afghan biscuits

Today is my first working day for 2020. To sweeten my return to work I decided to make some biscuits. I used to make Afghan biscuits when I was still in primary school, in fact I think I won third prize at my school fete with a batch.  I don't have that recipe any more so I turned to the internet for help. 

Most recipes for this biscuit, which is a kiwi classic, seem adapted from the one in the Edmonds Cookery Book. The afghan is a simple chocolate biscuit studded with cornflakes. I played around with the sugars and added a touch of vanilla but otherwise it's much the same as the Edmonds cookery book recipe. The icing came from a Gourmet Traveller recipe whilst the walnut praline came from the Cook and Baker.

Here's the recipe for you which makes 18 biscuits. For all my recipes I use a 250 ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon. I use unsalted butter; all eggs are 60 grams and my oven is a conventional gas oven not fan forced, so you may need to reduce your oven temperature by 20°C.

Afghan biscuits – inspired by a Gourmet Traveller recipe
200 gm unsalted butter, softened
50g brown sugar
50g caster sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
185 gm plain flour (1¼ cup)
25 gm Dutch-process cocoa (¼ cup)
Pinch salt
60 gm corn flakes

Walnut praline
1 cup (140g) walnut pieces
1 cup caster sugar
40mls water

Chocolate icing
240 gm icing sugar, sifted (1½ cup)
1½ tbsp Dutch-process cocoa
25 gm butter, melted
½ tsp vanilla extract
2-3 tbs boiling water

Preheat oven to 180ºC and line 2 oven trays with baking paper. Beat together butter, sugars and vanilla until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Sieve flour, cocoa and salt over butter mixture and beat to combine. Add corn flakes and stir to combine. Place heaped tablespoonfuls of dough on prepared trays, press lightly to flatten and bake, swapping trays halfway, until edges are just firm (10-12 minutes). Cool completely on trays.

Walnut praline
Line a baking tray with baking paper. Evenly spread the walnut pieces over the tray. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water and bring to the boil over a medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Once the sugar has dissolved, stop stirring. Cook until the mixture turns a golden brown then working quickly pour the toffee over the walnut pieces, shaking the tray a little to distribute the toffee. Remember the toffee is hot. Allow the toffee to completely cool before breaking into smaller pieces. Store in a baking paper lined airtight container for up to 2 weeks. This will make more praline than you need.

Chocolate Icing
Combine icing sugar and cocoa in a bowl. Add the melted butter, vanilla and water and stir until smooth, adding a little extra water until mixture is thick but just spreadable. Spread thickly over biscuits and top with some of the walnut praline. 

Afghans are best eaten the day they’re made, but will keep for 2 days in an airtight container.

I hope you had a great weekend. If I survive the first working week of the year, then I'll be back again next week with some more baking from my kitchen.

Bye for now,



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