New Zealand Chocolate Roughs Recipe

New Zealand Chocolate Roughs Recipe
Santa Claus Southern California

Indulge in the irresistible allure of New Zealand Chocolate Roughs. Discover a delectable combination of rich, creamy chocolate and crunchy coconut in these delightful treats. Experience a taste sensation that will transport you to the beauty of New Zealand.

A Tale Of a Backyard Barbecue on a Warm Christmas Eve

I recall one Christmas Eve in Wellington. I trundled about, exploring the sites of the festive capital of New Zealand. Ah, the joy of a New Zealand Christmas. As with other countries in the Southern Hemisphere, at Christmas time, it is sweltering. Eggnog is swapped out for chilled cider. Children spend their days in swimming pools instead of snuggling by a fire. Clothing consists of shorts and sunhats rather than sweaters and socks.

I’d been watching one of the Christmas parades that are so popular in Wellington. After chuckling to myself and enjoying the scene, I stumbled across a family home at early dusk. I watched as the family enjoyed cooking sausages on the barbecue in their yard. The kids were up late, chasing each other around the garden with water pistols.

The sight of family and friends playing and having fun together warmed the cockles of my heart. Despite the fact that I was a glow from the summer heat.

New Zealand Chocolate Roughs Recipe

I watched later as the kids feasted on chocolate roughs, dipping them in bowls of hot chocolate while sitting cross-legged on their lawns. This is the wonder of New Zealand at Christmas time. It’s the outdoor activities that seem never to end. Eventually, the children climbed up the stairs of their homes and towards their beds.

The littlest one crept down the staircase later that evening when everyone was asleep. He hadn’t forgotten, oh no. He knew how delighted I would be to find a chocolate rough laid out for me alongside a chilled glass of milk. What an absolute treat and delicious biscuit I tell you!

Substitutions and Variations

  • To create a gluten-free Christmas cookie, swap out the flour for good quality gluten-free flour. A ratio of 1:1 should do the trick.
  • For a dairy-free Christmas cookie, use plant-based butter or high-quality margarine in place of regular butter.
  • Walnuts: if you aren’t mad about walnuts, or you just don’t have any, switch them out for pecan, almonds, or pistachios for a pop of green.
  • Icing: flavor your icing with a sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg for a little extra Christmas spirit.
  • Chocolate icing: use milk or dark chocolate as you prefer.

Storage and Shelf-life of New Zealand Christmas Cookies

The Pohutukawa tree which is also called the New Zealand Christm
The Pohutukawa tree which is also called the New Zealand Christmas tree in full bloom at Takapuna beach, with blurred Rangitoto Island in the distance and people walking on the beach

Your chocolate roughs will keep beautifully in an airtight container for about a week.

These cookies can also be frozen. It’s advisable to freeze the cookies on a tray until rock solid. Once frozen and hard, the cookies can be transferred into their own container or freezer-safe bags.

What are New Zealand Chocolate Roughs?

These cookies are considered a national food in New Zealand. They are dark and chocolatey and super simple to make. The unsweetened cornflakes are what give them their fantastic texture. Referred to as both a cookie and a biscuit, these chocolate roughs are baked and then topped with glossy icing and either flaked almonds or walnuts.

The dough of these cookies is pretty crumbly and can be a bit tricky to work with. Just do your best to press the dough firmly into a ball after rolling them. All in all, this is an easy recipe to make.

New Zealand chocolate roughs are eaten all year round, never as much as around the festive season. They therefore can be considered New Zealand Christmas cookies. These treats used to be referred to as Afghan biscuits, something to do with their appearance and the mountainous terrain of Afghanistan.

Anyway, which way, these chocolatey treats are super tasty.

How to Serve and Eat New Zealand Christmas Cookies

In New Zealand, these fantastic cookies are often served up with bowls of hot cocoa. They are also served up with cream-covered coffee after dinner. No matter how or when you choose to serve them, you’re in for an authentic taste and textural experience.

Wrapping It Up

Give them crunchy, silky, and chocolatey treats a try. They are a mouth-watering treat and a really easy cookie to make with kids. Kids love the simple chocolate flavor and the crunch from the cornflakes. Such fun!

These are a perfect option if you’re looking for an egg-free Christmas cookie.

A Plate of New Zealand Chocolate Roughs surrounded by Christmas Crackers and walnut halves
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New Zealand Chocolate Roughs Recipe

New Zealand Chocolate Roughs are dark and chocolatey and super simple to make. The unsweetened cornflakes are what give them their fantastic texture. Referred to as both a cookie and a biscuit, these chocolate roughs are baked and then topped with glossy icing and flaked almonds or walnuts.
5 from 2 votes
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Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: New Zealand
Keyword: chocolate roughs, new zealand chocolate roughs
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Cooling / Icing: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 12 cookies
Calories: 319kcal
Author: S. Claus


For Cookies

  • 1 cup butter room temperature
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 ¼ cup flour
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 cups cornflakes

For Icing

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp water boiling
  • 12 Walnuts


For Cookies

  • Preheat the oven to 350 °F
  • Add the room-temperature butter and sugar to a medium-sized mixing bowl. This step can also be done in a stand mixer.
    1 cup butter, ½ cup sugar
  • Cream the sugar and the butter together until fluffy.
  • Sieve the flour and cocoa powder and add them to your butter and sugar mixture. Fold the dry ingredients into the butter and sugar mixture until just mixed through. Try not to overmix them.
    1 ¼ cup flour, 1 cup cocoa powder
  • Fold the cornflakes gently into the cookie mixture. Try not to crush the cornflake; you want to keep them whole and as together as possible.
    2 cups cornflakes
  • Roll 2 tablespoons of cookie dough into a ball and set it on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Space the cookies out so that they have a bit of room to spread out.
  • Press the cookies down with the back of the tablespoon.
  • Bake the cookies for 15-20 minutes and then cool them for 15 minutes in the tray. Transfer them to a cooling rack once they are done in the oven. Allow them to cool completely.


  • Sieve the icing sugar, cocoa powder, and salt into a mixing bowl to make the icing owl. Add in the room temperature butter.
    1 cup powdered sugar, 2 tbsp cocoa powder, ¼ tsp salt, 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • Pour in the boiling water and whisk everything together lightly until smooth. You can also beat the icing with a wooden spoon to get a lovely glossy sheen to it.
    2 tbsp water
  • When the cookies are cold, top them with chocolate icing and spread the icing out with the back of a spoon.
  • Top each cookie with walnut and allow to cool and set for about 30 minutes.
    12 Walnuts


Calories: 319kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 46mg | Sodium: 207mg | Potassium: 158mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 615IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 3mg