Monday, November 10, 2008

Afghan Biscuits

A dry, bitter cookie with a sweet frosting. There are many theories as to how this cookie got it's name.

makes 2 dozen

14 tablespoons butter
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1 teaspoon baking powder
1-1/2 cups cornflakes (unsweetened)
½ cup chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoon water
2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
1-1/4 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper. Cream butter and sugar. Beat in the vanilla. Add flour and cocoa. Fold in the cornflakes. Roll dough into 1" balls and place on cookie sheet about 2" apart. Bake 12-15 minutes or until lightly colored. Transfer to wire racks to cool. Melt the 1 tablespoon butter with water and chocolate. Stir in the powdered sugar. Cook, stirring frequently, until mixture coats the back of a spoon. More water or powdered sugar may be added to reach a spreadable consistency. When cookies are cool, ice with chocolate icing and sprinkle with walnuts.

Margie Ritchie says: I haven’t made this particular recipe, but I did bring some store-bought Afghans back from Christchurch, NZ this past week – they are my favorite! The biscuit is supposed to be dry. (All the biscuits I grew up with in NZ were crispy and crunchy.) In cooking with Aussie or NZ recipes in N America, I have noticed that baked goods recipes do not turn out the same as at home (NZ) – the moisture content of the flour and other dry ingredients, and the flour gluten content is different so I have to fiddle around with the liquids and fat to get them right. originally posted April 14, 2007

Maurice McGahey says: In the late 19th and early 20th centuries Alice Springs in the centre of Australia relied on camel trains to supply it’s needs. There was none but rudimentary road and no railway. Alice Springs was an important telegraph relay station. Camels (Dromidary single humped) were imported of course from the Middle Eastern countries. Many camel drivers were imported also. They came from both Afghanistan and Pakistan but were all called “Ghans” short for Afghan. The trainhat runs between Adelaide in South Australia and Alice Springs is also called The Ghan in memory of those drivers. In the 1940s a cook book called “The Edmonds Cook Book” was published. It was a very popular book throughout Australia and New Zealand. One of it’s recipes was a biscuit (cookie) called “Afghans”. An afghan cookie was a thickish chocolate cookie base onto which a rich dark chocolate icing was spread just over the top of the base. On top of this dark chocolate icing a half walnut kernel was placed. I never questioned why they called afghans, afghans until I learned about the Ghans. The cookie base is the dark tanned body. The dark chocolate icing the darker hair. And the walnut kernel was the turban. originally posted September 11, 2006

Joe cookie monster says: I like Afghan cookies & these came out good. I’m hoping someone can tell me why they are called afghan cookies? originally posted January 10, 2005

G. Anderson, New Zealand says: Afghan biscuits are meant to be slightly bitter to the taste it is the combination of the sweet icing and the bitter chocolate biscuit.

B. Parker says: I expected the cookie to spread out during baking (for some reason I had that impression), but they do not spread out. Liked the crunchy taste, found them a little bitter, they are a good looking cookie–would like to know how to make them taste a little better–they are kind of dry in my opinion.