Monday, December 12, 2011

Festive Finger Gelatin (Jell-O Jigglers)

‘Tis the season for manger scenes, sleigh bells, twinkling lights, and school Christmas parties!  Of course, that means coming up with a kid-friendly, festive snack to send with your child.  How about festive finger gelatin (Jell-O jigglers)?
Of course, you can just grab a few boxes, follow the package directions, and serve gelatin squares; but where’s the fun in that?  We attended a Christmas party this weekend so I decided to make red and green layered finger gelatin.  To make it even more fun, I used Christmas cookie cutters to cut out fun shapes.

I made these triple-layer leaves for Keanna's
class Thanksgiving feast.

The key to layering the gelatin is to cool the gelatin before pouring it over the previous layer.  You don’t want the hot liquid to melt the layer before.  Though, you could probably get some neat color effects by doing that—I’ll have to try it next time.

When making a 9x13, I use six 3-ounce boxes of gelatin.  That means three boxes each to do two colors or two boxes each to do three colors.

Generic works perfectly fine!

The key to getting the gelatin to come out of the pan nicely is to warm up the bottom of the pan to just start to melt it.  This is easily accomplished with a hot water bath.  I also like to dip my metal cookie cutters in hot water before cutting out the gelatin.  This keeps the gelatin from sticking to the cutter and messing up the shape.  If you get part-way through cutting and removing and find that the gelatin is sticking, simply return the pan to the hot water bath and/or re-dip your cookie cutter in hot water.  I also dip my metal cookie spatula in hot water to help get the gelatin out of the pan.

Festive Finger Gelatin
First layer
5 oz. boiling water per box of gelatin (10 oz. for 2 boxes; 15 oz. for 3 boxes)
Desired number of 3-oz. boxes of gelatin
Subsequent layers
4 oz. boiling water per box of gelatin (8 oz. for 2 boxes; 12 oz. for 3 boxes)
Desired number of 3-oz. boxes of gelatin
Two large ice cubes per box of gelatin

Add powder for first layer to boiling water and stir about 3 minutes.  Pour into 9x13 pan; refrigerate until set.  

Add powder for second (or third or fourth) layer  to boiling water and stir about 3 minutes.  Add ice cubes and stir until completely melted.  Pour over previous layer; return to refrigerator until set.

Repeat as desired until all layers are done.  To cut gelatin, fill jelly roll pan with hot tap water.  Place 9x13 in hot water for 30-60 seconds and remove.

Dip metal cookie cutter in hot water; cut out desired shapes, re-dipping cutter as needed.  Using a small spatula, remove shapes from pan.

Have a bowl on hand for all the scraps.  My kids love
the scraps!

Using a little cutter in addition to larger ones helps
reduce the waste between cut-outs.

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