A few months ago, Joey and I moved into a new house, and I must confess that my pantry is still an absolute mess.
I often reference my pantry in this column, but up until we moved, my “pantry” has always been a large, open bookshelf in my kitchen, so a lot of my food items are tucked into containers and baskets to give it all the semblance of organization.
Now I have an entire, floor-to-ceiling cabinet, and I haven’t quite figured out how to get it into a state I’m proud of yet.
While digging for some rarely used Christmas spices, I came across a stash of gelatin, which I totally forgot existed. I added it to another stack of Jell-O I already had, wondering how and why I had so many boxes of the stuff, when I don’t really use it all that often.
(If someone understands the finer points of gelatin reproduction, you might enlighten me.)
But, in following with my new resolve to rid my pantry of its overabundance, I found a recipe that let me use up two whole boxes of gelatin, which I was pretty excited about.
I found a cookie recipe on the blog “Family Cookie Recipes.” You can find it at https://familycookierecipes.com/jello-sugar-cookies/ .The author suggests a frosting recipe, too, but I decided to go a different direction. The frosting recipe I used came from “Little Delights Cakes.” You can find that one at http://littledelightscakes.com/jello-frosting/. The recipe author notes that sugar-free Jell-O shouldn’t be used for making this. My only changes were to add a bit more vanilla to the frosting and bring these two great recipes together.
Jell-O Sugar Cookies
- 1 cup butter softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 ounces Jell-O any flavor
- 3 eggs
- 3 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 ounces Jell-O any flavor
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 egg white
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- For the cookies, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth, and then beat in the Jell-O.
- Beat the eggs in until the mixture is smooth, and then finish out by beating in the dry ingredients.
- When everything is well-incorporated, scoop the dough by the tablespoon onto a prepared cookie sheet, spacing them about two inches apart.
- Bake for 8 minutes or until the edges just start to brown.
- Let the cookies cool completely before frosting them.
- For the frosting, combine the Jell-O, sugar, vanilla and egg white in a mixing bowl and beat together until they’re well combined.
- Add in the boiling water and beat the mixture for about 7 minutes to get the frosting nice and fluffy. To make it easier to spread on the cookies, refrigerate it for about 30 minutes to let it set up a bit.
- Spread or pipe the frosting onto the finished cookies and store them in an airtight container. (Fair warning: this frosting is more like a whipped cream, so it won’t harden, and you won’t be able to stack the finished cookies.)
These were really good. I had an overabundance of strawberry gelatin, so that’s what I used for both the cookies and the frosting, but you could use any flavor combination that sounds good to you.
I also wondered if you could make two different colors and swirl the dough together to get a fun look.
It felt nice to get a couple items cleaned out of the pantry, but I’m still going to need to get to work on my food organization. There may be even more surprises just waiting to be discovered.
This piece first appeared in print on Jan. 2, 2020.
Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas and sponsored by Main Street Co. & Kitchen Corner in Newton, Kan. Visit their website at shopmainstco.com.