Friday, 23 September 2011


Possibly the smallest afghans I've ever made.

I've just realised that despite posting several photos of them on Flickr over the years (1, 2), I've never actually posted the recipe for Afghans. Yes, it's a strange name for a biscuit, but they're completely ubiquitous in New Zealand. Afghans are a kind of chocolate biscuit with cornflakes in, they contain no eggs and aren't overly sweet. It's a very particular taste, a surprisingly good combination of dry-ish biscuit, chewy cornflake, sweet icing and walnut.
We discovered them on a family holiday in 2003 and searched for a recipe for ages, trying the few versions we could find on the internet with limited success. One day I realised that they featured in Mum's favourite old battered Penguin Cookery Book from the seventies, which was written by Bee Nilson, a kiwi. We've been making that recipe ever since and they're pretty much spot-on.
My copy of the Penguin Cookery Book was found in one of the many St Peter's Hospice shops here in Bristol and is even older, the last date printed is 1965 and it has mould spots!
So, without further ado, here's the recipe:

Cooking time 20 minutes. Temperature 350F, Mark 4, ~180C.
Allegedly makes 2 dozen, although we tend to make about 8 larger ones.
7oz melted butter or margerine (1 c)
6oz plain flour (1 1/4 c)
3oz sugar (6 tbs)
2oz cornflakes (2 c) - non-Kelloggs work better here, Kelloggs are too thin and melty
1oz cocoa (3 tbs)
1/4 tsp salt
Vanilla essence
1 doz shelled walnuts  - a.k.a. 24 halves, I wonder if they came ready-shelled in those days?
Chocolate icing - refers to another recipe in the book, but I'm sure you can figure this one out

Mix all ingredients together and put in small spoonfuls on an ungreased tray. Bake until firm. When cold drop a blob of icing on top of each and press on half a walnut.

There you go! Nothing fancy at all. Perfect with a nice mug of coffee, or possibly a kiwi-esque flat white (or flit whaite if you must do the accent.)


  1. I could well be tempted. They look easy and made from easy to hand ingredients! Thank you! Hopeyou are able to come to Birmingham. :-)

  2. Go for it :)
    Not needing eggs definitely makes these a "why the hell not?" kind of thing to bake!
    I haven't got anything set for the 8th so I'll get researching tickets. Still haven't had my railcard from NatWest, useless b******s.

  3. Yay! Glad I finally figured it. Not weird, I was a bit out of it from work too so it's all good. Those look well good. Definitely trying this.


Yay :)