If you were raised in New Zealand, odds are you are well acquainted with the Afghan Biscuit. I was wondering about the origins of the name recently so did a little research and made a couple of interesting findings. First, the idea of a chocolate biscuit containing cornflakes is actually something pretty unique to New Zealand, who knew? Secondly, the origin of the name is even more obscure – some suggest it may be because shape of the biscuits resembles the craggy mountains of Afghanistan (why Afghanistan, not the Southern Alps?), while others think it there may have been some resemblance to an Afghan turban…
Anyway, while I’m not really any the wiser on the
origins, I am certain they’re delicious! This is my mother’s simplified
method (there’s no creaming of the butter and sugar). If you’re really
in a rush they can be enjoyed ‘as is’ but they’re really at their best
iced and topped with a piece of walnut.
For 30-40 biscuits:
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 large egg
1 1/4 cup (180g) self-raising flour
1/4 cup (25g) cocoa
1 1/2 cups (cornflakes
1/2 cup (75g) chocolate chips
2 Tbsp sour cream
30-40 walnut pieces or halves
Heat oven to 170°C (160°C fanbake), with the rack just below the
middle. Line a two baking trays with baking paper or a Teflon liners.
In a pot big enough to hold the whole mixture, melt the butter until it
is barely liquid, then remove from the heat. Add the sugar, vanilla and
egg, and mix well with a fork. Measure the flour, cocoa and cornflakes
on top of this and stir until evenly mixed.
teaspoons, arrange 30-40 quite compact heaps of mixture on the prepared
baking trays, leaving room for spreading. We like slightly mounded
biscuits, but if you want larger, flatter biscuits flatten the unbaked
biscuits gently using several fingers or the pad of your thumb.
Bake for 8-12 minutes until biscuits look evenly cooked but have not
darkened round the edges. While biscuits are warm, lift them onto a
When biscuits have cooled, stir together the
chocolate chips and sour cream, then heat gently until the chocolate has
just melted (we microwave the mixture for about 30 seconds on High,
stirring after about 15 seconds). Spoon about a teaspoon of the icing
onto each biscuit and top each with a walnut piece or halves before the
Leave in a cool place for icing to set, then store in an airtight container.
Photography: Simon Holst