Sunday, April 12, 2009

Afghan Cookies & Hot Cross Buns

The parents are in town. This is usually double-edged sword - I love them both to death and love spending time with them but they are full-on. Mum is a professional nagger and Dad is a constant lecturer. It was an initiation by fire into my family for A on our trip to Malaysia, especially when I left him alone with them and other relatives who were all trying to teach him mahjong. Imagine the confusion and insanity! Poor boy.

Anyway, one of the best things about my parents being around is that I have two people who love and appreciate food as much as me, who I can enjoy meals with and bake for. The same day that I made the yogurt cakes with marmalade, I also whipped up some Afghan cookies. The recipe is the first I have tried from my shiny new Golden Book of Patisserie. As soon as I laid my eyes on the recipe I knew I had to give it a go. They were not the prettiest looking, I was in a grumpy mood and sort of smacked the dough in random lumps on the baking tray rather than carefully shaping the cookie into rounds, but they still tasted great!

Afghan Cookies
3/4 cup (180g) butter softened
1/2 cup (100g) sugar
1 1/3 cups (175g) plain flour
1/4 cup (30g) unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cupcs (200g) cornflakes
1/3 cup (40g) dessicated coconut

1 cup (150g) icing sugar
2 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbs boiling water

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
  2. Line two large cookie sheets with baking paper.
  3. Beat the butter and sugar using an electric mixer on medium-high speed until pale and creamy.
  4. With mixer on low speed, gradually add the flour and cocoa, beating until combined.
  5. Stir in the cornflakes (I crushed them up slightly with my hands to make them a tad smaller) and coconut by hand using a wooden spoon.
  6. Spoon 25 mounts of mixture onto the prepared cookie sheets, spacing 2.5cm apart.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes or until set.
  8. Let cool on the cookie sheets for a few minutes, then transfer to a rack and let cool completely.
Mine looked more like possum poos than cookies when they were straight out of the oven! I was regretting the careless plonking of cookie dough onto the baking trays at this point.

  1. Combine the icing sugar and cocoa in a small bowl.
  2. Add the vanilla and gradually pour enough water to obtain a spreadable frosting.
  3. Frost the tops of the cookied cookies. Now usually the recipe calls for them to be topped with chopped walnuts (1/4 cup), but I just placed a cornflake on top instead.

Icing seemed to reduce the possum poo effect...

These cookies were divine to eat. Dangerously so. I don't think I can make them too often because I could not stop myself from eating them! They were wonderfully rich thanks to the amount of Dutch cocoa used and the coconut and cornflakes gave it a lovely crunch and flavour without drying them out. I must have eaten 10 of these in the space of half a day, oops.

Also, on Friday I attempted my first hot cross bun recipe. Thank you again, Not Quite Nigella! Your recipe turned out AMAZING! It was my first time baking with yeast so there were several moments of panic and stress because I was using fairly old yeast and it didn't look like it was rising as much as it should have been, but I ploughed on regardless and the final result was so delicious. I made the cinnamon chips the night before (and ate a lot of those on their own), and also added some sultanas that I had lying around. My entire family loved them, they did not last long!

Still need to work on my presentation skills, but I was too busy panicking about the yeast that I just bunged the dough into the oven without rolling it into neat balls first. I'm still learning!
Happy Easter everyone!


  1. YAY so glad that you liked the HCB recipe! :) Aren't the Afghan completely moreish too? I can't stop at one!

  2. Completely! They are a little bit evil. I kept repeating to myself, "Okay THIS will be my last one I swear", but you just can't stop!

  3. i totally get what you mean about the parents! haha. i feel the same way!

    those cookies and hot cross buns look delicious .. mm... :)

  4. Haha I'm glad it's not just me! :) Thank you, I was so impressed with Lorraine's HCB recipe, it turned out so well even with all my messing around!

  5. These look amazing! I can't wait to make them next weeI. I was just wondering, could I omit the coconut and instead substitute the weight with extra cornflakes? I find desiccated coconut especially create a really sugared flavour. Also I've never really liked the texture either. I'd love some feedback!

    1. Sure, give it a go with the extra cornflakes. I hope it turns out well!

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