Christmas Baking Highlights

This post is all about some of my favourite holiday baking treats over the 10+ years of TrustInKim, so bakers have it all in one place. There are more recipes to come this year too!

Gingerbread People with red candy hearts.

Rum Balls! Another of my mom’s amazing recipes.

My mom’s fudge recipe, super easy, loved by all.

Sour Cream Cutout Cookies, perfect for decorating.

Jam-filled Cookies, which we called “ammonia cookies.”

This Chocolate Rum cake is not for the faint of heart.

Stollen with brandy-soaked dried fruit, almonds and marzipan.

Coconut Mango Cookies

And a few Savouries:

Bubbat Mennonite raisin and Farmer Sausage bread

Parmesan Thyme Crackers

parmesan crackers - trust in kim

“Parmesan pieces of heaven” is what my friend Amanda called these savoury bites. They go great with a glass of red wine! Another recipe I have made that is similar to this calls them ‘savoury shortbread’ rather than ‘crackers.’ These have that same richness of shortbread. Yum!

The dough needs to chill for at least half an hour before baking, so keep that in mind when planning your baking. You could make the dough ahead of time and refrigerate overnight, or keep the log in the freezer until you need it.

I found the recipe blogged on Lottie & Doof, originally by Ina Garten.

What you need:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • about 1 cup good quality freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 & 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

What you do:

  1. Cream the butter for 1 minute.
  2. Add the Parmesan, thyme, salt and freshly ground pepper and mix on low speed to combine.
  3. Add the flour and mix until it forms large crumbles, for about 1 minute. Add a teaspoon of water if the dough seems too dry.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a floured board or countertop, and press it into a ball. Roll into a log, about 20cm/9 inches long. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes, or up to 4 days.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350F. Use a small sharp knife to cut the log into 1cm thick slices. Line a baking pan with parchment paper and place the dough circles on it. Bake for about 20-22 minutes, rotating the pan once half way through baking, until lightly browned. (Mine were done quite quickly, so watch out.)
  6. Move the baked crackers to a cooling rack and serve at room temperature. With a glass of red wine. And olive tapenade would be great too!


Pistachio Cheese Shortbread


A little while ago I attended my friend Megan’s baby shower. There was an enormous amount of awesome food, and her mom Cheri had made these savoury shortbread. She served them with a delicious olive tapenade, and they were my favourite thing on the table. So of course I had to ask for the recipe. I brought them to a Christmas party recently, to rave reviews. With or without olive tapenade they are delicious, but I do recommend a glass of red wine to go with them.

The recipe is from Everyone Can Cook Appetizers by Eric Akis, and makes about 4 dozen cookies which can be frozen or consumed within days of eating. They are great to have in the freezer and pull out if you need a few for a last minute appie or a small bite with a glass of wine.

They require refrigerating the dough for a few hours, so you do have to plan ahead, or make the dough up to a few days ahead of time. Makes life simpler on the day of a party if you do this.

What you need:

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 & 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped unsalted pistachios
  • 1/2 cup shredded aged white cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

What you do:

  1. Beat the butter until very light.
  2. In another bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, cayenne and salt. Stir in the cheddar, Parmesan and pistachios. Add this to the butter and mix with your hands until you have formed a soft dough.
  3. Divide the dough in half. Roll each half into a solidly packed roll of about 4 cm in diameter. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2-3 hours, or longer.
  4. Preheat the oven to 300F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut the logs into 5mm slices and place them on the baking sheets about 2 & 1/2 cm apart. Bake one sheet at a time for 18-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack. Store in an airtight container. You can freeze them too.