Sunday, October 24, 2010

Pineapple Brandy Fix

Pineapple Brandy Fix Jelly Shot, a tasty little pineapple-topped bite . . . 

I am dedicating this post to my dear friend Eric, who is feeling down this week.  Eric usually doesn't read our silly little blog as he is awfully busy concocting Prohibition era cocktails, making his own bitters, and other such fabulous-ities.  But in the rare occasion that he does stop by, I hope that the following translation of a truly uber-classic cocktail, the Brandy Fix, will bring a smile to his face (or "fix him up" - sorry, the pun was irresistible).  "Fixes" after all, are a style of cocktail popular in the 19th century before dropping into obscurity.  VERY classic, no?  (I just learned about Fixes courtesy of the recipe archive of Imbibe magazine - which featured this excellent recipe for a liquid Brandy Fix.)

Pineapple Brandy Fix is a lovely jelly shot for fall  - the brandy flavor is subtle, yet rich and is nicely enhanced by the pineapple and lime.  



Pineapple Brandy Fix Jelly Shot

Recommended Pan:  Standard loaf pan, approximately 8” x 4” or molds

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons limeade concentrate, strained to remove solids
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice, strained to remove solids
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 1 tablespoon green chartreuse liqueur
  • 2 envelopes Knox gelatin (3 envelopes if you are using molds)
  • Chopped pineapple and lime zest for garnish, if desired

Pour the limeade concentrate, pineapple juice, water and sugar into saucepan, and sprinkle with gelatin.  Allow gelatin to soak for a minute or two.  Heat on low temperature, stirring constantly until gelatin and sugar are dissolved (approximately 5 minutes).  Remove from heat.  Stir in brandy and the green chartreuse.  Pour into pan or molds, and refrigerate until set (several hours or overnight). 

To serve, cut into desired shapes (or unmold).  Top each jelly shot with chopped pineapple and lime zest, if desired.  Makes 24 to 30 shots.
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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Candy Corn Jello

Candy Corn Jello . . . its true . . . I LOVE HALLOWEEN!

I'm back!  Have been out of the Test Kitchen dealing with book-related issues/scenarios/tasks. . . its really coming along - fast and furious!  Such a hullabaloo has ensued that  was worried I wouldn't be able to post again before Halloween.  Which would have been a shame, as there is one more kid-friendly Halloween treat up my sleeve . . . Candy Corn Jello!  Aren't they cute? Yummy too - a creamsicle-like concoction of orange jello and a sweetened condensed milk based gelatin - so creamy and good!

Recipe follows.
Enjoy!  (And rest assured I'll be back with some adult treats soon . . .)



Candy Corn Jello

Prepare a flexible silicon pyramid mold (we like this one from Kerekes) by spraying lightly with PAM cooking spray, or wiping each mold cavity with a little vegetable oil.  Follow by wiping each mold cavity with a clean paper towel.  This method will leave the slightest reside which will aid in un-molding the gelatin without affecting the taste or appearance of your gelatin. 

Place the mold on a stable, movable flat surface, such as a cookie sheet or cooling rack (make sure it fits into your refrigerator). 

Prepare milk layer.

Milk layer
1 cup water
2 envelopes Knox gelatin
1/2 can sweetened condensed milk (14 oz can)

Pour water in a small saucepan, and sprinkle with the gelatin.  Allow to soak for a minute or two.  Heat over low heat until gelatin is dissolved, about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in the sweetened condensed milk.

Transfer the mixture to a microwave safe bowl.  Spoon 1/2 teaspoon of the condensed milk mixture into each mold cavity.  Place the mold in the refrigerator and chill until fully set, about 30 minutes.  Make sure you over the bowl with the remaining milk mixture with cellophane.  Wrap a towel around the bowl to further conserve heat. 

Prepare the orange layer

Orange Layer
1 cup water
1 envelope Knox gelatin
1 box orange flavored gelatin dessert mix

Pour water in a small saucepan, and sprinkle with the Knox gelatin.  Allow to soak for a minute or two.  Heat over low heat until gelatin is dissolved, about 5 minutes.  Add the orange gelatin dessert mix and stir until fully dissolved. 

Spoon about a tablespoon of the orange gelatin mixture into each mold cavity, over the chilled white layer.  Return the mold to the refrigerator and chill until fully set, about 40 minutes. 

When the orange layer is fully set, unwrap your bowl containing the milk gelatin mixture, and stir in a few drops of yellow food coloring.  If the mixture is clumpy, microwave it for 15-20 seconds (make sure it doesn’t get too hot, or it will melt the set gelatin). 

Spoon in a teaspoon or two of the yellow milk gelatin mixture into the mold cavities.  You can fill to the top.  Refrigerate until fully set.  These little beauties can be made a day in advance. 

To serve, unmold.  
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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Jellied Eyeballs (non-alcoholic)

Eye See U!  Jellied Eyeballs gaze out of their little cupcake wrappers . . . . 

This picture cracks me up. I love the glistening little eyeballs in the cupcake wrappers - its a juxtaposition of so warped and so sweet . . .

Those who have been following the blog for a while will recall that this is our second Halloween pass at the eyeball theme - last year we featured an adult, full blown alcoholic Kamikaze jelly shot recipe. Feedback was that a non-alcoholic version would be great for children's Halloween parties, so here it is.  The recipe is simply . . . white cranberry or white grape juice with plain gelatin.  Kinda deceptively healthy, isn't it?  You could also use 50/50 lemon-lime soda and juice . . .

Our technique has gotten sharper too - use of our trusty half-hemisphere mold ups the optical creepiness factor tenfold!

Hope you enjoy!



Jellied Eyeballs

Implements:  cotton swab or small paintbrush, 1/2 inch diameter round cookie cutter, a little PAM or vegetable oil (for the molds), paper towels
Pan: hemisphere mold (1 mold, 15 cavities), two small dishes (mini-loaf pans work well)


3 cups white cranberry or white grape juice
4 envelopes Knox gelatin
Green and Blue food coloring

Prepare the hemisphere mold.  Spray a little PAM on a paper towel, and wipe each mold cavity.  Then, wipe each mold cavity with a clean paper towel.  This will leave the very slightest residue which will assist in unmolding but won't effect the taste of your jelly shots.  (Note, if you are substuting agar agar for gelatin, it is unnecessary to prepare the molds.  Agar agar won't set in the presence of oil - but don't worry, you won't need it - agar agar unmolds very cleanly!)  

Place juice in saucepan and sprinkle with gelatin.  Allow to soak for a minute or two.  Heat over very low heat until the gelatin is dissolved.  (About 5 minutes.)  Remove from heat.

You will need two 1/2 cup portions of the gelatin mixture for the "iris" portions of the eyeballs.  Pour one into each mini loaf pans. Add a few drops of food coloring in desired eye colors (we used blue and green) into each, mix well. Place pans in freezer, allow to quick set (approximately 15 to 20 minutes), until firm but not frozen. 

Reserve the remaining gelatin mixture in container on counter. 

When the the colored gelatin has set, cut out circles with the small 1/2 inch diameter cookie cutter (these will be the “irises”). Transfer the colored circles to a non-stick plate or cookie sheet. Dab a round dot in the center each using the blue food coloring. Place the plate in the refrigerator and allow the food coloring to set for a few minutes (until no longer shiny). 

Check the reserved gelatin mixture.  It should be room temperature, but not set. 

Spoon about a teaspoon of gelatin into each mold cavity.  Retrieve the colored gelatin circles from the refrigerator.  Place one in each mold cavity, dot side down.  Fill to the top with the remaining gelatin mixture.  Chill mold in refrigerator, until fully set, several hours or overnight.  

To serve, unmold and garnish as desired.  

Yield: 15 jellied eyeballs
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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Pear Cosmopolitan Jelly Shot

Jewel-shaped bites of Pear Cosmopolitan - perfect for a "Girl's Night In" . . .

A new barkeep/mixologist friend mentioned in passing concocting a pear cosmopolitan via a swap of cran for white cran and orange vodka for pear flavored.  Being crazy for all things pear, we couldn't resist a little experimentation with our existing cosmo jelly shot recipe.  The result is a not-too-sweet, mild and undeniably nosh-able jelly shot!

The jewel shaped jelly shots pictured above were set in a specialty ice cube tray.  Although the end result is really cute, it was a bit difficult to achieve.  The tray is constructed with a constrictive band around each mold cavity, which differs from a normal ice cube tray or silicon baking mold.  No problem if unmolding a hard ice cube, but jelly shots are a bit more yielding and delicate.  Not surprisingly, several jelly shots were maimed in the initial unmolding process.  This difficulty was remedied with a few discreet cuts to the upper band of the tray.  (I filled the trays up with water after the cutting/unmolding, and leakage was almost nonexistant - so I definitely plan to use the trays again.)  Kerekes also distributes a very nice faceted jewel mold which I have used in the past with good results.

Another serving option is to set the jelly shots in a loaf pan, cut into squares, and garnish each with a sliver of pear.


Cheers, Michelle

Pear Cosmopolitan Jelly Shots

Recommended Pan:  Standard Loaf Pan (approximately 8” x 4”)

  • 1 cup white cranberry juice cocktail
  • ¾ cup pear flavored vodka (we used Grey Goose)
  • 1/8 cup frozen limeade concentrate, thawed and strained
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 1/4 cup Cointreau
  • 2 envelopes Knox gelatin (if using molds, add 1/2 envelope additional gelatin.  1/2 envelope equals about a teaspoon of gelatin powder.)  
  • Sliced pear for garnish, if desired

Pour cranberry and lime juices into a saucepan and sprinkle with gelatin.  Allow to soak for a few minutes.  Heat on low, stirring constantly, until gelatin is fully dissolved (about 5 minutes).  Remove from heat.  Stir in the liquors, making sure to fully incorporate.  Pour into pan, and chill until set, several hours or overnight.

To serve, cut into shapes.  Garnish with sliced pear, if desired.  Makes 18 to 24 shots.

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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Rainbow Cherry Jigglers

Rainbow Cherry Jigglers, ready to party!

When serving jelly shots at mixed gatherings, I like to also provide some kid-friendly non-alcoholic options.  Often its simply multicolored layered jigglers, or a juice-based gelatin molded into a fun shape.  I recently ran across these adorable Roland brand rainbow-hued, flavored maraschino cherries
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