Afghan biscuits

Carolyn Menzies is one of Linden’s Resident Studio Artists, currently exhibiting in the Linden Project Space.

Her exhibition, Of Slender Means features a series of sculptural works and charcoal drawings exploring materiality through the intersection of art and craft.
Carolyn has shared one of her favourite recipes

My family in New Zealand has very much been in my heart this week and Afghan biscuits, a NZ staple, are a comfort food for me.  Such a strange but delicious combination of tastes - a chocolaty buttery biscuit with the unexpected crunchy chewiness of the cornflakes.

As an artist I've always been drawn to the every day objects we surround ourselves with and the truths they reveal. Why these biscuits are called Afghans is not definitively known but there are theories in circulation that they are linked to the First Anglo-Afghan War (1842). The Afghan biscuit stands as an echo from an earlier historic moment that makes the current disaster in Afghanistan all the more heartbreaking.

Activity by Carolyn Menzies.


  • 250g butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cocoa
  • 1 2/3 plain flour
  • 2 1/2  cups cornflakes


  • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp cocoa
  • 2 tbsp hot water
  • walnuts to decorate

    autumn flora sculptures


    1. Preheat the oven to 180c. Line 2 large trays with baking paper
    2. Using a mixer, beat the butter and sugar (soften) together until pale and creamy. 
    3. Add cocoa and flour. Beat until combined.
    4. Remove from the mixer and stir in the cornflakes with a wooden spoon so that the cornflakes don't break up too much.
    5. Roll mixture into balls. Place on tray (allow for a little spreading). Flatten ever so slightly 
    6. Bake for 15-20 minutes (they are ready when they are just firm when you press them lightly).
    7. Leave them to cool on trays.
    8. To make icing add icing sugar and cocoa into a bowl. Slowly stir in hot water until the mixture is smooth.
    9. Spoon icing on the top of the biscuits & decorate with walnuts.