Since I’m a New Zealander, eating Afghan biscuits was a pretty normal experience growing up. I’d never really given the biscuit much thought; I’ve made dozens of them over the years, and eaten plenty too. Today I actually Googled “Afghan” and was surprised to discover that it is a New Zealand ‘invented’ biscuit.
According to Wikipedia:
An Afghan biscuit is a traditional New Zealand biscuit made from flour, butter, cornflakes, sugar and cocoa powder, topped with chocolate icing and a half walnut. The recipe has a high proportion of butter, and relatively low sugar, and no leavening (rising agent), giving it a soft, dense and rich texture, with crunchiness from the cornflakes, rather than from a high sugar content. The high butter content gives a soft melt-in-the-mouth texture, and the sweetness of the icing offsets the low sugar and the cocoa bitterness.
I’ve always used the recipe in the Edmond’s Cookery book, but today I used a different recipe that did actually have baking powder in it; so it seems that some recipes do have a rising agent in them. They are quite quick and easy to make (assuming you like creaming butter and sugar) and kids love them!
- 200gm butter
- ½ C sugar
- 1 t vanilla
- 1 C plain flour
- 2 T cocoa
- 1 t baking powder
- 1 ½ C crushed cornflakes (lightly crushed before measuring)
Preheat oven to 180oC. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
Beat the butter and sugar until light and creamy, then add the vanilla. Mix in the flour, cocoa and baking powder, then stir in the cornflakes.
Place heaped teaspoonful’s of mixture onto the baking tray and bake for 12-15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack before icing.
- 60gm butter
- 4 T boiling water
- 1 ½ C icing sugar
- ¼ C cocoa
- Walnut halves to decorate
To make the icing, melt the butter in the boiling water then mix in the cocoa and icing sugar until smooth. Spread over the cooled biscuits and top with a walnut half.