A sunny morning in the City and Carnival Afghans (Egg Free)


Another clear and sunny morning in the middle of February which I spend in the City with a great friend. And what you are seeing in the photo is my bake of today and the egg-shaped sweets are sugared almonds or Perlini and not a premature Easter recipe. We are approaching carnival week on the island in a few days.

As we sit at my favorite cafe in the sun ordering a second espresso, I ask Nigel our friendly waiter to watch out for another table so that we could follow the sun. Within a few minutes we are approached by two gentleman who overhear me and recognize my friend. They insist on giving up their table for her so that we can make the most of the sunshine … this is how popular she is on the island… a popular and well-loved journalist. So we sit in the warmth for the rest of the morning as we watch the world go by. The sun is such a good tonic…


In the cafe is a display of more carnival sweets, just beautiful with reflections of grand chandeliers in the cabinet glass …..


And back home is my baking day. I am making small Afghan Cookies and instead of topping them with a traditional walnut, I use sugared almonds to get us into the Carnival spirit.

Afghan cookies are soft, easy to make, melt-in-your mouth EGG-FREE chocolate cookies, a classic in New Zealand and I adapted this recipe from Edmonds Cookery Book.

For 21 small cookies,


You will need :

170g butter
95g soft brown sugar
180g flour
3 1/2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
60g cornflakes

Cream the butter and sugar. Add all the dry ingredients and mix.
Knead into a dough. Shape into small rounds.
Place on a tray covered with baking paper.
Bake for 10 minutes in a preheated oven at 160C.
Leave to completely cool.

And for the chocolate icing you will need:
1 cup confectioners sugar
3 tablespoons sifted dark cocoa powder
3 tablespoons water

Mix together, add rather water gradually and mix together until it forms a smooth paste.
Dip each cookie into the chocolate icing.
Top with two colored sugared almonds before the chocolate icing solidifies.
Leave uncovered to dry for a couple of hours.


And on a sunny day in Palace Square near the cafe, a St John’s Ambulance ceremony