Jell-O and cookies are two super kid-friendly desserts, but what happens when you combine them?
A few weeks ago, a reader emailed about Jell-O cookies she’d seen in an Arizona newspaper that she thought me and my boys might like to try for a summer project. I picked up some Jell-O on a slow weekend day and we set out to try this somewhat weird combination.
The recipe is a simple sugar cookie recipe, but some of the sugar is replaced with the Jell-O. The original recipe said you could halve the recipe to make different colors, so that’s what I did, but I made the mistake of using the whole package of Jell-O in each. I was just trying not to waste half a pack of Jell-O, but looking back, I should have just tossed that extra 1 1/2 ounces because the resulting cookies — though cute — were too tart and sour to really enjoy. The cookies do need that extra 1/2 cup of granulated sugar and even the decorative sugar (or, in our case, Skittles) to sweeten the treats.
Otherwise, this was a fun cookie to make! The dough has a nice texture to it that’s easy to roll and cut with the cookie cutters. The bright red color of the cherry Jell-O was more eye-popping than the grape flavor, and even though we didn’t like that first batch (because of my error), I’m going to try again with the lime Jell-O, just to see how the green turns out. You can just use food coloring to brighten up your sugar cookie dough.
3/4 cup butter, slightly softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 (3-ounce) package Jell-O or flavored gelatin powder (not sugar-free)
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 1/2 cups flour, or slightly more if batter is too sticky
Food coloring, if desired for more color
In a mixing bowl, cream together butter, sugar and Jell-O until well blended. Add eggs, and cream well. Add salt, baking powder and flour, mixing well. Add food coloring if desired.
Scoop dough into a bowl, cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours to harden. When ready to bake, heat oven to 350 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick. Use cookie cutters to cut out patterns. Sprinkle with decorative sugar.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place cookies on baking sheet about 1 inch apart. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until done. Let cool on baking rack and then store in airtight container.
— Adapted from a recipe by Jan D’Atri
It’s peak summer, which means we’re firing up our grills, packing picnics for Zilker Park and cooking with friends during these long, warm July days. If you’re cooking something grand (or grand in its simplicity), post a photo of it on Instagram with the #Austin360Cooks hashtag. Other Instagrammers can see your dish, and if you click the hashtag, you can see what everybody else is making, too. It’s also a great way to stimulate your culinary creativity when you’re standing in the produce section of the grocery store without a clue of what to cook for dinner. Or so I hear.
— Addie Broyles, @broylesa