Sunday, 16 December 2012

Festive Baking: Mincemeat and Marzipan Filo Crackers and the What Kate Baked Guide to Christmas Parties

Christmas Party Season is in full swing. 

We have attended four parties over the course of the last 72 hours. Happy Festive days. 

Here's the What Kate Baked (tried-n-tested) Top Ten Christmas Party tips:

  • Do consider logistics. I don't just mean the logistics of getting home at the end of the night but the logistics of making the most of the party food. Position yourself carefully.  Premium positions include a) near to the kitchen b) in the kitchen c) on top of the buffet table. 

  • Talking of the kitchen, aim to spend 99% of your time there. Its where the food is, the booze is and always the coolest people.

  • At all time adopt the mantra: 'Eat, Drink and Be Merry'. Your host will thank you for it. After all, they'll only want in the words of Pink to '...Get the Party Started'

  • Christmas Jumper. Just do it. Tinsel is optional. Unless the invite clearly states very a precise dress code such as 'Black Tie'. Regrettably, that does mean no Christmas jumpers.

  • If you've been given the job of manning the music, stick to Christmas Classics. Bing, Slade and Mariah. No variations. 'A Pan Pipe Christmas' and 'Twisted Sister- Heavy Metal Christmas'  will most certainly not, in the words of Pink '...Get the Party Started'

  • Accept the inevitable. The average number of Mince Pies consumed at a Christmas Party is 4.3.*

  • Embrace the Mulled Wine. You can return to your quality £20 a bottle Spanish red come January February 1st. 

  • Avoid talk about house prices, schools, traffic or politics. Its Christmas. Stick to Christmas talk. For example, ask: 'What's the most number of Brussels sprouts you've eaten in one sitting?'

  • Do bring along a decent gift to your host. That dusty bottle of obscure liquor bought ten years ago in duty free will only find itself winging its way back to you next year in the trade known as 'regifting'. Give this 'Catch of the Day' chocolate fish, kindly sent to me by the lovely people at Jme, for example. Its actually solid, no hollow Santas here thank you very much:

Mincemeat Filo Crackers
(makes 14-18 crackers)

Six sheets (approx 45g per sheet) Filo pastry
100g melted butter
400g mincemeat  
150g grated marzipan  
Zest of 1 orange
1 tbsp brandy (optional)
Icing sugar to dust

1. Preheat oven to 200°C (180°C fan) mark 6 and line two baking sheets with greaseproof paper
2. Unwrap the filo pastry and cut each sheet into rectangles approximately 12cm x 10cm in size. Cover the pastry with clingfilm and a damp tea towel to prevent from drying out when not in use
3. Place the mincemeat, grated marzipan, zest and booze into a bowl and gently mix together 
4. Lay out a rectangle of pastry on a clean, dry work surface. Lightly brush with melted butter, then lay two more rectangles of pastry on top. Brush the top pastry sheet with butter.
5. Place a spoonful of the mincemeat filling in the centre of each sheet. Roll up the pastry and gently twist the ends to form the cracker. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the pastry and filling.
6. Brush with all crackers with a little more butter to ensure a nice golden colour and bake for 15 minutes until crisp and golden 
8. Dust with icing sugar to serve

Baker's notes...
  • The crackers can be served cold or warm and the extra booze is optional...but always welcome
  • Serve as a pudding with a generous dollop of double cream or brandy butter
  • This post is winging its way to Calender Cakes, hosted by Dolly Bakes and Laura Loves Cakes. The theme this month? The very appropriate, 'Go Crackers for Christmas'!
Calendar Cakes Challenge

* Or is that just me?


  1. it's just you... tick, tick, tick, tick... all of the above... hysterical post and very stylish looking crackers there... I never really know what to do with filo, so this is a great idea x

  2. The average number of mince pies eaten by me is zero. Horrid little things (although your crackers look ace - I might steal that idea for the mince pie lovers I am related to!) But I more than make up for it by operating the rule of three with buffets - at all times there must be something in my mouth, something in my hand, and something on the plate. It is an amazingly efficient way of clearing a buffet.

  3. Lovely little parcels of Chrismassy goodness! I'm a bit of a sucker for pastry so I'm sure I could polish a few of these off! Thanks also for entering them into Calendar Cakes! :-)

  4. Loving those bonbons - and will defintely be adhering to the Top Ten Tips this year. Anyone not wanting their brussels pop them on my plate please.

  5. I don't know what to be more excited about, a SOLID chocolate gift or the filo pastry crackers. I would be practically glued to the buffet table if those were at the party!

  6. I really like the look of these little mincemeat twists - flaky and sweet and perfect for party season!

  7. What a fab idea! total genius and I wish I had thought of this lol. Top ten duly noted ... I'll let you know how I get on ;0)

  8. Your posts are always so witty with superb baking attached. I love the mincemeat crackers, and completely agree, with the adage, more booze in the mincemeat, please.

  9. Love the Filo Crackers but not too sure about the Christmas Jumper. :)

  10. Lovely crackers and great tips. I am rather shocked at those mince pie stats though!


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