Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Baking Blitz - Afghan Biscuits

It was suggested I think the first time I went home at lunchtime to bake that afghans might be a prime foodstuff for my midday efforts. Oddly they're something I haven't made all that often - odd because they're delicious and pretty easy.

They're a bit of a New Zealand speciality, for any non-Kiwi readers - they're a crumbly, buttery, chocolatey biscuit (cookie if you're American!) with crunchy cornflake pieces throughout, topped with chocolate icing and a walnut half.

This recipe is from Ladies, A Plate, by Alexa Johnston (which is a delightful book full of very kiwi baking recipes), and this was my first batch of afghans with this particular recipe - but I can safely tell you now that it's a winner! My colleagues were telling me off by the end of the afternoon because of their sore bellies, an indicator of the addictiveness of these biscuits - so yummy! Maybe I shouldn't have made a double batch. ;-)

Afghans (makes about 14)
170g butter, room temperature
1/2 cup/100g brown sugar
1.5 cups/180g flour
3 Tbsp cocoa
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 cups/60g cornflakes

Preheat oven to 180 C. Line two cookie sheets with baking paper. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Sift in dry ingredients and mix together. Use your hands to crumble the cornflakes into the bowl so they are in smaller pieces (but not dust!), then mix in with your hands.

Form into balls, place on baking sheet and flatten (either with the palm of your hand or a fork). Bake for 12-14 minutes.

In a saucepan, mix together 3 Tablespoons of water, 45g butter and 45g caster sugar. Heat until butter is melted then simmer for a minute to form a syrup. Add 1.5 cups/190g icing sugar and 3 Tablespoons of cocoa, and whisk to combine. You may need to add extra water at this stage to thin the icing. Ice the cooled cookies with a dollop of icing (it should sort of pool on top) then press a walnut half into each one.

I think a microwave cake is next on the list - does anyone have any good recipes for something along those lines?


  1. The Edmonds Microwave Cookbook has a good chocolate cake recipe - Large Moist Chocolate Cake. When I was little I knew the recipe by heart, but I don't think I can properly recall it now... think it's something like 2 1/2 c sr flour, 1 cup oil, 1 cup milk, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup golden syrup, 1/4 cup cocoa, 1/4 tsp baking soda. The quantities I'm not sure of are the flour and sugar, I think everything else is correct. Funny how I probably haven't made that cake in 15 years and I can still remember it!

    Afghans - YUM. I've got some on the list to make either today or Friday. Previous flatmate left some Special K behind, I think that'll do for the cornflakes.

  2. Yum, your post inspired me to whip up a batch of afghans this afternoon. I always use the Edmonds recipe but the icing recipe from the afghans in Ladies a Plate, it's the best!

  3. It is funny how things stick in your head - I definitely have a few Edmonds recipes permantly in my head, too! I will investigate that recipe, though - we don't have the microwave cookbook but Mum does so I'll give her a call.

    Becs - isn't it? I'm so impressed with the icing! I had the last biscuit tonight and I'm torn between wishing I'd made more and being glad they're gone as they were so tempting!

  4. Baked a banana cake from this book today - was going to make afghans but had no cornflakes [have now] Thoroughly recommend banana cake - stonemason and plasterer liked it too.

  5. I suspect the stonemason and plasterer would accept any home baking you took them straight from the oven! I don't actually have the book - I got the afghan recipe off someone else. Might have to borrow your copy sometime...

  6. Microwave Chocolate cake

    50g/2oz butter
    2t golden syrup
    1/2C Sugar
    1 Egg
    1C Flour
    2T cocoa
    1/2t Baking Pwdr
    3/4t baking soda
    3/4C Milk
    1t vanilla essence.

    Melt butter and Golden Syrup together (45sec on high). Mix in sugar then egg. Add flour, cocoa, bp, and bs dissolved in milk and vanilla. Mix with spoon, pressing out lumps. Pour in2 20cm ring mould, cover with waxed paper and microwave on high about four mins. Cool on rack. Ice!!


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