The best biscuits in the world

I know, I know, it’s a big call to make, but these really are the best biscuits in the world. Afghans are a simple but totally indulgent combination of just a few basic ingredients. Lots of butter gives them an almost fudgey rather than crisp texture, there’s a rich cocoa flavour and crunch from the cornflakes.

Afghans can be found in just about every community cookbook around; they became a frequent addition to the biscuit tins as the ingredients were ones that most housekeepers already had in their pantries. And any doubt of their popularity can be quashed by the fact that they’ve opened the biscuit section of the beloved Edmonds Cookery Book since its 7th edition in 1953.

My nana always had them in her biscuit tins. This is her recipe and here’s hoping that they become your favourite biscuit too.

Ingredients
7oz  (200g) butter, softened
3oz (85g) sugar
6oz (170g) flour
1oz (28g) cocoa
2oz (57g) cornflakes

Method
Preheat your oven to 180°C and prepare a couple of baking trays with a sheet of baking paper.
Sift the flour and cocoa together into a bowl and set aside.
Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, scrape down the bowl a couple of times.
Turn your mixer to low and slowly add the flour/cocoa mixture, followed by the cornflakes, then let everything mix together for 10 more seconds.
Drop spoonfuls of mixture onto the baking tray (a dessertspoon is a good size). They are going to spread a bit so leave a gap between each one. If you prefer a flatter biscuit (they’re easier to ice) gently press down on each biscuit before you pop them in the oven.
Put the trays in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, rotating halfway through. They should feel ‘set’ on top when you give them a gentle poke.
Cool completely on the tray before moving to a wire rack, they’ll crumble if you move them while they’re warm.
Ice with a chocolate icing and decorate each afghan with a walnut half.

Chocolate icing
2½ cups icing sugar
2 teaspoons butter, melted (you don’t need to be too accurate here, butter is good!)
1 heaped dessert spoon of cocoa
Splash of vanilla extract
Boiling water

Mix everything together until smooth, adding little splashes of water as necessary. I like to use a butter knife for this. If your icing is too runny, just add a little bit more icing sugar.

Notes:

  • This recipe makes about 12-15 afghans, depending on their size
  • Use fresh walnuts if you can, they taste so much better

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