Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Bushwacker Jelly Shot

Bushwacker Jelly Shot, looking deceptively innocent in its tiny pleated cup . . . 

Those with a sweet tooth will be pleased with the Bushwacker Jelly Shot.  The cocktail inspiration is, of course, the Bushwacker Cocktail.  Technically, the Bushwacker isn't a dessert drink, but rather a beach or tropical libation - the unofficial cocktail of the island of St. Thomas.  What makes a drink a dessert drink, anyway?  If an octane rating is involved, the Bushwacker's two varieties of rum and myriad mix of liqueurs,  held together with the merest smattering of mixers, likely push it well over to the "beach/tropical" genre.
 Its well over appropriate levels for a proper dessert drink, yet lacks the fruit juice I consider key to the "tropical" category.  As such, it is my belief that the Bushwacker is in its own class - neither beach-y nor dessert-y, rather, a miracle of modern chemistry in composition and drinkability (or noshability if referring to the gelatin cocktail version).

The remarkable confectionery nature of this jelly shot (and make no mistake, it tastes like candy . . .) resulted in some liberties with the presentation.  AND GARNISH - sigh - it's true.   That IS Magic Shell drizzled on the top.  Forgive me, but there was no other way to get the chocolate on the jelly shot.  Melted chocolate is, well, WARM, and tends to go GREY in the refrigerator - very unfortunate on both counts.  The other option, gelled chocolate liqueur, isn't quite right either.  So, say what you will.  I used Magic Shell, it is pretty and tastes great and I will not be shamed - not one bit.  (Well, perhaps a smidge, but I'm nearly over it. . . at least until I consider that Toby Cecchini may be reading this and his heart may have just given out at the mention of Magic Shell.  However, as I am confident that Toby has better things to do than read this JSTK, fancy cocktail things involving homemade bitters and accoutrements, I will soldier on . . . )  Advisability aside, the ease of Magic Shell can not be argued: drizzle on, pop the jelly shots in the freezer for 30 seconds, and return to the refrigerator until serving time . . .

SO . . . not to change the subject, but I had a few guests in the JSTK photo studio this weekend.  The first is not a a guest, precisely . . . you must recognize this adorable auburn ponytail?

JSTK Annie behind the lens . . .

Its none other than our very own, long lost JSTK Annie, the first celebrity jelly shot photographer and foremost authority on same!  Look at JSTK Annie's gorgeous shot!

Bushwhacker Jelly Shot, a la JSTK Annie . . . 

Also, welcome Intern Bea (aka my Mom)!

Intern Bea took a turn behind the camera and cranked out this beauty!

Bushwhacker Jelly Shot, by Intern Bea

Hope you enjoy Bushwhacker Jelly Shot!

Cheers and XOXOX,


Bushwacker Jelly Shots

  • ½ cup water
  • 3/8 cup vanilla ice cream, melted
  • 2 envelopes Knox gelatin
  • ¼ cup Kahlua
  • ¼ cup crème de cacao
  • ¼ cup Bailey’s
  • 1/8 cup light rum
  • 1/8 cup dark rum
  • 1/8 cup amaretto
  • 1/8 cup Coco Lopez
  • Magic Shell ice cream topper, for garnish, if desired

Pour water in saucepan, sprinkle with gelatin.  Allow gelatin to soak for a few minutes.  Add the melted ice cream.  Heat over very low heat until gelatin is dissolved, stirring constantly (approximately 5 minutes).  Once combined, stir in the Coco Lopez, rum and the liqueurs. 

Pour mixture into standard glass or non-reactive metal 1 lb loaf pan (approximately 8” x 4”).  Refrigerate until fully set (several hours or overnight). 

To serve, cut into desired shapes.  Drizzle with Magic Shell, and place in freezer for 30 seconds to harden.  Return to refrigerator until immediately before serving.  
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Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter Egg Jelly Shooters

Easter Egg Jelly Shooters with a floral jelly shot accents - a woefully 
inappropriate but extremely fun way to celebrate the holiday!

I was on the fence about creating an Easter-themed jelly shot, admittedly feeling a bit squeamish about the propriety of promoting boozy gelatin on religious holidays.  Intern Doug, on the other hand is falls on the libertine side when it comes to "spirited matters", and not surprisingly strongly condoned throwing caution to the wind . . .
So whatever your reaction to today's post, you have Intern Doug to thank!  (Note: those with firm views against gelatin cocktails on religious holidays may think of these as Springtime Jelly Shooters.)  Despite my initial misgivings, I must admit these shooters were fun to make, and tasted DELICIOUS!!  Full steam ahead to Inappropriate-ville!

The shooters are based on a classic rainbow gelatin mold recipe.  The technique is admittedly a bit fussy and time consuming, but the results are gorgeous.  The gelatin is spiked with Malibu Rum (for my lovely sister in law, Amy, who is an avid consumer of the spirit !).  A flavored vodka would also be nice in this jelly shot, but the Malibu is perfect here - the finished jelly shooters remind me of the Easter egg candies I loved as a child.  Maybe you remember them too? Thick candy shell with an interior that tastes like those orange "circus peanut" candies - not quite a nougat and not quite a marshmallow.

To set the jelly shots, I used two Wilton brownie pop molds and a standard loaf pan.   The centers of the jelly shot flowers are large cake decorating confetti pieces.

Happy Easter everyone!  Hope you enjoy the Easter Egg Jelly Shooters (aka Springtime Jelly Shooters)!

XO, Michelle

Easter Egg Jelly Shooters
16 servings

  • 2 1/4 cups boiling water, divided
  • 3 (85 g) packages gelatin dessert mix (your favorite flavors – I used lime, pineapple and grape)
  • 1 1/2 envelopes plain Knox gelatin (3 teaspoons of gelatin powder total)
  • 1 1/2 cups Malibu rum, divided
  • 9 tbsp coconut milk, divided


Make this a day ahead of your event!  Needs time in the fridge for the layers to bond!  
Prep Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 3 1/2 hrs

Place the bottle of Malibu in the freezer for several hours before beginning this recipe, to ensure potency!

Lightly spray two Wilton brownie pop molds and a standard 1 lb loaf pan (or one 9 x 9 glass or non-reactive metal pan) with non stick spray.  Wipe off the excess spray with a paper towel.  A slight residue should remain, just enough to help unmold your gelatin, without affecting the taste or appearance. 

Pour 3/4 cup water into a saucepan and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the plain gelatin.  Allow to soak for a minute or two.  Heat over low heat, stirring constantly, until gelatin is dissolved (about 5 minutes).  Wisk in the first package of flavored gelatin.  Whisk for at least 2 minutes, or until completely dissolved.  (I find the sugar free mix dissolves much faster than the regular!). 

Remove from heat.  Add 1/2 cup ice cold rum, and stir to combine. 

Pour 3/4 cup of the gelatin mixture into a separate bowl, and spoon 1 1/2 teaspoons of the gelatin into each mold cavity.  Pour the remainder in the loaf pan.  Refrigerate about 15 minutes or until set but not firm. (It should stick to finger when touched - don't let it set longer, or the layers won't bind well.).  For an angled layered egg, prop one side of the mold up with a small pudding or yogurt container for layers 1 through 5 – for the last layer, the mold should lay flat. 

Refrigerate the remaining gelatin mixture in bowl about 5 minutes or until slightly thickened (consistency of unbeaten egg whites). Gradually stir in 3 tablespoons of the coconut milk and stir until well blended.  (This cooling step is really important – the gelatin must be cooled to room temperature before adding on top of other layers, or the layers will not be well defined!) 

Gently spoon over set gelatin in the molds and pan – 1 1/2 teaspoons in each mold cavity and pour the remainder in the loaf pan.

Refrigerate about 15 minutes or until gelatin is set but not firm (Again, it should stick to finger when touched.)

Repeat steps with remaining gelatin flavors, for a total of 6 alternating clear and creamy gelatin layers.

After completing all the layers, refrigerate the gelatin overnight.  For best results, unmold the egg shapes onto a nonstick cookie sheet just before serving. To unmold the "eggs" fill a larger container or clean sink with warm water (not too hot!).  With clean fingers, loosen the gelatin around the edges of the mold cavities.  Next, dip the mold almost to the edge into the warm water for just a few seconds (5 seconds worked for me). Wipe off the bottom of the mold with a towel and check the edges to see if they are loose, if not, repeat the dip for just a few seconds. Invert the mold on top of the cookie sheet, and pop out the gelatin eggs.  The gelatin in the loaf pan can be cut into shapes with a cookie cutter or sharp knife.  
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Sunday, April 17, 2011

French Lemonade Redux

Molded French Lemonade Jelly Shot, garnished with fresh raspberries and photographed in the gentle light of dawn by our own Intern Doug . . . 

Its quite apparent that our dear Intern Doug has an interminable amount of energy.  I was still padding about the house in pj pants and slippers this morning, coffee cup in hand, when I received an image of Heidi (so sorry ladies, but Heidi is Intern Doug's adorable wife . . .) next to a large, molded French Lemonade Jelly Shot, with the caption "photos from this morning".

Intern Doug also sent some very intriguing images of a jelly shot he called the "Melon Special", which we will examine at a later date.  (Not to tease, but he literally hasn't yet shared the details with me.)

Click here for the recipe for French Lemonade Jelly Shot, created last year for Edina Magazine.

Say tuned for a new recipe on the JSTK blog mid-week! (Those of you longing for a dessert style jelly shot will be pleased!)

Cheers and XO,

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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Intern Doug's First Solo Flight . . .

Hello again . . . at long long last!  Thanks for your messages and notes while I was away, and apologies to those of you who stopped at JSTK over the last several weeks and were disappointed due to the lack of new posts.  (I MISSED YOU TOO!!!   Lots and lots . . . TONS upon TONS . . you have no idea!)  At any rate, I'm back with lots of new recipe ideas, and will begin posting them in the next week or so (timing naturally depends on the success of the initial trials of these new recipes).

Well, JSTK has not exactly been shuttered in my absence.  While I was away, Intern Doug sallied forth with his first solo jelly shot venture: a batch of Mandarin Cosmo Jelly Shots (click for recipe); start to finish; with no adult supervision!  Check out his photo journal:

Intern Doug's Solo Flight

Step 1: Don formal attire and gather the raw materials for Mandarin Cosmo Jelly Shots!

My Mission: Mandarin Cosmo Jelly Shots

Official Jelly Shot Test Kitchen formal wear . . . 

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