Friday, November 20, 2009

Another Round… of Jell-O™ Shots

In the Novel Friends email newsletter, I intended to include both of my Jell-O Shot recipes, but the word count was just too long, so I only included my Sparkling Faeries. So, below is the recipe for my Flesh & Blood shots. Now, assembly-wise, I actually made the first layer of my F & B shots first (the peach + amaretto), then, while that was solidifying, I made my Sparkling Faeries, and while the first part of the SFs were semi-solidifying, I finished the F & Bs. Sooo… with that in mind, here's the recipe for Flesh & Blood Jell-O shots. (And if you want to know how to make the Sparkling Faeries, email me to get our newsletter and I'll send you a copy!)

When we threw our B.L.U.M.B.U.F.S (By Light Unseen Media, Broad Universe, Fae Sithein) party at Worldcon, the Jell-O* shots and our Black Death Punch were a big hit. While it's easy(ish) to throw a mixed drink together in a cooler with ice, Jell-O shots create a more difficult problem as they need a temperature of at about 40 degrees Fahrenheit (or lower) to solidify. Not every hotel comes equipped with a mini-fridge - and ours was no exception. With little ingenuity that may make Alton Brown proud, solid gelatinous boozey goodness can be achieved!

*I really did use Jell-O brand gelatin. I suppose any gelatin brand will do, but I did not test any other brand.

In honor of my favorite Food Network celebrity, here's how I did it… presented AB cookbook style:

Flesh & Blood Jell-O Shots

2' by 3' (at least) that seals shut
100 1-ounce mini medicine cups
1-2 half sheet baking pans (more if you are making more shots)
parchment paper
1 electric kettle
1 wire wisk
1 glass bowl
2 4-cup liquid measuring cups

1 package of wild cherry or cherry or mixed berry Jell-O (again, preference availability depending)
1 package of peach or orange Jell-O (see above note pref./availability)
1 bottle vodka (or vanilla vodka if available. Smirnoff-level quality, $8-$12/bottle.)
1 bottle amaretto (I did splurge for Disaronno, but since it's mixing generic works)

Prep work:

See if your sheet pans fit all the way to the bottom of the cooler.

They fit?
Cover the bottom of the cooler with a layer of ice. Put in one sheet pan and add a layer of ice to that. Close and seal the cooler.

They don't fit all the way to the bottom?

No problem. Add only about a half layer of ice to the bottom of the cooler. Cover your single sheet pan with ice and drop it in as far as you can and still remove it. In my case, my cooler (a Coleman) had a ridge around the top where I could fit the one pan. This pan is the most important, though, as cold sinks. It did make for some juggling between the shots and the mixing cup - but it was easy to figure out. Also, once the cooler had the ice in it for over an hour, it was entirely cold, and I could start placing my medicine cup shots on the ice-laden top level, too.

Close and seal the cooler.

Flesh & Blood Instructions:

Start with the orange or peach. As the package instructs, boil water for the package. Pour the Jell-O into the bottom of a clean 4-cup measuring cup. Add the boiling water and mix until all the powder is dissolved. For the remaining amount of liquid per the instructions, split it equally between water and your amaretto liquor. Mix thoroughly. Set up 25-50 of your 1-ounce medicine cups (on a baking sheet or two, to contain the mess), and fill them 1/3-1/2 full of the Jell-O mixture. If your cooler holds your baking sheet, place parchment over the top and lower gently into the cooler, below the ice-laden sheet, otherwise place them gently amidst the ice on the bottom. While your bottom layer is cooling, prepare the red (wild cherry/cherry/mixed berry) layer in the same manner, with your "cold" liquid being half vodka and half water. When the bottom layer is semi-solid, pour on the top/red layer until medicine cup is a little over 3/4 full. Return them to the cooler and let them set for at least an hour. If done correctly, these look like a layer of blood over a layer of pale flesh - and the amaretto is a great accent to any of the fruit flavors mentioned!

Bust them out for the party and toast your favorite SF&F&Horror authors, editors, agents, & fans!


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