Pineapple, Coconut and White Chocolate Cookies

pineapple, coconut and white chocolate cookies  - a final taste of summer  // www.scarletscorchdroppers.com

How is it almost September already?! What happened to August? Where is the summer going?

We only have one more week left in Hong Kong. I don’t think i’ve fully processed this fact yet. This time next week we’ll be saying our final goodbyes, a week tomorrow we’ll be boarding the flight that takes us away from the home we’ve known for four years, and off on a whole new adventure.

coconut, pineapple and white chocolate cookies  scarletscorchdroppers.com

The house is mostly all packed up now, the few remaining things we do have our piled up on the floor ready to be packed into boxes and sent back  to England, or into backpacks to come adventuring with us. The pictures are all down from the walls, the TV has been sold, and the internet has been disconnected. Things are getting real!

pineapple, coconut and white chocolate chip cookies  scarletscorchdroppers.com

Tomorrow my trusty oven will be sold. Yesterday I did one final bit of baking, making chocolate cake, flap jack and bread to use up all the sugar, butter and flour left in the house. To be in a house without butter and sugar is a very strange feeling. That’s the end of my baking until December! I’ll still have recipes lined up for you, although exactly when they come to you will depend on how good the wifi is when we’re on the road. Please do bear with me if they’re a little sporadic!

These cookies are a final nod to the summer thats winding its way out. I first made these cookies at the start of summer to take on a junk boat with us. They’re packed with coconut, and chunks of white chocolate and sweet dried pineapple. They taste a bit like a summer cocktail in cookie form. They’re beautifully moist, with the occasional bite from the white chocolate and a lovely chewiness from the pineapple.

pineapple, coconut and white chocolate cookies // scarletscorchdroppers.com

These are cookies for those trying to cling onto summer, happy memories, or the life they’re about to say goodbye to.

Pineapple, Coconut and White Chocolate Cookies

(makes approximately 15)

Ingredients 

150g unsalted butter

150g caster sugar

1 large egg

200g plain flour

1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

50g desiccated coconut

100g white chocolate, cut into rough chunks

100g dried pineapple, cut into rough chunks

Method 

Cream together the butter and sugar.

Add the egg, flour, bicarbonate of soda and desiccated coconut and beat until combined into a stiff but workable dough.

Fold in the chocolate and pineapple chunks until evenly distributed.

Form the dough into a ball, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Preheat the oven to 180C/160 fan/ 350F.

Take the dough out the fridge and roll into balls a little smaller than golf balls.

Place onto a baking sheet with plenty of space to spread.

Bake for about 12 minutes until golden. They should still retain some of their ball shape at this stage so don’t expect them to be completely flat. Remove from the oven and flatten the cookies with the back of a fork.

Cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes, then remove onto a wire rack and cool completely.

Keep for about 3 days in an airtight tin.

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Blackberry Cupcakes

blackberry cupcakes // scarletscorchdroppers.com

 Delicate blackberry cupcakes, moist sponge jewelled with vibrant berries, topped with a smooth blackberry buttercream. 

blackberry cupcakes // scarletscorchdroppers

Back home right now the blackberries will be in season.

I always associate them with the autumn, but really they’re out at the end of summer.

blackberry cupcakes scarletscorchdroppers

Blackberry picking forms a big part of my childhood memory bank. My village is surrounded by little hedge-row lined lanes. Winding and often puddling, with gaps and low sections giving tantalising glimpses across fields and hills. The wild, rambling hedges are, on a good year, heaving with blackberries. Long tangles of brambles reach up towards the sky, or grow outwards in unruly bulk.

blackberry cupcakes // www.scarletscorchdroppers.com

 Blackberry picking was somewhat of a ritual, perfected over time.

Everyone carried a large ice cream tub, saved for the purpose, dropped into a plastic bag. The perfect way to collect the most blackberries possible, without crushing any of the fruit. As soon as we started walking we’d keep our eyes open for a crock-stick, a stick with a side branch shooting off in just the right place to make it perfect for hooking the brambles holding the choicest, juiciest blackberries just out of reach.

Reaching tentatively through the branches, trying to avoid getting caught on the thorns, plucking the black, purple, and red little berries. Trying to find the biggest, the tastiest. Getting purple stained hands from those berries that looked so juicy but turned out overripe, exploding juices all over our fingers.

We’d go home laden down with heavy bags full of berries. Hands purple and stinging form the scratches.

close up blackberry cupcakes // www.scarletscorchdroppers.com

These cupcakes are a wonderful way to use the berries of the season.

sliced blackberry cupcakes // scarletscorchdroppers.com

They’re made with sour cream, so the sponge is deliciously moist and tender. The slight tang of the sour cream compliments the sharp berries beautifully. The blackberries create little fruity, purple fruity pockets right through the cupcakes.

The buttercream is flavoured with a syrup made by cooking down fresh raspberries with sugar. I love the delicate colour it naturally produces. The buttercream is made with both butter and cream cheese, adding richness, making it smooth and creamy. A single blackberry sits proudly on top.

Will you be out picking blackberries this year? What are your favourite ways to cook with them?

Blackberry Cupcakes

Ingredients 

(makes 5)

for the cupcakes 

60g butter

60g caster sugar

1 large egg

60g plain flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

2 tablespoons sour cream

50g fresh blackberries

for the icing

30g blackberries

60g butter

70g cream cheese

110g icing sugar

additional blackberries, to decorate

Method

Preheat the oven to 180C/160 fan/ 350F. Line a cupcake tray with 5 paper cases.

Cream together the butter and sugar until creamy and pale.

Mix in the egg, flour and baking powder, beating to combine.

Fold through the sour cream.

Finally, carefully fold through the blackberries.

Divide the mixture evenly between 5 cupcake cases.

Bake for about 20 minutes, or until risen, golden and firm to the touch.

Cool completely on a wire rack.

Once cool, make the buttercream.

Begin by making the syrup that flavours the buttercream. Put the blackberries, 10g of the icing sugar and 2 tablespoons of water into a small pan. Heat over a low heat, string regularly, pushing down the blackberries with the back of a wooden spoon to help break down the blackberries. Once the blackberries are soft and have released most of their juices, push through a sieve, retaining the syrup.

In a separate bowl, cream the butter and cream cheese until soft and smooth.

Sift in the remaining icing sugar, and beat until well combined.

Stir through the blackberry syrup.

Pipe or spoon onto your cupcakes, top with an extra blackberry.

Store in an air-tight container in the fridge, and bring back to room temperature before serving.