Afghans

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My mother-in-law adores Afghans, she would buy them from her local bakery & have half a one for afternoon tea. That is until the bakery stopped making them. When I visited her a couple of weeks before Christmas she was armed with a couple of Afghan recipes (& the ingredients!) and wondered whether I would be able to make them. So I made some wheat based Afghans for her. Of course I ate some of them myself & decided that I better take a photo of the recipe.

When I next saw my mother-in-law at Christmas I gave her another batch of Afghans. I didn't tell her that they were gluten free & she didn't notice any difference.

The following recipe will make ~45 Afghans. If that is too many, before you have tasted them, halve the recipe.

 

Ingredients

Biscuit

450 g Butter

220 g Caster sugar

450 g Bakers' Magic Gluten free flour

50 g Cocoa

200 g Crushed gluten free cornflakes

50 g Desiccated coconut (toasted)

 

Cocoa - different brands of cocoa vary in their taste. If need be put in 60 g of cocoa.

Gluten free Cornflakes - not all brands give the same crunch. I trialed a number of brands & my preference, with number 1 the best, is as follows: 

1. Schar

2. NatureFirst

3. Australia's Own Organic

4. Norganic

5. Buontempo

 

Icing

100 g Butter

25 g Cocoa (up to 35 g for some brands)

300 g Icing sugar

30 - 40 g Hot water

Method

Turn the oven on to 170 C.

Line two trays with baking paper. 

Crush the cornflakes in a food processor.

Spread the coconut on an oven tray & put it in the oven for ~1 1/2 mins. Keep an eye on it as it can burn very quickly.

In a large bowl sift together Bakers' Magic Gluten free flour & cocoa. Mix in the crushed cornflakes & toasted coconut.

Cream together the butter & sugar.

Combine the creamed mixture with the dry ingredients. I usually put on disposable gloves & the combined ingredients by hand. Rest the mixture for ~ 5 mins - it will harden slightly.

Take a large tablespoon of the mixture (30 - 35 g) and roll it between your hands. Place the ball on the baking tray & slightly flatten the ball with the palm of your hand. As the balls don't spread much during baking I arrange them in a 4 x 5 pattern. I usually make the balls ~32 g and only bake 40 afghans (2 trays), the remaining dough gets eaten by who ever is helping me make them. Repeat making the balls with the rest of the mixture.

Bake in the oven at 170 C for ~18 - 20 minutes. Let them cool before icing them.

The icing is easier to work with when it is warm. I have used both a microwave & Thermomix to make the icing.  I haven't made it on the stove top but I'm sure you could provided the heat is not too high. 

Melt the butter & combine the rest of the ingredients to form a smooth icing.

Transfer icing to a piping bag fitted with a size 15 nozzle & pipe the icing on top of the biscuits. Alternatively spoon the icing on to each biscuit.

The Afghans will soften slightly (but still contain crunchy bits) with the moisture present in the icing.