I do try to listen to readers here. For those of you who like sorbet you can thank Sam Han for their more frequent appearance (or perhaps, that they appear at all) here, and anyone who forms a love for Afghans at the result of this post can thank Mika for her request in a previous cookie post. I should also thank her for inspiring me to consult an old tome I procured about a year ago, a 1970 book called Australian and New Zealand Complete Book of Cookery. Not so complete perhaps (no Afghan recipe), but I’ve found some interesting recipes for things like Apricot Gelato, Hazelnut Ice Cream, and Lemon Water Ice that predate ice cream machines and I can’t wait to try once study breaks for the semester.
Now, when it comes to Kiwi baking standards, a great place to start is Edmonds. In fact, when it came to baking as kids, a lot of us from a certain vintage and older started with Edmonds. A lot of their recipes have been tried and tested over generations, and are extremely reliable. I took the recipe from here, and if you like video instructions, Edmonds have this on their website, including a nice little idea for having broken bits of this cookie with banana and ice cream as a dessert.
Also, for those of you not used to making your cookies without leavening or eggs might need to take a bit of a leap of faith when making these cookies. Once you’ve creamed the butter and eggs, and are combining them with the cocoa powder and flour, the mixture is going to seem powdery, grainy and incapable of gaining any sort of cookie coherency. Persevere and you should end up with a mound of mixture that sort of forms a single solid mass. Don’t expect the sense of trepidation to ease once you start to add the cornflakes either. However, approach the final ball making process with warm hands and you should be able to form little cookie sized portions reasonably easily.
The final product is densely soft with cocoa flavour and perky with cornflake crunch. I left these ones out overnight for the icing to dry, and they were great the next morning. Depending on how you feel about dark chocolate, you might like to experiment with different kinds of chocolate for the icing. One of my favourite store bought examples of this biscuit uses milk chocolate on the icing, although I used 50% Whittakers here. Playing around with the way the sweetness of the icing offsets that celebration of the cocoa bitterness in the cookie will probably provide you with the most joy when you put your own little twist on this NZ staple.
So good with milk. Go now, cook merrily.