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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Eat. . . Afghan biscuits

My homemade Afghan biscuits
Afghans, at least in their biscuit form, were completely unknown to me until I set foot in Aotearoa/New Zealand back in 2002. But since then they have become one of my firm favourites! A deliciously short and crumbly chocolate biscuit studded with cornflakes for extra bite, enveloped in a rich and decadent chocolate icing and a walnut half to top it all off. Yum! If you don't have walnuts in your store cupboard, don't let that stop you - they are almost as delicious without!

Our tins have been looking very empty recently so this afternoon I spent a happy time in the kitchen baking Afghans. My recipe is based on the one in "Ladies, a Plate" by Alexa Johnston, but you will find an Afghan recipe in every Edmonds Cookery Book, and according to Alexa,  Afghans have opened the Edmonds' biscuit recipe section since 1953! No doubt there are plenty of other Afghan recipes to be found in other corners of the internet, but here's the recipe I use:


For about 24 small biscuits:
6 oz/170 g butter (Use margarine at your peril!!)
1/2 cup/ 100 g brown sugar
1 1/2 cups/180 g Self-raising flour
3 tblsps cocoa powder
2 scant cups/60 g scrunched cornflakes

Preheat oven to 180C/350F and line two trays with baking paper. Soften the butter, then cream it with the sugar until pale and fluffy. Add dry ingredients, mix well, then knead in smooshed up cornflakes. Put tablespoonsful of mixture onto the trays, leaving a small space around each. They don't spread much. Flatten slightly with your thumb or a fork and bake for around 15 mins. Cool on wire rack.

For icing:
3 tblsps water
3 tblsps caster sugar
3 tblsps butter
3 tblsps cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups/190 g icing sugar
Around 24 walnut halves (optional)

Heat the water, caster sugar and butter in a pan until butter melts. Simmer for 1 minute to form a syrup. Beating all the time, add most of the syrup to a small mixing bowl containing the sifted icing sugar and cocoa powder. Add last bit of syrup if necessary. You are aiming to make a smooth, glossy, fudgy icing. Put a teaspoonful of icing on each biscuit and (if using), quickly press a walnut half into the icing. Leave to set.

Store in an airtight tin/plastic box. These stay fresh for 3 - 4 days if you can make them last that long!


  1. Felix and I will be making these at the weekend! My mouth is already watering :)


  2. Great, hope you and Felix enjoy making them :) and that you all enjoy eating them!

  3. I'm sure we will love them; they seem just like our sort of thing and I'm hungry just looking at them! xxx