Friday, November 23, 2012

A Taste of Home: Afghans

What else is a girl to do when her body is all...

"No. Screw you! You missed those three seconds wherein I was actually tired... and now I'm gonna stay up AAALL NIGHT!!! WoooOOO!!!"


"No, I don't particularly care that you have to be up at 6:30am to go count people in a train station. I'M GONNA KEEP YOU AWAKE UNTIL 3AM ANYWAYS!!!"


...but blog? About food. It's the logical solution.

...What's a girl to do when she starts referring to herself in the 2nd person and giving her "Body" a voice and opinion of its own? Probably see a therapist... Well, I am studying psychology (still!) and you know what they say about us Psyc(o) kids...

As for the counting people in at train station? Yes. I'm actually doing that. It's for science. Leave me alone.

Anyway. I thought I said I was gonna blog about food? Yes. Right. Um.

So... I'm in Sweden at the moment - have been for the last almost four months (!)... Haven't really been cooking a lot. Cooking for one sucks. It's horrible! So horrible that I currently cook very rarely. And when I do I make massive amounts of whatever it is and then I have to eat it for days and days because I have THE smallest drawer in the freezer. You know the one. The bottom one which is shorter than all the others anyway... even before it loses half its depth to the freezer motor thingy. Oh! Woe is me! And stuff.

One thing I have gotten really into while over here is proper Kiwi Kai... which is a bit of a misnomer, really... because the only foods (according to Wiki) that are truly unique to New Zealand and New Zealand alone are sweet things... which don't really count as "proper" food... Sorry guys, turns out we didn't invent fush and chups, the BBQ or roast lamb... Who knew?!

But sweets we do well! And they've gone over pretty well too! I've made Lolly Cake (but I ate it all... *ahem* I mean, shared it with all my friends before I remembered to snap a photo), Chups and dup (chips and dip - not exactly a "sweet" but junkie all the same...) and Afghan biscuits! Now referred to by my corridor mates as "those cookies you make" - I've only made them once guys! But I smashed them out of the paaark!

 So - it turns out no one else makes cookies quite like these little babies? I've taken to describing them as "shortbread with cocoa and cornflakes topped with icing and a walnut" ... which works well until the person you're talking to asks in their cute, European accent "what is shortbread?"


Describing things. Not one of my greater talents. I usually say - "Look, next time I make 'em - I'll give you a call, yeah?" ... but I haven't made them since. Mostly because I used up the last of my flour and cocoa to make the photographed batch here... and as I'm basically moving out in a month (!) I can't really justify the Swedish prices to buy more...

Don't get me wrong though, these are totally student appropriate! There're only, like, 5 ish ingredients most of which you probably have naturally occurring in your pantries!

I'm talking about a shit-tonne of butter (technical term), some flour, a bit o' cocoa, a very small quantity of sugar and 1 1/2 cups of cornflakes... and that's it. Then there's the icing and essential walnut... but the cookie part is basically a pantry given!

The recipe I followed is fairly simple... there are some negative reviews on the basis of the biscuits being to "crumbly"... Guys. This is shortbread. It is crumbly. That's the point. Squish it! Or - start with only one cup of cornflakes they'll be what gets in the way of the sticking power of the butter.

Oh, and there's not a whole lotta sugar in the cookie for a reason - the icing is a little bit non-negotiable. Buttercream or icing/glaze is up to you! Just as long as it's there! The walnut? Up to you. For me, they make the cookie. The recipe I was using suggested flaked almonds (WTF?!)... some people go without entirely! O_o

Intrigued? I hope so! Read on, Mac Duff!


200g butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
3 Tbsp cocoa
1 1/2 cups of cornflakes (unsweetened? You can get sweetened cornflakes?!)

Set the over to 180 degrees C and line a cookie sheet with baking paper.

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy (Yes - this is totally achievable with just a wooden spoon... it just takes a slightly larger time investment...)...

Sift in the flour and cocoa... Mix together. Get your hands in there! Tip in the cornflakes and combine thoroughly.

Squidge mixture into ball shapes the size of your choosing and squadge (flatten) onto the cookie sheet. Allow some room as they will spread a little.

Bake for 10-15 minutes until smelling heavenly and slightly crunchy on the edges.

Allow to cool for a bit and in the mean time mix 2Tbsp of cocoa and 1 cup of icing sugar with enough water  (3-4 ish Tbsp) to make a shiny, slightly runny paste...

Spoon over each cookie and adorn with a walnut half. Or piece. Whatevs.

Share with your friends! They'll love you for it! Promise!

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