Mum's Afghan biscuits

Nici Wickes shares her mum's winning recipe for classic Afghan biscuits. Add a liberal dollop of chocolate icing and top each with half a walnut for a true taste of New Zealand

By Nici Wickes
  • 10 mins preparation
  • 20 mins cooking
  • Makes 20
  • Print
This recipe first appeared in New Zealand Woman's Weekly.
Follow New Zealand Woman's Weekly on Facebook, Instagram and sign up to their e-newsletter.


  • 200 gram butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup dark cocoa
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 cup cornflakes
  • 20 walnut halves
Chocolate icing
  • 1 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 3 tablespoon dark cocoa
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 1 - 2 tsp boiling water


  • 1
    Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a tray with baking paper.
  • 2
    Cream the butter and sugar thoroughly until light and fluffy – mix for at least 4-5 minutes. Sift in the flour, cocoa and salt, beating briefly until combined. Lastly stir in the cornflakes – don’t overmix but do make sure the cornflakes are mixed in. You will have a lumpy, buttery dough mixture.
  • 3
    Mum uses a soup spoon as the ideal size to scoop dough onto the oven tray. They don’t spread, so you can place them quite close together.
  • 4
    Bake for 15 -20 minutes. They should be crunchy on the outside and will firm up once cold.
  • 5
    When cold, ice with chocolate icing and top each with half a walnut.
Chocolate icing
  • 6
    Beat the icing sugar, cocoa and butter together. Drizzle in a few drops of boiling water to create a thick icing.


  • Nici says 'I’ve never been able to make a decent Afghan, so I asked Mum to show me her technique because while most recipes have similar ingredients, there must be something in the technique I wasn’t getting right. It turns out I was making two errors – the creaming step should be done thoroughly until mixture is really pale and fluffy. The other mistake I make is that the dough for Afghans is very buttery, which is the point where I often lose my nerve and add more flour. Don’t! They turn out just fine'. - While the Afghans are cooking, I find nothing more relaxing than shelling the walnuts for their tops. April is a lovely time to go walnut hunting, particularly if you live in the South Island where there seems to be wild walnut trees aplenty.

read more from