Product Review: Kinnikinnick Foods Gluten Free Vanilla Wafers

Kinnikinnick Foods Gluten Free Vanilla Wafers

Kinnikinnick Foods Gluten Free Vanilla Wafers

Product: Kinnikinnick Foods Gluten Free Vanilla Wafers – $3.99+

Growing up, I often cherished the smaller, simpler things in life.  Like…drinking soda at Grandma and Grandpa’s house…because they let us have an entire can instead of splitting it three ways between us.  Or…being treated to pre-dinner cookies while at the lake cabin with my grandparents (grandparents are the best!).  This often meant Pecan Sandies or…Nilla Wafers.

Yep…I blame my absolute love of Nilla wafers on my grandma.  My grandma LOVED her sweets (I come by it honestly), and while she was very much a chocolate lover…she always seemed to have a box of Nilla Wafers at the lake or in her pantry at home.  Without fail.

And if we looked like we needed or wanted a snack…Nilla Wafers were it.

Already a big cookie monster (yeah…you know I am!)…I haven’t had Nilla Wafers in a long time.  And when I was diagnosed as a Celiac…they were gone for good.

*sad violin*

Or…so I thought!  One afternoon, while walking the aisles at my local Meijer, I dropped into the gluten-free section just to see if there was anything new or interesting.  Turned out…there was!

GLUTEN. FREE. VANILLA. WAFERS.

The image on the box had the buttery looking rounds that I remembered from my childhood.  And so…a box traveled from store to pantry just like that.  And in my head…I had it all planned out.  I was going to make a banana cream pie with them.  How great would that be?!  Except…I’m not the biggest fan of pie…so that aspiration sort of fell to the wayside and this box sort of just…sat on a shelf.  And cookies should never just sit on a shelf.

Tonight, that all changed.  With the banana cream pie out of the question now…I thought, “Hey…I used to eat these things straight up, right out of the box…why should that have to change?”  The answer: It doesn’t.  And tonight…it didn’t.

After wrapping up an amazing dinner of Texas Queso-dillas (vegan, gluten-free noms!), I did up the dishes and retrieved this box from the pantry shelf.  The time had come.  And I had high hopes that these would bring back all those feels from my childhood.  I dished up a serving to my roomie and a serving to me…and as we finished up The Muppets episode that we missed…we noshed.

She never was into Nilla Wafers (because she’s weird), so she thought these were “pretty good.”  *sigh*  She doesn’t know something amazing when she bites into it.  These cookies were beyond fantastic.  Every happy moment from grandma’s house involving Nilla Wafers came rushing back to me when I bit into my first Kinnikinnick Gluten Free Vanilla Wafer.  The taste was sweet and vanilla-y.  The cookie had that soft center and that golden outside, that wasn’t crunchy, but wasn’t just chewy either.  It was the full-out, real-deal, fantastic gluten-free interpretation of a childhood favorite.  And if I didn’t portion out these things before settling in to eat, I probably would have devoured the entire box.  Kinnikinnick has been awesome about bringing back childhood favorites…like graham crackers (S’moreables…HELLO S’MORES!), and Oreos (KinniTOOS), and pumpkin spice donuts (I haven’t actually found these yet…), and BLUEBERRY bagels (which have been reformulated, so while I didn’t LOVE them back when I began this gluten-free journey…a revisit might be happening).  I haven’t found any other gluten-free company turning out childhood classics that are SO close to the real thing that it actually makes you double-check the box.

Yep…Kinnikinnick has definitely won my heart over once again.  And all it took was these little vanilla cookies.  Because this, my dear friends…this was my childhood!

Let’s discuss the ingredients that go into Kinnikinnick’s Gluten Free Vanilla Wafers!  These cookies are made from cane sugar, water, potato starch, white rice flour, non-hydrogenated palm oil shortening (palm oil, modified palm oil), pea starch, tapioca starch, egg whites, cellulose powder, tapioca syrup, pure vanilla extract, salt, cellulose, baking powder (sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium bicarbonate, pea starch, mono calcium phosphate), sunflower lecithin, natural colour, and natural flavor.  This product is gluten free, dairy free, nut free, and are kosher.  These cookies are also free of soy, sulphites, mustard, fish/shellfish, sesame, corn, and yeast.

As for nutritional information, the Kinnikinnick Gluten Free Vanilla Wafers are cookies and a treat.  So…remember that.  A serving is 8 wafers (36 grams) and there are about 5 servings per box.  You will be chowing down on 160 calories, 5 grams fat, 2.5 grams saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 150 mg sodium, 27 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 12 grams sugar, and 1 gram of protein.  I love that they are bite-size cookies that give you a treat without really feeling guilty about it.  Their vanilla sweetness is just enough to satisfy without being too sugary sweet.  LOVE that balance.

So, yeah…the great pantry clean-out is on.  And these are the last remaining cookies in there.  I am sort of sad to polish these off and move onto something else…but now that I know where to buy these, you better believe they’ll be an every-now-and-again treat.

And, who knows…maybe I will get around to making that banana cream pie someday.

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