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February 14, 2012 3:06 PM   Subscribe

Looking for kick-ass jello / jelly recipes.

One of the junior members of the family is a jello fanatic so for his birthday I try to do something above and beyond. In past years I've done stacks of different colors, puzzle pieces (using this ice cube tray), and suspended gummy bears and worms and fish in various ways. I need to top these but I'm out of ideas.

Restrictions: He doesn't like any fruit inside, no cream, either.

I would love to do something like these "broken glass" squares if I could do them without the milk, but would using clear gelatin be enough to hold their shape and differentiate the colors?

Otherwise, what amazing jello recipes have you seen? Or any other ways to use it creatively (interesting molds, or color cominations)?
posted by Mchelly to Food & Drink (9 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Chilled Monkey Brains? (Of course, the source.)
posted by supercres at 3:09 PM on February 14, 2012

Best answer: Rainbow Jello Easter Eggs
Fake Citrus
Mini Jello Aquariums (this is cool!)

This is the sort of question I think Pinterest was invented for. MeMail me if you want an invite.
posted by marylynn at 3:24 PM on February 14, 2012

All of my suggestions have alcohol. Is alcohol okay? You could probably think of ways to take it out in some of the recipes and keep the flavor.

Jelly Shot Test Kitchen has a ton of inspirational jello things, but I think my favorite is the Jello cupcakes. It requires cake-flavored vodka to make it taste like cake, though.

Equally adorable are Pumpkin pie Jello shots, each in their own pie crust.

My Jello Americans is another blog that has tons of inspiration, but no directions. Totally crazy flavors, like bacon bloody mary or buttered popcorn. I think my favorite (and possibly the most out there) is the one they call Mesozoic, which features edible insects in jello that looks like amber.
posted by emyd at 3:54 PM on February 14, 2012

You should peruse the Jelly Shot Test Kitchen blog. Her recipes really work for me and there are ton of ones without alcohol.
posted by Saminal at 5:11 PM on February 14, 2012

My only advice to you is avoid the sangria jello recipe. That turned out very bad. Only the fear of insulting their graduate advisor stopped my guests from fleeing a party one time.
posted by jadepearl at 6:02 PM on February 14, 2012

I used to make a jello-infused cake. Buy or make an angel food cake. after it's cool, and still in the pan, poke it many many times with a skewer. Make up some standard jello and pour it while hot slowly over the pierced cake. It follows the holes down into the cake. Chill until set. The lovely thing about this is it's super easy, and you can use any flavor. It will work with a standard cake, too. I like to frost it with dream whip, which has a better texture with the jello than standard frosting, in my opinion. When you slice it, the cake is really lovely, because of the color of the jello.
posted by annsunny at 7:15 PM on February 14, 2012

I've made the broken glass jello before (though I saw it under a diff name) and plain gelatin would definitely work for all the filler stuff. You basically make all the different colors, chop them up, mix together, then fill in the gaps with another mixture (ie plain gelatin with condensed milk, in that case). Should still look pretty cool though it won't have the same amount of contrast.
posted by brilliantine at 8:31 PM on February 14, 2012

To make this jelly cake you'll need:
- various jellies of your choice
- a tall bowl (not a flat one)
- a teaspoon
- several plastic disposable plates larger that the base of the bowl
- a LED of your chosen color and power
- a piece of two-wire cable (or two pieces of insulated wire)
- a coin-shaped battery (CR2025 would be fine)
- something to drill a hole in a plastic plate and something to cut it
- duct tape
- any glue that doesn't melt the plastic plates

1. Fill a bowl with some creative combination of jelly shapes (for example layers and suspended cubes of various colors).
2. Put it in a refrigerator so it sets well.
3. Take as many plastic plates as needed to make them stiff enough to support the jelly and drill a hole through the center of all them.
4. Put one plate to the side, it'll be the topmost one.
5. Cut an opening of the same size - slightly larger than the battery, because you'll want to put the cable in there too - in the other plates, more or less around the hole.
6. Attach the wires to the LED and guide the cable through the hole in the topmost plate.
7. Tape each wire to the other side of the battery (or just one of them for now if you're making the cake on the day before the party).
8. Tape the wires and the battery to the bottom of the topmost plate.
9. Glue the other plates to it.
10. Use a teaspoon to make an opening in what will be the bottom of the 'cake'.
11. Place the inverted bowl with well set jelly on the plates.
12. Heat the bowl with a hair dryer evenly until the jelly flops on the plates. This part takes up to 15 minutes and is boring like all get out, but using hot water to speed up the process is out of the question because even if it doesn't ruin the jelly, it's likely to leak under it and short the battery (and reading a book caused me to melt one side of the jelly).

Enjoy your shining masterpiece and don't forget to take photos, preferably in a darkened room.
posted by hat_eater at 6:55 AM on February 15, 2012

Joys of Jello seems to have a lot of great jello recipes. The pinwheels are nice.

Also, it might be possible to use something like almond or soy milk instead of the dairy. It might not be as objectionable. Coconut milk should work too.
posted by annsunny at 1:40 PM on February 15, 2012

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