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Brown Edge Wafers

by on October 4, 2006 · 60 comments

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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Published on October 4, 2006

{ 60 comments… read them below or add one }

tg October 4, 2006 at 11:09 am

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!

Anna October 4, 2006 at 11:12 am

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.

Amy October 4, 2006 at 12:32 pm

Sounds like my kind of cookie

Joe October 4, 2006 at 1:09 pm

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?

carole October 4, 2006 at 1:41 pm

What about adding 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice?

Anna October 4, 2006 at 1:58 pm

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.

Ms. Chevious October 4, 2006 at 9:23 pm

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.

smash October 5, 2006 at 3:44 pm

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.

Anna October 5, 2006 at 3:51 pm

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.

smash October 5, 2006 at 3:51 pm

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.

Anna September 21, 2007 at 6:47 pm

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.

Robert Haygood September 29, 2007 at 7:26 am

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.)

Anna September 29, 2007 at 3:22 pm

So Robert, what DO they sell in Southern Arizona ;).

I’d never heard of Weston until now. Thanks for the info.

Donniebingo November 13, 2007 at 1:35 pm

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.

J Chapman January 4, 2008 at 12:09 pm

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!

kim f June 6, 2008 at 2:53 pm

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

barbara October 10, 2008 at 3:57 pm

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

Peter LeVan November 16, 2008 at 11:44 pm

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!

Mr. Davis November 18, 2008 at 11:28 pm

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!

Anna November 19, 2008 at 7:29 am

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.

Mr. Davis November 19, 2008 at 9:45 pm

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!

Ann Atwood November 23, 2008 at 12:25 pm

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.

Shadykay December 5, 2008 at 10:16 am

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.

Anna December 5, 2008 at 11:30 am

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.

PattyB February 1, 2009 at 9:51 am

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!

Anna February 1, 2009 at 12:31 pm

I am so glad to hear that Patty! I wonder if a touch of corn syrup would add some stickiness?

Cynthia February 3, 2009 at 11:52 pm

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 !

Anna February 4, 2009 at 7:46 am

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.

Mel Levine March 31, 2009 at 5:35 am

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

Anna March 31, 2009 at 7:13 am

Hi Mel,

For the lemon version, you’d probably want to make the recipe as written but just add a teaspoon or two of lemon zest and using only about 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla.

I’m not sure Swan has a website, but you can order it off many sites including Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/Potato-Starch-Flour-Swan-12oz/dp/B000PKUT6U

Mel Levine March 31, 2009 at 9:59 am

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.

Mel Levine April 1, 2009 at 4:34 am

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!

Anna April 1, 2009 at 6:30 am

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.

LaoK April 11, 2009 at 9:13 pm

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.

Mama Geri April 14, 2009 at 12:03 am

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.

Mel Levine April 26, 2009 at 8:24 pm

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

Anna April 26, 2009 at 9:35 pm

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.

Jeanne Brandenburg July 20, 2009 at 9:07 pm

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.

Liz July 21, 2009 at 9:37 am

Why don’t they sell the brown edge wafers in stores anymore?

Anonymous October 29, 2009 at 12:35 pm

Thank you from a delighted 60 year old grandmother!

LaoK March 25, 2010 at 7:03 pm

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.

Nola Lady April 28, 2010 at 8:04 pm

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.

Boggles D. Mind May 10, 2010 at 6:24 pm

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!

Momo August 17, 2010 at 8:33 pm

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.

Anna August 17, 2010 at 8:42 pm

I love the idea of adding almond flavoring!

Nina September 11, 2010 at 7:11 am

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.

John October 3, 2010 at 10:58 pm

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!!

Ten October 16, 2010 at 11:29 am

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!

Susan December 18, 2010 at 10:26 pm

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!

Cynthia W. December 31, 2010 at 5:44 pm

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

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