Christmas baking bomb happily explodes

Jenny Wren’s thimble cookies are pictured above.

We have been loving the December holiday rollout this past week! The Christmas bomb has exploded at our house, and we are happily putting everything in its special place for the annual festivities. As I mentioned last week, our Christmas baking has also begun, and I just finished making a double batch of my most favourite holiday cookie (recipe below). Have I mentioned that I love Christmas?

Have you ever heard of a thimble cookie? These delicious old-fashioned treats get their name from the special tool used to form a well in the cookie to fill with yummy jam and yes, it is an actual thimble! My Granny used to include these in her parade of treats each year. The secret to these is the jam filling so do try to use homemade if you have it. Red jam, like strawberry or raspberry, are best as they are on colour theme with the holidays and are so cheerful.

Also, on theme with the holiday season is sparkling wine. Lucky for us, B.C. now has so many delicious local bubblies to choose from. Make sure to stock up with your favourites to hand out to your party hosts or to serve at your own soiree. Bubbly is always a great choice, not only because it pairs with everything (even cookies), but it is also a sure-fire party starter. Hand your guest a glass of bubbles and the mood is instantly transformed to celebration mode.

Over the past few years our B.C. wine industry has gratefully embraced Rosé. Almost completely erasing the horrible stigma attached to pink wine as being the cheap leftover ‘blush’ wine hanging around early on in our wine making days, it is anything but. Our now Rosé is euro style, with most beautifully crafted and has become as respected as all other categories of wine. From single varietal to blends, if you have not jumped on the Rosé train, I encourage you to do so. It happens to pair perfectly with summertime as well as carry into the winter months and it is a wonderful food pairing wine. It also comes in sparkling varieties that are fab with a turkey feast.

My feature holiday wine this week is the Red Rooster Sparkling Rosé. The winery has created new labels so this year’s sparkling features a brand-new outfit. A pretty in pink rosé is made from almost 100% Malbec with a touch of Pinot Noir, a blend that will surely entice your red wine loving friends as well as Rosé fans. Fresh and fruity, this sparkler will pair wonderfully well with holiday parties as well as being a good date for your turkey. Red Rooster Winery is located in beautiful Naramata.

Jenny Wren’s Thimble Cookies

Makes approximately 3 dozen


• 1 cup butter, softened

• ½ cup sugar

• 2 eggs (separated – yolks and whites in 2 bowls)

• 2 tsp vanilla

• 2 cups flour

• 2 cups shredded coconut

• 1 cup strawberry jam (or your favourite)

• 1 thimble


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two cookie sheets with parchment.

In a Kitchen Aid mixer add butter then on low add sugar, egg yolks then vanilla and blend. Once combined, add flour on low speed so that you don’t have a cloud. Turn up the speed and mix to combine well.

Roll dough into the size of a large marble, dip in egg white then in coconut and place on a cookie sheet leaving enough space between to expand.  Bake for 5 minutes and remove from oven. Usually, the thimble make imprint in each cookie – deep enough to hold jam but not all the way down to the bottom. Immediately return to oven for another 15 minutes and remove from oven. With a small spoon, fill each well with jam. Repeat with next batch.

Try not to eat them all. These freeze well.


Jennifer Schell Lirag is an international award winning cookbook author, putting the spotlight on B.C.’s food, farm and drink community for over 15 years.

Follow her on social media at @jenniferschell8 and visit