Wednesday, 5 August 2020

Afghan Biscuits, a delicious New Zealand confection

Afghan biscuits have no connection to the Afghan people or their country of origin, which seems very strange. Surprisingly they originate from New Zealand, from over the ditch, and are their counterpart to our Anzac biscuit, according to the locals. However this is a delicious biscuit, and shouldn't just be enjoyed on Anzac Day. They are really a chocolate, butter and corn flake confection, although weetbix makes a very suitable substitute for cornflakes in this recipe. I had never heard of Afghan biscuits until last April, when  our good friend Christine invited us for coffee on the 26th April, the day after Anzac Day. She had made Afghan biscuits with weetbix which were absolutely delicious. Some New Zealand friends of her daughters make them every year and this is the recipe that she gave me. I have been wanting to make them ever since.
I don't really buy Corn Flakes just to eat as a cereal, as I can't see many nutritional benefits, however Mr. HRK is happy to eat a bowl of them whenever he is feeling like cereal. I bought these a couple of weeks ago to make these biscuits and here they are finally. I love the crinkly texture of these biscuits when I eat them. I made them with weetbix a month or so ago, and a young friend who was visiting said it was just like eating chocolate crackles, remember those? Great children's party food. Those ones weren't iced though. So I had to make another batch and ice them, and add the walnut, so that they look pretty for a photo. 

I loved working with the icing for these biscuits. It came together beautifully and I adore chocolate icing, such a guilty pleasure. Here's just a small tip with icing these biscuits. I made the icing quite firm, whilst I was baking the biscuits and left it in the bowl until the biscuits cooled. I then added just a few drops of warm water which was enough to make the icing more spreadable. Then using an old tip from my Mum, I placed a bread and butter knife in a cup of hot water, and used the warm blade of the knife to carefully spread the icing on the biscuits. A hot knife makes icing much more spreadable and it doesn't drizzle off the biscuit. You don't want that. The trick is not to have runny icing for biscuits. This amount was perfect for 18 biscuits. 

These are the fastest biscuits to make. This batch took me 30 minutes from beginning to end, not including the icing. That's the beauty of baking biscuits.


Preheat oven to 180 deg. C. (350 deg. F)

Makes 18 biscuits

200 g (7 oz.) butter, softened or melted

1/2 cup or (75 g, 3 oz) sugar
1 1/4 cups plain flour
1/4 cup cocoa
2 cups cornflakes ( 50g or 2 ozs) or crushed weetbix
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Chocolate icing:

1 1/2 cups sifted icing sugar
1 heaped tablespoon sifted cocoa (sift with the icing sugar)
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 teaspoon melted butter
1-2 tablespoons water
18 walnut halves

Cornflakes added to mixture


Preheat oven to 180 deg. C. (350 deg. F.)

Prepare a large oven tray by greasing or spraying lightly with cooking spray, and covering with baking paper. I used a large one and a smaller one.
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes.
Sift flour and cocoa. Stir into creamed mixture, and add vanilla essence.
Fold in cornflakes or weetbix. It will form into a ball.

Take tablespoon sized amounts and roll into balls and spread evenly on the tray. Flatten balls lightly with a fork or your finger.

Bake at 180 deg. for about15 minutes or until set. They will be a little soft when they come out of the oven but will crisp up. Allow to stand for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

To Prepare the Icing:

In a medium bowl combine the sifted icing sugar and cocoa, vanilla and melted butter and mix.

Slowly add the water a little at a time until a firm consistency is reached. If you add too much water, just add some more icing sugar until the desired consistency/.

When cold, ice the biscuits and decorate with a walnut half.
Store in an airtight container for 3-4 days.

It's time for afternoon tea, so I am having a cuppa and one of these biscuits. Please take care during these difficult times.

Thanks for dropping by,


p.s I just found this after I posted my first recipe. My friends, if you are running short of time and need to make an even faster batch of biscuits, this recipe for Afghans is taken from the Edmonds Cookery Book, New Zealand's no. 1 cookbook, first printed 1955.

Easy Afghans

1 packet Edmonds Chocolate cake mix
50 g (2ozs) Butter, melted
2 cups cornflakes
2 tablespoons water

Combine all ingredients to form a stiff dough. Drop teaspoons of mixture onto a greased oven tray. Bake at 180 deg. C (350 deg F.) for 15 minutes in a preheated oven. When cold, ice with chocolate icing if desired.


  1. I am saving this for the holiday baking! Crunchy, chocolatey and absolutely divine.

  2. Yum. Thanks for the recipe a nice addition to the biscuit tin. I love making the older treats. They might be nice in my Christmas hampers as I am going to make as many gifts as possible. My take on no waste gifts��. Cheers

    1. Yes Bernie an oldie but a goodie. It't time to start thinking about Christmas hampers and adding to the ideas list. I will be doing the same this year. Great to her from you Bernie, thanks.

  3. This seems like the perfect use for cornflakes and thanks for the tip of warming the knife!

    1. Thanks Tandy, Hope you are keeping well.Cornflakes have many uses in baking I am finding.

  4. I've heard of Afghan biscuits, but never made them before. However, I'm up fro anything that tastes a bit like chocolate crackles! And thanks for the icing tip - I did not know that.

    1. Thanks Amanda, Chocolate biscuits with a hint of crackle and chocolate icing are the best.

  5. Such an interesting name and cookie. I had to pop over to Wikipedia and read more about it's history. It reminds me a bit of Jacques Pepin's Chocolate Cornflake Clusters. I do love making cookies, so I just pinned this one to try soon.

    1. Thanks Ron, I'll have to look up those French chocolate clusters now. Biscuits are so easy to bake with great results. I need to make another batch:)

  6. These cookies with chocolate icing and nuts looks so delicious Pauline .. And the name Afghan biscuit is so native to New Zealand its an amazing fact thanks for sharing..

    1. Thanks Rahul, I'm so pleased you enjoyed hearing about the Afghan biscuit. Take care.

  7. these look so delicious pauline. nope never heard of afghan bikkies before but they look great. seems odd they're a Kiwi fave tho. and what do they have to do with anzac day? weird:-)


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