In the heart of classic Kiwi baking lies a beloved treat that has delighted for many generations – the humble Afghan! These biscuits embody the perfect combination of crunch, sweetness, and chocolatey goodness, and we've taken this much-loved biscuit to new heights with our very own twist.
Chances are, almost everyone in New Zealand has experienced the pleasure of an Afghan biscuit. The origins are somewhat mysterious, with the belief that they were crafted around 1934 here in New Zealand. Surprisingly simple, their ingredient list consists of butter, sugar, flour, and cocoa powder, Afghan biscuits achieve their greatness through the addition of that chocolate icing and, of course, the signature half walnut topping.
While the classic Edmonds cookbook inspired this Afghan recipe, we've subbed in Weetbix instead of cornflakes. They achieve a malty flavour that complements the chocolate, and because we believe in indulgence without limits, we've taken it a step further by generously studding each biscuit with chocolate chips!
The biscuits boast a unique texture, striking a balance between dense and not overly sweet. The Weetbix infuse each bite with a crispness, but the magic truly happens when they are decorated with the velvety chocolate icing. The result is a delicious pairing of crunchy chocolate biscuit and decadently sweet chocolate icing.
Afghan Biscuits have earned a special place as a traditional treat in New Zealand. With their crunchy texture and delightful sweetness, it's really no surprise. The perfect companion to a cup of tea, the Afghan biscuit is a timeless classic. We hope you enjoy our version!
Pop the oven on, get the butter out of the fridge now, and let's get into it!
For the biscuits:
200g butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar (113g)
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 1/4 cups white flour (188g)
1/4 cup cocoa powder (20g)
1 1/2 cups crushed Weetbix (5-ish Weetbix biscuits)
150g of chocolate chips
For the icing:
1 1/2 cups icing sugar (225g)
1 Tbsp cocoa powder
50g butter, softened
2-3 Tbsp boiling water
Walnuts to decorate
The quality of the cocoa can make a huge difference to the outcome of both the flavour of the biscuits and texture of the icing on the afghans. It’s worth paying a little extra for the good stuff.
Preheat oven to 180°C bake. Line two large baking trays with baking paper.
Make sure the butter is at room temperature and in a large bowl, cream butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy.
Sift in the flour and cocoa. Stir until mostly combined, then add the Weetbix, chocolate chips and mix. The mixture may seem a little dry but mix well and don’t fear!
Using your hands (this will help the mix stay together) roll into golf ball sized balls (makes roughly 24 biscuits) or larger if desired, and place on the prepared trays. Press down lightly with the back of a spoon or fork.
Bake for 15 minutes, until biscuits are just firm to the touch. Leave on trays for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before icing.
Sift icing sugar and cocoa powder into a bowl. Add butter and 1 tablespoon boiling water at a time, mixing well and adding more hot water as required until icing is a spreadable consistency. Ice cooled biscuits and decorate with walnut halves.