Categories
Cookies Dessert

Sugar cookies had me at ‘Jell-O’

Jell-O Sugar Cookies
Jell-O sugar cookies with Jell-O frosting can be made in every color of the rainbow.

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
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Jell-O Sugar Cookies

Jell-O sugar cookies with Jell-O frosting can be made in every color of the rainbow.
Course Dessert
Keyword colorful, cookies, frosting, gelatin, Jell-O

Ingredients

Cookie Ingredients

  • 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

Frosting Ingredients

  • 3 ounces Jell-O any flavor
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 cup boiling water

Instructions

  • 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. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.

Categories
Cookies Dessert

Sprinkle in some fun this Fourth

Cheesecake sprinkle cookies come together quickly and add lots of color to your dessert table.

For July 4th this year, Joey and I were invited to spend the afternoon and evening with my sister and brother-in-law, and of course, my wonderful niece.

She’s quickly approaching 2 years old, and although she probably won’t stay up long enough to see any fireworks this year, I’m sure we’ll have plenty of fun playing in the backyard before it’s time for bed.

I’m also going to bring along a little treat to spoil her just a bit, since that’s what aunts are for (at least that’s what I decided long ago).

So, when I was looking online for a recipe to use a box of cheesecake flavored instant pudding, I found in the back of my pantry, I discovered the perfect Fourth of July treat to share: cheesecake sprinkle cookies.

They’re perfect for the Fourth because there’s no frosting to melt, they don’t require refrigeration, and they’re full of bursts of color, just like Fourth of July fireworks.

The recipe I found came from the blog “Simple Sweet Recipes.” You can find the original post at http://simplesweetrecipes.com/sprinkles-cookies/. I doubled the vanilla in my version.

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Cheesecake Sprinkle Cookies

Cheesecake sprinkle cookies come together quickly and add lots of color to your dessert table.
Course Dessert
Keyword cheesecake, cookies, instant pudding, sprinkles

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup butter room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3.4 ounces cheesecake instant pudding mix
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sprinkles plus more for topping cookies

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Cream the butter and sugar together. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
  • Add the baking soda, pudding mix, and one cup of flour and mix until combined. Add the other cup of flour.
  • Once everything is combined, mix in the sprinkles.
  • Roll the dough into about one-inch balls and place them about one inch apart on a baking sheet. Press a few extra sprinkles into the top of each cookie.
  • Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until the cookies are set (they won’t really brown on top). Let them cool for a bit on the cookie sheet before transferring them to an airtight container.

I didn’t think there was anything that screamed “cheesecake” about the flavor of these cookies. Really, they’re just excellent, soft sugar cookies that look super fun.

The recipe author suggests that you could use other types of instant pudding, too, so you could easily toss in some vanilla or even lemon with these if you don’t want to use the cheesecake flavor. I’m tempted to try using chocolate, but then again, I’m always tempted to use chocolate.

After I finished this batch, I couldn’t wait to get them over to share with my family, but since I decided to bake several days early, I’ll just have to let them sit in their container on the counter until then.

But, since I also believe in sampling my own baking, I’m just hoping they last that long.

This piece first appeared in print on July 4, 2019.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.

Categories
Cookies Dessert

It’s time to sprinkle in some sugar cookies

If you want a quick cookie recipe that holds its shape, look no further than these sugar cookies.

I have a bad habit of skipping over steps in recipes when I look over them, trying to decide whether or not I should give them a try.

More than once, I’ve started baking something, only to realize halfway through that I have to stop and chill an ingredient for an hour or overnight before moving on to the next step.

You’d think after doing this on multiple occasions that I’d be more careful, but I never seem to learn my lesson.

That’s one of the reasons the recipe I’m sharing with you this week was so attractive to me. In all capital letters, right in the recipe, the author noted, “Do not chill the dough.”

Excellent.

That meant I could quickly mix up these cookies, pop them in the oven and be enjoying fresh sugar cookies in no time.

I found this recipe on the blog “In Katrina’s Kitchen.” You can find it at http://www.inkatrinaskitchen.com/best-sugar-cookie-recipe-ever/. I doubled the vanilla in my version.

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Sugar Cookies

If you want a quick cookie recipe that holds its shape, look no further than these sugar cookies.
Course Dessert
Keyword cookies, sugar cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Cream the butter and sugar together for several minutes until it’s smooth and creamy.
  • Beat in the vanilla, almond and egg.
  • Mix in the rest of the ingredients.
  • Pull out about a softball-sized portion of dough and roll it out to about one-quarter inch in thickness. Use a cookie cutter to cut out your desired shape and transfer them to a baking sheet—about one-inch apart.
  • Continue cutting out shapes with the rest of the dough.
  • Bake each batch of cookies for about 8 minutes or until the cookies look like they’re just set around the edges. Let them cool completely before icing and store in an air-tight container.

If you don’t have almond extract, you could toss in even more vanilla if you wanted, but I highly recommend including it. It adds just a little something extra to the flavor of these cookies, which is nice since sugar cookies can easily end up in the bland category.

These also held their shape really nicely. I just used my biscuit cutter to make boring round cookies, but if you have some fun shapes, this is a good recipe to try them out on.

And it’s good because there are no hidden steps or long processes to go through. You just mix them up and start baking, which is my kind of recipe.

This piece first appeared in print on March 15, 2018.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.