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Monday, October 17, 2011

caramel apple jello shots

While caramel apples are more fall-generic than specific to Halloween, I felt like it was an appropriate recipe to post in the Halloween spirit as that's when it's time to bring out the boozy adult treats!

Thus we commence Halloween Treat Week. You may remember her campy, somewhat flashy older sister, Halloween Craft Week. If you're not familiar, you may go here, here, here, or here.

This is a little labor intensive but not as hard as it may seem. And the response you'll get when you hand these out at a party is well worth fruit excavation. So grab an apple and cut it in half from the stem to the bottom. Take a spoon and start digging out some apple guts, leaving about half an inch or so around the border. Don't dig too deep or you'll poke a hole and have a leaky apple!

Make up your boozy jello. Line up your hollowed apples in a deep baking dish so that they won't tip over when you pour the jello. I was at the boyfriend's apartment so I had to make do without a pan. I just laid a paper towel over a shelf in the fridge to minimize messiness, filled each apple, and wrapped it in saran wrap to keep it from spilling. This also worked as a good way to transport them since they were going into a cooler. You want to fill the apples with jello as close to the edge as possible and then move them to the fridge to solidify.

Once they're all firmed up and you're ready to serve, slice each half into four pieces.

Clink your slices and down the hatch! Well, chew the apple, then down the hatch. ;)

Caramel Apple Jello Shots
adapted slightly from That's So Michelle
5 granny smith apples, cut in half (makes 40 shot wedges)
lemon juice
1 envelope knox gelatin
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk
yellow food coloring
1 envelope caramel flavored hot chocolate (regular works fine too)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butterscotch schnapps
3/4 cup Van Gogh Chocolate Vodka*

Dig out the insides of each apple half, leaving about a half-inch border around the edges. Rub some lemon juice on the edges so they don't turn brown before you serve them. Set the hollowed out apples aside in a deep baking dish, making sure they are packed tightly and stay upright. Grab a pot for the jello and mix the water, milk, and hot chocolate in the pot, stirring until all the chocolate is combined. Sprinkle the gelatin on top and let it sit for a few minutes.

Turn on the heat to medium-low and mix until the gelatin is dissolved. Add the sugar and simmer for a bit until the sugar is combined. Add a few drops of yellow food coloring until you get a nice caramel color (about two drops or so). Let the mixture cool until it's just warm, and then add the schnapps and vodka.

Pour or ladle the jello into the apples and refrigerate until they're set. Slice each apple cup into four wedges and serve!

*The original recipe suggests caramel flavored vodka which makes sense, but after searching three state stores, an employee finally informed me that Van Gogh doesn't make the caramel flavor anymore. And neither does anyone else. You can find Swedish Fish and Bubblegum flavors, but no caramel. Go figure. Anyway, all these flavors combined tasted pretty caramel-y according to all those who enjoyed them so the substitution seems to work well enough.

Have a great week!


  1. These sound so delicious! And I love regular Jell-o Shots!

    And I so agree - Halloween, for us, is much more of an adult holiday just like 'tis was many, many years ago. I mean, we still decorate with some cute n' cheesy stuff, we hand out candy, etc. but after that it's much more mature! ^_^ Like... Jell-o Shots!!! \m/^_^\m/

  2. I just read your recipe and it sounds amazing. Did want to let you know that Van Gogh does produce caramel vodka - the flavor is actually called Dutch Caramel and it is so good! The flavor has definitely NOT been discontinued.


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