Autumn was perfect for us here in Scotland. The sun shone, the skies were clear and the light was spectacular. Then on one of those weekends when we had nothing planned, Helena and I woke early and set forth in the kitchen making grandma's coffee and walnut cupcakes.
The morning led to us delving into our cookbook collection and we found a recipe for a cinnamon cookie which we thought would be the perfect compliment to our coffee cakes.
To make the Coffee and Walnut Cakes :-
Ingredients (makes 12)
- 4 oz soft butter
- 4 oz light muscavado sugar or caster sugar
- 4 oz organic flour
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp granulated coffee + 1.5 tbsp cocoa(dissolved in a little water)
For the buttercream:
- 4 oz icing sugar
- 2 oz soft butter
- 1 - 2 tsp (depending on your preference to strength) granulated coffee dissolved in water
Preheat the oven to 160 degree C. Line two tins with 12 cupcake papers. Beat the butter until it's creamy and then add the sugar. Mix until it turns pale. Add the eggs one at a time. Fold in the flour until the mixture comes together and add the coffee mixture. Spoon into the cupcake papers and bake for 15 minutes until the toppings are golden brown.
For the buttercream, mix the icing sugar and the butter together and once formed add the dissolved coffee. Once the cakes are completely cooled spread a little buttercream over the top of each one and pop a walnut half in the centre.
The cinnamon and raisin cookie recipe comes from Hemsley and Hemsley's The Art of Eating Well. In case you haven't got a copy here's the recipe.
Ingredients (Makes 10 cookies)
- 250g ground almonds
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 4 1/2 tbsp coconut oil (or butter)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 50g raisins (we used golden raisins)
- a small pinch of sea salt
Preheat the oven to fan 180 degree C. In a bowl combine the ground almonds with the bicarbonate of soda and then add the rest of the ingredients. Stir in the raisins using a spoon after all of the other ingredients are well mixed. Roll 2 tbsp of the mixture into balls, press slightly to flatten and place on a baking tray leaving plenty of space between each cookie. Bake for 10-12 minutes until browned on the edges, then leave to cool on the tray.
Upon seeing our little production of favours and as the sun began to rise we decided it was the kind of day where the picnic basket needed filling and the east coast of Scotland needed to be explored. Florence helped fill our basket with fresh bread, hams and fruit and as we headed to the coast we passed by an idyllic farm shop where we picked up some smoked venison, Scottish cheddar and apply chutney.
We found the perfect spot at St Cyrus and made the steep walk down to the beach. The air was so still and the temperatures so mild we ended up having a dreamy day.
It seems the east coast is pf Scotland is one of those undiscovered gems with tourists and we almost had the beach to ourselves. I can't wait for the weather to warm up again and explore further down the coast.