, but also add a half teaspoon or so of good lemon oil or lemon extract. Another trick you could do is add a half teaspoon or more of unsweetened lemonade powder or Kool-Aid.

    Touch of corn syrup, in this recipe, would be 1 teaspoon.

    Good luck with your experimenting! Sorry I can’t give you more concrete answers, but this isn’t one of the recipes I make often therefore lots of my advice is speculative.

  29. LaoK says

    The potato starch flour must be the secret. I’ve just made a batch without it (using 1 part cake flour to 1 part all purpose flour) and the texture of the cookie isn’t as smooth as I recall from the Nabisco Brown Edge Wafers. The edges are kind of lacy instead. Addition of the 1 tsp of light corn syrup does give the cookie that slightly chewy “tooth” that I remember. I find that forming dough balls about the size of a nickel works well for portioning.

  30. Mama Geri says

    I would like to comment on something that has helped me get more of an intense flavor in baking cookies, pies and cakes etc. I visited a local bakery supply store and they sell small bottles of different flavored oils. All it takes is a few tiny drops of these oils to intensify whatever flavor you are going after. For example, I baked a almond coffee cake and added a shot of amaretto, a few drops of almond oil and toasted slivered almonds. My husband raved over the intense almond flavor so I do this with anything I bake now triple the flavor using different sources.

  31. Mel Levine says

    Anna,

    I have been experimenting with this recepie. In my latest batch I added two tsp of light corn syrup to attempt to get the tackieness that I remembered but it did not work. Could I substitue Unsulphered Molasses for the corn syrup and would that give me the tackiness I’m looking for?

    Thanks

  32. says

    Hi Mel,

    I hope you are having fun trying to get the cookie just right. About the molasses, I think you’d get a similar cookie to your corn syrup version, but with a different taste. I wish they still made brown edges wafers so I could taste one again and try to help you clone it.

  33. Jeanne Brandenburg says

    I wanted to try these cookies but I didn’t have potato starch flour and I only had margerine. I substituted instant mashed potato flakes. (I know, it sounds crazy). The cookies turned out a bit too thin so I added 2 tablespoons of flour to the second half of the dough and the cookies turned out very well.

    I found the potato starch flour today and also got butter and premium vanilla extract. I will be trying the recipe tomorrow with the suggested ingredients.

    I am also in Maryland and found the flour at Wegman’s. You can also order it online from several vendors.

  34. LaoK says

    I’m going to try again, this time making the brown edge wafers as Easter cookies. My previous batch last year didn’t turn out exactly round (kind of oval or egg-shaped) so I was inspired that I could make them look like Easter eggs, using a little pastel food colors.

  35. Nola Lady says

    Thank you Thank you Thank you!!
    I have really missed Brown Edge cookies and with the addition of 1 tsp of grated orange peel they were just what I liked best about them.

  36. Boggles D. Mind says

    I feel like so many of the joys of my youth are quickly fading away. I loved Postum and several years searching, learned that it is no longer produced. As if that was not bad enough, now after many years searching for Brown Edge Wafers, they too are no longer produced.

    What’s next?? Nilla Wafers?? Sure hope not!

  37. Momo says

    I wonder if a little almond flavoring along with the vanilla would be good – what do you think? I LOVED the Nabisco Brown Edge Wafer so I am definitely going to try this but I also love almond flavor.

  38. Nina says

    Anna, There is also a recipe for brown edge wafers that I found that doesnt require the potato starch flour and here it is and it even has the stickiness associated with the original nabisco cookie…..

    BROWN EDGE WAFER COOKIES
    1 c. butter
    1 c. sugar
    2 eggs
    1 1/2 c. flour
    1 tsp. salt
    1 tsp. vanilla
    Cream together the butter and the sugar. Add the eggs and mix thoroughly. Combine flour and salt, add to mixture. Blend in vanilla. Chill for 20 minutes. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets and bake at 400 degrees for 8 minutes. Allow to cool on pan before removing.

  39. John says

    I’ve been looking for a long time I remember having them as a kid (a loooong time ago). Now I can relive my childhood. Thanks!!

  40. Ten says

    I remember making these with my mom following my great-grandmother’s recipe. I have to track down a family member that still has her recipe but I’m going to try this to see how close it is in taste. I do remember we used regular all-purpose flour and I think we made the cookies thicker (larger dough ball) so the edge was crispy and the center chewy.

    I never had the Nabisco cookie – never knew a company made them! I’m so happy to know other people love this cookie as I remember taking them in to school on my birthday and having to talk about them; the other kids hadn’t had them before!

  41. Susan says

    I’m so glad you posted this recipe. My Mother used to make these when I was a kid and I loved them! I’ve never tried the Nabisco brand, I didn’t even know they made them! Regarding the stickiness, is it sticky inside or outside that people remember? If outside, I wonder if a light sprinkling of powdered sugar on the cookies while they’re hot from the oven would add that stickyness that everyone is looking for. Or if inside, line the cookie sheet with parchment paper to bake them, then slide the parchment and cookies off the cookie sheet immediately upon removal from the oven to stop the cooking. They do continue to cook while on the hot cookie sheet. That might be what helps make them crispier and dry. Just a thought!

  42. Cynthia W. says

    Made these for my mom – she says they were very close to the original. Very easy, even for a non-baker like me.

  43. Mary King says

    I am so excited to try this recipe! I was talking to a coworker today about how Nabisco had taken my family’s favorite cookie off the market. I can’t wait to make them! Where can I find the potato flour?

  44. says

    Mary, in the past I’ve found it in the Kosher foods aisle of my grocery store. If you can’t find it anywhere, you could try using cornstarch. Nina also posted an interesting recipe here in the comment section which does not call for the potato flour.

    BROWN EDGE WAFER COOKIES
    1 c. butter
    1 c. sugar
    2 eggs
    1 1/2 c. flour
    1 tsp. salt
    1 tsp. vanilla
    Cream together the butter and the sugar. Add the eggs and mix thoroughly. Combine flour and salt, add to mixture. Blend in vanilla. Chill for 20 minutes. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets and bake at 400 degrees for 8 minutes. Allow to cool on pan before removing.

  45. Mary King says

    I found the potato starch. You can get it at Kroger. It will be in their Nature’s market section of the store. If they don’t have it in stock, they can order it. It is called Bob’s Red Mill Potato Starch. The UPC is 0 3997800525 0 If you don’t have a Kroger in your area, try one of their sister store. (Dillions, King Soopers, Ralph’s, Fry’s or City Market) Harriss Teeter might even carry it. I can’t wait to try this recipe! This was my Dad’s favorite cookie as I was growing up. I just found out it is also my favorite brother’s cookie. I can’t wait to make them for him!

  46. Laura O says

    my whole family used to love these. amazing so many people love these simple cookies but they were discontinued. will try the recipes . my grandsons are missing out on a great cookie.

  47. cece says

    I modified the recipe and added 1tsp. Lemon oil and 1tsp. Lemon juice. After rolling cookies into ball shapes and placed in cookie sheet. Then I crushed up some LemonHead candies and sprinkled on fork flattened cookie dough before baking. All I can say is, if you Love Lemon this version of the cookie is delicious. All I’ve gotten is rave reviews on this cookie…..you can find lemon oil at Whole Foods Stores

  48. says

    Thanks for the tip! Some lemon oils are better than others. I have yet to try the Whole Foods lemon oil, so I’ll put it on the list.

  49. Mama Geri says

    Back in the 40’s and 50’s in Virginia we enjoyed a brown edge cookie made by FFV Famous Foods of Virginia. They made lemon thins and orange thins. I don’t know how many boxes I consumed over the years. Nothing beats them, but now that I’ve read your recipes and hints I think I can give it a go and make cookies from the past that I’ve hungered for a long time. Thanks for all of your comments and the recipe.

  50. susieq says

    I loved Nabisco Brown-Edged Wafers, and am disappointed they are no longer on the market (also their dark chocolate covered graham crackers and the mint covered Oreos). I have been searching for a recipe that matches the wafers, and from the comments posted, I think I may have finally found it. I am making them this afternoon and am looking forward to that melt in your mouth taste and the light crispness. What memories!!

  51. Nancy Rose says

    I agree, these were the Perfect Tea Cookie. Also miss Jan Hagels, and the dark chocolate “Circle” cookies.

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