This recipe was born from a craving for classic New Zealand Afghan biscuits, coupled with a request for muffins from one of my children.
Afghan biscuits are a beloved classic, and generally only found in New Zealand. Ask a kiwi expat what they miss from their homeland and odds are, the answer will be the afghan bikkie.
We Australians have a solid track record of claiming New Zealand classics as ours - think pavlova, the flat white coffee, Russell Crowe and Lamingtons (they were originally called Wellingtons! It's true!). Rest assured we won't try that trick with Afghans.
Afghan biscuits are predominantly chocolate, walnuts and cornflakes. I thought, why not make some muffins with these characteristics?
It worked out beautifully. I added some goodness by way of yoghurt, wheat germ and bran flakes, which gave the muffins more grunt, while still remaining treat-worthy and delicious.
Note: the icing and toppings are yummy but aren't at all necessary. Feel free to omit - rest assured your muffins will stand tall and not look at all underdressed!
Makes aprox 8 large muffins
1 cup all purpose cake flour
1/2 cup walnut pieces, roughly chopped or crushed
1/4 cup corn flakes or bran flakes, crushed
¼ cup alkalised cocoa powder
1 cup sugar - any, but brown is good
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup oil (olive or sunflower)
1 cup natural yogurt
½ cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
¾ cup chocolate chips, any kind
⅔ cup icing sugar
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1-2 tbsp hot water
cornflakes, bran flakes or walnut pieces
Preheat the oven to 180°c/160°c fan forced. Line a muffin pan with large muffin cups.
In a bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the crushed walnuts and cornflakes, stir to combine.
In a separate bowl, whisk egg, yogurt, milk and oil until combined.
Gradually stir the flour mixture into egg mixture and whisk. Don’t overmix, just until everything is blended.
Fold in chocolate chips.
Fill the muffin cup ¾ way full with the batter.
Bake for 20-25 minutes for large muffins. Reduce the time for smaller muffins and check with a toothpick test - insert toothpick or skewer into muffin; if it comes out clean, the muffins are ready.
Let them cool for about 15 minutes before removing. Cool on a wire rack completely before icing.
Whisk icing sugar and cocoa together in a bowl. Whisk in 1 tbsp hot water. If the icing isn't runny enough, add more water a few drops at a time until you get the right consistency.
Using a teaspoon, drizzle the icing over the cooled muffins then sprinkle a few cornflakes, bran flakes or walnuts pieces
Did You Know:
Oil instead of butter makes for a softer, more moist muffin or cake.
And why are Afghan biscuits called Afghan biscuits? There are lots of opinions and suppositions out there nobody really knows!