Afghan cookie recipe from Ladies a plate cooking with kids (2024)

Afghan cookie recipe from Ladies a plate cooking with kids (1)

I first tried these on our recent trip to New Zealand. I'm usually a good sharer and will offer my dining companion a taste or half of what I'm eating. Not so in this case. I was greedy and unrepentant. I had never tried a biscuit or cookie like this before. It was a thick cookie with an intriguing texture, dry but not desert-dry, with a slightly crispy crunchy touch to it-the closest that I could describe it was similar to cookie crossed with a cupcake-the cupcake part due to the icing. Plus awalnut half on the top.

Afghan cookie recipe from Ladies a plate cooking with kids (2)

When I returned, I kept thinking about how much I'd like to make these again so I asked Tammy from Wee Treats By Tammy who is a NZ food blogger if she knew a good recipe for them. She knew straight away what I wanted and sent me the recipe from the fantastic "Ladies, a plate"cookbook by Alexa Johnston. The cookbook's title is a reference to the community events where women were asked to bake goodies and the invitations would begin with a "Ladies, a plate". The recipe was from a Mrs Marian Benton's recipe book which was lent to the author by Benton's daughter. The gorgeous and easy to work with glossy chocolate icing was developedby Lois Daish.

Afghan cookie recipe from Ladies a plate cooking with kids (3)

Looking through the recipe I thought that it was simple and straightforward. Simple enough to get M's sons S and In to give it a try. Like many mums she wants her kids to have cooking skills and encouraging them to start making their own items is a good start so we arranged to do this at Adrienne and Nick's house where we managed to drag the boys away from their Wii obsession into making some cookies. The reward? As many cookies you can stuff into your waiting mouth. And with that, the deal wasinstantly struck and the Wii temporarily forgotten for S.

Afghan cookie recipe from Ladies a plate cooking with kids (4)

As for the etymology of the name, there are plenty of theories and none with a consensus as to being the correct one. Some say that they resemble the craggy mountains of Afghanistan, some say that they were made by Afghan settlers in Australia although they're definitely more of a NZ thing than they are here. One theory also purports that the cookies resemble the Afghani people with the cookie their skin, the icing the hair and the walnut their turban.

Afghan Cookies

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Print Recipe

Makes about 14 (depending on size)

For the biscuit

  • 6ozs/170g butter softened to room temperature

  • 1/2 cup/100g brown sugar

  • 1 1/2 cups/180g flour

  • 3 tablespoons cocoa

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking power

  • 2 cups/60g cornflakes broken up into smaller bits (but not small enough to be powder)

For the icing

  • 3 tablespoons water

  • 3 tablespoons/45g caster sugar

  • 3 tablespoons/45g butter

  • 1 1/2 cups/190g icing sugar

  • 3 tablespoons cocoa

  • walnut halves

Step 1 - Preheat oven to 180c. Line 2 baking sheets with baking parchment.

Afghan cookie recipe from Ladies a plate cooking with kids (5)

Afghan cookie recipe from Ladies a plate cooking with kids (6)

Step 2 - Cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Sift dry ingredients on top of this mix and mix together. The batter will be in little lumps. Then knead in cornflakes and gathering a ball of the mix, shape rounds and place on baking tray-we made them about 5.5-6cms in diameter. Flatten them gently with a fork. They do not really spread so just put them a little bit apart from each other but not touching.

Afghan cookie recipe from Ladies a plate cooking with kids (7)

Step 3 - Bake for 12-14 minutes (if cooking time is too short, they will be too delicate to set). Cool.


Step 1 - Gently heat the water, caster sugar ad butter until butter is melted and simmer for 1 minute to form a syrup. Sift the icing sugar and cocoa.

Afghan cookie recipe from Ladies a plate cooking with kids (8)

Step 2 - While constantly whisking with a balloon whisk, pour the syrup onto the sifted icing sugar and cocoa. Add some hot water to thin out icing (we added about 5 tablespoons but just judge from the icing consistency). You want it thick enough to hold its shape and not run but not thick enough so that any spoon marks hold.

Step 3 - Using a teaspoon place some icing on the centre of the cookie and then add a walnut half in the centre of each. Leave to set if you can wait or just let the kids at it. It's hard to hold them back at this stage.

Afghan cookie recipe from Ladies a plate cooking with kids (9)

Published on 2009-03-26 by Lorraine Elliott.

Afghan cookie recipe from Ladies a plate cooking with kids (2024)


Why did they change the name of Afghan biscuits? ›

The decision came amidst a wave of name changes in New Zealand over foodstuffs with names deemed racist or otherwise culturally offensive by some. The biscuit was eventually renamed "Milk Chocolate Roughs" by Griffin's, which advertised the renaming with a new slogan: "Same bikkie.

How do you decorate biscuits? ›

To decorate the biscuits, use the thicker icing to draw your outline or design onto the biscuits. Let the icing set for a few minutes. Pipe enough runnier icing to cover the entire biscuit – don't worry about it being neat at this point. Use a toothpick to spread the icing evenly inside the hard icing 'wall'.

What is the signature Afghan food? ›

Kabuli Pulao

This Northern Afghan dish has become such a staple that it is often referred to as the national dish of Afghanistan. A long-grained or basmati rice dish cooked in a broth sauce which can be made with meats or just veggie.

What is bread called in Afghanistan? ›

Did you know that Afghan bread, also known as “naan” or “naan-e-Afghani,” has a rich history dating back centuries?

How to decorate biscuits for kids? ›

Spread your biscuits with a layer of icing first so that everything will stick to it. Add features and embellishments with the lollies and sprinkles, then pipe on a bit more icing just for fun! Set the biscuits aside on a large tray until the icing has set, or eat a couple as you make them!

What makes biscuits taste better? ›

Use good butter and dairy

Because biscuit recipes call for so few ingredients, it's important that every one is high quality—you'll really taste the difference. Catherine recommends splurging a bit on a grass-fed butter or European-style butter (now's the time to reach for Kerrygold!).

What is the secret to biscuits? ›

Use Cold Butter for Biscuits

For flaky layers, use cold butter. When you cut in the butter, you have coarse crumbs of butter coated with flour. When the biscuit bakes, the butter will melt, releasing steam and creating pockets of air. This makes the biscuits airy and flaky on the inside.

What are empire biscuits called now? ›

The biscuit was also renamed in Scotland and New Zealand to the Belgian biscuit, as a result of the invasion of Belgium. Despite this, in Northern Ireland it remains known as the German biscuit or biscuit bun.

Why are they called Superwine? ›

A crunchy, crispy classic sweet vanilla flavoured biscuit. Wines have been a New Zealand favourite since the 1930s. Back then we would keep our flour dry by storing it in empty wine barrels, hence the name.

What is the original name of the empire biscuits? ›

So where did the name Empire Biscuit come from? With origins in a German-speaking Central European country, the Empire Biscuit started life in the UK being known by names such as the Deutsch Biscuit or, more commonly, the German Biscuit.

What is the new name for United biscuits? ›

Pladis Global (styled as pladis) is a British confectionery and snack foods company encompassing United Biscuits, Ülker, Godiva Chocolatier and DeMet's Candy Company. It was formed in January 2016 as a subsidiary of Yıldız Holding with its headquarters in London, England.

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