Ah, the joys of Jell-O. It's 118 years old this year and it's still our go-to ingredient for so many salads and desserts. What I discovered this week is that Jell-O, with its rainbow of colors, is also the base for a fun, simple and eye-catching cookie that is so versatile, you can make it any time of the year and for any occasion. Just change out the flavor and the cookie cutter, and you have an instant theme. Lime-flavored trees for Christmas, cherry-flavored hearts for Valentine's day, lemon-flavored flowers for summer and orange-flavored pumpkins for fall. I went a little Jell-O crazy with this recipe and made a big platter of bright, bold, vibrant cookies using six different flavors; berry, cherry, orange, lime, lemon and grape. Since I was making so many flavors, I divided the ingredients for half batches. I love these cookies for a number of reasons. First of all, the dough is fantastic to work with--the perfect stocking cookie texture. They're so bright and colorful you don't need to ice them. They're a great cookie to make with kids because they require just a few simple ingredients. Finally, It's fun to bite into each cookie and get a completely different flavor. I'm not sure that the Jell-O company had these cookies in mind when they came up with their iconic tag line, "There's always room for Jell-O" but I'm guessing there has to be a little wiggle room for a great new Jell-O idea!
- ¾ cup butter (12 tablespoons), slightly softened
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 small (3oz) package Jell-O or flavored gelatin powder (not sugar-free, example: grape, orange, lemon, cherry, lime)
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 2 ½ 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.
- At this point, for more intense color, add food coloring, a few drops at a time if desired.
- Scoop batter into a bowl, cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours to harden.
- When ready to bake, pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough ¼ to ½ inch thick.
- Use cookie cutters to cut out patterns.
- Sprinkle with decorative sugar (the same color as the dough or contrasting color.)
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place cookies on baking sheet about 1 inch apart.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes or until done.
- Let cool on baking rack and then store in airtight container.
Jan's Note: I made half batches because I wanted to use several different colors. I simply divided the Jell-O Cookie recipe ingredients in half for each batch. This recipe can also be quartered for four different batches.