I used to be a bartender and love coming up with my own cocktail recipes!
I have always loved jello shots, and even now that I am out of college, it is the first thing that I think of when a party or cookout is announced. Like many, I fell in love with the little flavored-jello-filled plastic cups that were brimming with too much cheap liquor (and that made your nose curl when you ate it). But again, like anyone else, I kept on eating them because they were just awesome.
I have come across several ideas on the internet, such as filling fresh strawberries with rum strawberry jello and topping with whip cream (huge New Year's Eve hit!). There's also the amazingly colorful spiked jello in fruit rinds such as oranges and limes and filling cucumbers with a wonderful gin and tonic flavored jello. I then came across several sites that had absolutely amazing jelly shots that sounded scrumptious such as the Jelly Shot Test Kitchen Blog. This wonderful site proved the point that jello shots could be not only perfect but even classy for any occasion.
I have a background as a bartender and love mixing drinks, as well as making up new ones on a whim. It was always a fun challenge for friends to grab whatever they had left in their liquor cabinets and bring it over to challenge me to create something from whatever was in front of me. Some were splendid, others were horrific, but it was fun and a great learning experience of what flavors married together successfully.
I've since challenged myself to make stand-alone jello shots. Jello shots that you could just pick up and pop into your mouth, that were not too gummy from the gelatin, that didn't make your eyes pop out from the straight shot of liquor and that were lovely to look at on the plate. One of the things that I have learned moving to the Midwest from the East Coast is that Apple Pie Liquor is very popular, whether it's homemade or store-bought. I have seen it taken as shots and mixed into a drink, but I had yet to see a jello shot made. So that was my goal, make a scrumptious Apple Pie Jello Shot.
There were a few trials and errors, but this is the recipe that I finally settled on, and it turned out to be a great hit at the festivities. I used a pre-made apple pie liquorthat is made by a tavern only about 45 minutes from my home. You can use any apple pie liquor, even homemade if you have some laying around.
- 1 1/4 cup unsweetened apple juice
- 1/2 cup Apple Pie Liquor
- 1/4 cup Vanilla Schnapps
- 3 packets of Knox Gelatin
- 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
- Whisk for stirring
- Paring knife to assist with taking the jello shots out of the pan
- Medium-size pot
- 2 mini muffin baking pans (or you can use a 1 pound loaf pan and cut the shots into cubes)
- Unflavored baking spray
- Spray the baking pan generously with the unflavored baking spray and set aside
- In a medium pot pour the apple juice and put over very low heat.
- Slowly stir in the Knox Gelatin with the whisk making sure that there are no clumps and it is completely dissolved.
- Do not allow the mixture to boil, but after dissolved make sure the substance is at a warm temperature.
- Removed from the heat
- Add the Apple Pie Liquor and the Vanilla Schnapps and stir until completely mixed.
- Using a ladle pour the mixture into the mini muffin baking pans being careful not to allow overflow
- Lay flat in the refrigerator and allow it to set at least 6 hours. The longer you let them set the easier they come out of the pan, so I let them rest overnight.
- Using the paring knife, gently release the shot from the side of the pan.
- You can then take them out one by one, using a baking sheet, flip the muffin pan over releasing them all at the same time.
- Put them on your serving plate, and top with a few sprinkles of brown sugar.
- If it tastes too spicy, you can reduce the apple pie liquor and add more vanilla schnapps
- If it tastes a little too strong, you can use apple cider instead of apple juice, and reduce the amount of liquor. Just make sure that whatever you reduce for liquor, you must make up in the mixer amount.
- The brown sugar may liquify if left out too long. You can choose to leave the topping off, it will still taste amazing. I offered for people to "dip" the top of their jello shot in the brown sugar if they wanted it a little sweeter instead of adding the brown sugar to every shot.