Yeah, it’s the 1st of August today which makes us very happy because even though it’s still cold the days are getting noticeably lighter which means the end of winter is in sight! And even though we’ll be sad to say farewell to comforting stews and warm puddings our waistlines will welcome the odd salad or two!
Afghan biscuits are a classic here in New Zealand and kiwis seem to have claimed them as our own – although like the pavlova, the exact origins could probably be debated. But in the interests of international baking diplomacy, let’s just say they’re a real kiwi favourite!
Afghans are traditionally made with cornflakes, no raising agents, lots of butter and not much sugar, which gives them a lovely dense fudgy texture. However we have a couple of friends who replace the cornflakes with weetbix and add a little baking powder and swear by this version, so this is our recipe today. We’ve done lots of research (tough job!) and Abby prefers the weetbix version but Leigh, being more of a traditionalist, still prefers the original.
Another area where we agree to disagree is the icing. Abby likes to ice her afghans with melted chocolate, whereas Leigh much prefers an icing sugar and cocoa icing. If you use melted chocolate the finished product will have a wonderful chocolate flavour but be less sweet than a biscuit iced with chocolate icing – we’ve included both icing options below. It should also be noted that traditionally the afghan icing is topped with half a walnut. But since our kids just pick them off, we just don’t bother anymore!
However you choose to eat your afghans – cornflakes or weetbix, melted chocolate or chocolate icing, walnut or no walnut – we’re sure you’ll enjoy them!
Afghans with a Twist
200 grams butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup cocoa
6 weetbix, crushed
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
30 grams melted butter
Hot water to mix
Melted Chocolate Icing:
150 grams melted chocolate of your choice (we prefer milk to dark)
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees. Cream the softened butter and sugar until light in colour. Stir in the flour, cocoa and baking powder. Gently fold in the crushed weetbix. Place spoonfuls of mixture onto a greased tray and gently press down with a fork. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until set. Cool before icing with the icing of your choice.
Note: If you’d like to make the cornflake version, omit the baking powder and replace the weetbix with 1 1/2 cups of crushed cornflakes.