OK, kids: This is coffee. In solid form.
It’s been sweetened with condensed milk and booze-ified with a healthy dose of Kahlua—then rubberized into a blissful, cocktail-hour finger food thanks to the magic of gelatin.
(If you know me, you know how much I love coffee, so you can imagine how excited I was when I came across the recipe.)
Now, you have to like Jello, or Jello-like food, for this to work. If you do, you’re in for a treat.
Huge thanks to The Food Librarian for sharing their deliciousness. I tweaked her recipe, and will definitely be making them again.
(If you haven’t checked out the Food Librarian’s blog, you should. She does some amazing things with jello—not to mention other yummy stuff.)
So, years ago, I had several meals that ended with Classic American Jello Mold Torture. You know the kind I’m talking about. Those domed, gelatinous creatures swimming with fruit that seem like they should be on the table at a science fair—not in your dining room.
This is not that jello.
This jello is the short and stout cousin of Vietnamese iced coffee, that fabulous concoction of espresso and condensed milk.
This is jello that you could serve to your foodie friends. If you’re me, this is also your midnight-snack jello. And since I added a good dose of Kahlua to them, I guess they’re also kind of like Jello Jigglers for grown-ups.
This stuff is silly. This stuff is good. Go make some. You’ll see.
The short version of the recipe goes like this
Bloom the gelatin (i.e. mix it together with water) for about 10 minutes. Make some coffee. Add it to the gelatin, along with the condensed milk and Kahlua. Pour it into a pan and pop it into the fridge until it sets.
Read on for step-by-step instrux of what that looks like.
Oh, be sure to get sweetened condensed milk (which is milk that’s been cooked down with sugar) NOT evaporated milk (which is unsweetened).
Drunken Coffee Jello Squares
Adapted from The Food Librarian
1/2 cup cold water
1 3/4 cups strong coffee, hot (I brewed 8 Tbls. French Roast with 2 cups water)
14 oz. sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
3 packets of Knox unflavored gelatin
3 Tbls. Kahlua or other coffee liquor
8-inch x 8-inch glass baking pan
Brew the coffee
Make the coffee the way you normally would at home. The goal is to wind up with 1 3/4 cups of strong coffee. For me, I used 8 Tbls. French Roast to 2 cups of water.
Make the gelatin mixture
Grab your gelatin. I used regular old, unflavored Knox gelatin. You can find this in the baking aisle of most major U.S. grocery stores.
Put the water in a large bowl.
Toss in the gelatin. (Normally, I like to measure gelatin out, since the packages can have a varying amount of gelatin in them, but I went with the Food Librarian’s directions, and it came out just fine.)
Give it a stir to mix. It should immediately start to thicken and suck up the water. Let it sit for about 10 minutes. (This process is called “blooming” the gelatin. Basically, you’re rehydrating it.)
After 10 minutes, it should be rubbery but still fairly soft.
Add the hot, brewed coffee to the gelatin.
Whisk it gently (gently!!! see below…) to break up the gelatin and incorporate it with the coffee.
Pour in the condensed milk. Whisk gently to combine.
Add the Kahlua. (If you don’t fancy Kahlua, definitely swap in your favorite liquor. Anything you’d normally put in coffee should work. Amaretto, Frangelico, etc.)
Whisk to combine.
Now, I goofed here, I think. I whisked a little too vigorously, which created a lot of froth on the surface of the mixture. As the gelatin sets in the fridge, those bubbles will set on the surface. To avoid bubbly gelatin, mix gently.
Pour it into your glass pan. (No need to grease or line the pan. Jello won’t stick to glass.)
Refrigerate until set
Pop it into the fridge and refrigerate for a few hours, until set firmly. (If you do wind up with those bubbles on the surface, let it sit for about 20 minutes in the fridge, then yank it out and skim the top layer off.)
Slice, inhale, enjoy!
When your Drunken Coffee Jello Squares have set up, they should look about like this:
Slice them into squares (or cut them into shapes with little cookie cutters) and serve. The Food Librarian served them in little paper muffin cups, which sounds like a great idea to me.
Hope you guys are having a nice summer!
We’ve been spending a lot of time chasing after Miss. Penelope. I’ve also been puttering around in my herb garden, which seems to be very happy on our back porch.