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Friday, 15 February 2013

Chocolate Cornflake Cookies - aka Afgan Biscuits



These biscuits are a kiwi classic.  Great for baking with kids as there is no egg in the recipe, this means that it doesn’t matter if the mixture is ‘sampled’ before baking.  If you decorate them with a glace cherry they would be perfect for a Red Nose Day fund raising cake stall or bake sale.

I used a recipe from my late Nana and converted the measurements from imperial to metric.  Afgan biscuits have been around for generations.  It has been the first recipe in the biscuit section of the Edmonds Cookery Book since its 7th edition in 1953.  My Nan’s recipe dates from long before that.  The only alterations I have made to her recipe are the addition of vanilla extract to bring out the chocolate flavour, and a little baking powder to make the biscuits a little lighter - I hope she would approve.

You can mix these in a bowl, no mixer required, as long as the butter is soft.  The icing is lovely and fudgy, well worth the faff.  However, you could make an icing with cocoa, icing sugar and a little milk or water if you prefer.

175g butter, softened
100g light soft brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
180g flour
35g cocoa
½ tsp baking powder
60g cornflakes, lightly crushed

Chocolate Icing:
45ml/3 tbsp water
45g caster sugar
45g butter
200 g icing sugar
30g cocoa
walnut pieces (optional)

Preheat your oven to 180C/160C Fan and line two baking trays with non-stick baking paper.

In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar until the mixture is pale and fluffy.  Sift in the flour, cocoa and baking powder.  Mix until combined then gently stir through the cornflakes.

Put teaspoonfuls on the prepared trays, leaving a little space around each biscuit to allow them to spread.  Flatten them slightly with a fork and bake for 12–15 minutes.

Leave to cool on the tray for 5 minutes before transferring  to a wire rack to cool completely. 



Put the water, caster sugar and butter into a saucepan over a low heat.  Gently heat, stirring, until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved.  Then turn up the heat and simmer for 1 - 2 minutes until the mixture forms a syrup.

Sift the icing sugar and cocoa into a bowl.  Gradually add the syrup, stirring all the time, until a smooth and fudgy icing forms.  You can add a little hot water if the icing is too thick.  

Top each biscuit with 1 tsp of warm icing.  Put a walnut half on the top, if you are using them.  Leave the icing to set firmly then serve.  We decorated ours with rinsed glace cherries and sprinkles instead of walnuts.

These biscuits keep well for 3 to 4 days if kept into an airtight tin.  

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