New Zealand Afghan Biscuits (Cookies)

New Zealand Afghan Biscuits are crunchy chocolate and cornflake cookies, covered with melt-in-the-mouth chocolate icing and topped with a walnut half. A classic or the NZ kitchen, these sweet treats are loved by old and young alike.

If there is any part of life in the kitchen that is guaranteed to trigger a wave of nostalgia, it has to be cooking or baking childhood sweets and treats.

In our home, there was always a container of biscuits (US readers: I mean cookies) tucked away in the pantry for greedily snacking on after school. And who could say no to a crunchy, chocolatey, delicious New Zealand Afghan Biscuit? Not me!

New Zealand Afghan Biscuits

What is an Afghan Biscuit?

A New Zealand Afghan Biscuit is one of our oldest national recipes, made famous by the beloved Edmonds Cookbook.

It’s a cookie made from cocoa and cornflakes, topped with a rich chocolate frosting and half a walnut. The reasons for it being called an Afghan are hotly debated, though I rather like the idea that the rough texture is supposed to resemble an Afghan mountain range.

Why are Afghan biscuits so good?

The combination of a crunchy cookie base and the soft chocolate frosting is guaranteed to win many fans. For most Kiwis eating an Afghan biscuit is sure to bring back a raft of childhood memories.

This is a treat that is so quick and easy to whip up in the kitchen, and much like many recipes of the period is actually very frugal, making use of common household ingredients.

New Zealand Afghan biscuits are simple to make, so a great way of entertaining kids at home. Butter and sugar are creamed together, then flour, cocoa and cornflakes are stirred through. Quickly baked, then topped with a simple homemade chocolate frosting, the hardest part is waiting for them to cool down enough to eat!

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

I have a nut allergy. Can I still make Afghan Biscuits?

Sure, simply leave the walnut off at the end.

Can New Zealand Afghan Biscuits be made Gluten-Free?

To make gluten-free afghan biscuits you will need to sub out the cornflakes and the flour with gluten-free alternatives, you can then proceed as per the recipe.

Can I double or triple the recipe?

Absolutely!

How do I store Afghan Biscuits?

I often have them on a covered cake stand, or you can store them in a single layer in a biscuit tin or container.


New Zealand Afghan Biscuits
New Zealand Afghan Biscuits

New Zealand Afghan Biscuits (Cookies)

New Zealand Afghan Biscuits

New Zealand Afghan Biscuits (Cookies)

Jay Wadams
New Zealand Afghan Biscuits are crunchy chocolate and cornflake cookies, covered with melt-in-the-mouth chocolate icing and topped with a walnut half. A classic or the NZ kitchen, these sweet treats are loved by old and young alike.
4.74 from 15 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Serves 10 cookies

Ingredients
 

for the biscuits:

  • 200 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 100 g ½ cup sugar
  • 150 g plain flour, 1 ¼ cups
  • 50 g unsweetened cocoa powder, ¼ cup
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 75 g cornflakes, 2 cups approx.

for the icing:

  • 250 g powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2-3 Tbsp hot water
  • 10 walnut halves

Instructions
 

  • PREPARE: Heat the oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas 4 and line an oven tray with baking parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  • CREAM BUTTER AND SUGAR: In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment fitted, cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.
  • ADD DRY INGREDIENTS: Sift over the flour, cocoa baking powder and sea salt, then run the mixture on low until evenly mixed through. At this stage the mixture will likely look very crumbly but don’t despair, it will come together.
  • ADD CORNFLAKES: Stir through the cornflakes, then using a wooden spoon, beat the mixture until it forms a soft dough.
  • SHAPE SOUGH: Roll the dough into 10 balls. They should be slightly larger than a golf ball in size, then place on the prepared tray.
  • BAKE: Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. If the biscuits are still very domed when you take them out of the oven, flatten gently with a fork or the back of a spoon.
  • COOL: Allow to cool on the tray for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
  • MAKE FROSTING: When the biscuits are completely cool, make the icing by whisking together the powdered sugar and cocoa. Beat in the butter, vanilla extract and hot water, adding extra water only in tiny little dribbles until you have a thick, spreadable frosting.
  • FROST COOKIES: Spread the icing thickly onto the top of each biscuit, then top with a walnut half.

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Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 398kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 46mg | Sodium: 149mg | Potassium: 128mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 35g | Vitamin A: 670IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 4mg
Tried this recipe?Leave a review or a star rating and let me know how it was! Use the hashtag #daysofjay on Instagram so I can see your delicious creations.
Course | Sweet Things
Cuisine | New Zealand
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Jay Wadams
Jay Wadams

Jay Wadams is a cookbook author, food photographer and Le Cordon Bleu Gastronomy and Nutrition graduate. Based in Italy 🇮🇹 Germany 🇩🇪 and Australia 🇦🇺.

Articles: 337

2 Comments

  1. HELP! I don’t know what I’ve done wrong but the cookies went crumbly and got quite big and like smushed 🙁

    • Hi Muriel! Oh no, that’s no good! Do you mean that the cookies really spread out in the oven? I’d love to help troubleshoot. Did you make any changes to the recipe at all? Depending on the butter you use the cookies can spread out more or less. Let me know and we’ll try to figure out what went wrong 🙂 J.

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