Jell-o was a food that I loved as a kid because it was so much fun to play with. The wiggly, jiggly snack was easy to make and as enjoyable to look at as it was to eat. Jell-o doesn’t make it onto my menus much any more, but after you spend a few minutes flipping through the pages of Hello, Jell-O!: 50+ Inventive Recipes for Gelatin Treats and Jiggly Sweets you are going to want to put it back into the rotation. The book has dozens of ideas to turn Jell-o into spectacular looking desserts that are fun to make, fun to eat and that are a lot more impressive than the snack-sized Jell-o cups that you ate as a kid.
The molded Jell-o salads that your great aunt Betty brought to Thanksgiving dinner when you were little may not have looked that impressive, but add some layers of color, a bit of booze and all of a sudden you have a dessert that will get more attention than a tray of expensive bakery cupcakes. Jell-o (and gelatin, in general) is a food that it is easy to be creative with. It comes in a wide variety of bright colors, it is inexpensive, you can mold it into interesting shapes and you can flavor it with all kinds of ingredients. The book starts out with an introduction that gets you excited about playing with Jell-o and flipping through the book to see the dozens of colorful, finished dishes is enough inspiration to get you started. The recipes are easy to follow and don’t require any special techniques or skills, just a little bit of patience while you allow your gelatin to set up in the fridge.
Jell-o desserts aren’t going to replace a good chocolate cake as a must-have treat in general (although there are chocolate desserts in this book), but this book is so much fun that you probably won’t be able to resist giving at least one of the recipes a try after reading through it. A wide range of flavors are covered, from kid-friendly Peanut Butter and Jelly to adult-friendly Mudslides, so there is something for everyone and every occasion. Even if you’re not a Jell-o fan, these desserts are essentially edible works of art and that is what makes them so enjoyable from start to finish.