Don't Serve These At Thanksgiving Without A Warning Sign

This article was originally published on November 8, 2015

Sure, we're all used to drinking wine, beer, and even fall-themed cocktails with our turkey on Thanksgiving. But, we've got something to make the feast even better — Jell-O shots. Don't worry, we're not talking about the gross ones you drank in college. These are fancy-ass, classy Jell-O shots. Or at least they look it. In reality, they're super easy to make. The hardest part is waiting for them to set so you can eat them. Not only are they the perfect thing to bring or make if you don't actually want to cook anything for that Friendsgiving potluck, but you'll be responsible for starting a fun new Thanksgiving tradition.

Photo: Courtesy of Michelle Cordero.
Apple Pie Jello Shots
Makes 24 shots

Ingredients
1 1/4 cup apple juice or apple cider
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 envelopes Knox gelatin
3/4 cup whipped cream flavored vodka
6 Keebler mini graham-cracker pie crusts (they come in a package of 6 and are in most grocery stores in the baking aisle)
Whipped cream, for topping
Cinnamon, for topping

Instructions
1. Pour 1 cup apple juice or cider and 1/4 cup brown sugar into a medium-sized sauce pan. Sprinkle 2 envelopes Knox gelatin on top and let it sit for a minute to activate. Turn on medium heat and bring to a simmer (just enough to dissolve sugar and gelatin).

2. Add 3/4 cup flavored vodka and 1/4 remaining apple juice or cider. Pour the mixture into your pie crusts. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until completely set. Using a paring knife, cut your pies into quarter slices and lift them out carefully.

3. Top with whipped cream and cinnamon. Keep refrigerated until serving. For a kid friendly, non-alcoholic version just use cold water or more juice instead of alcohol.
Photo: Courtesy of Michelle Cordero.
Vanilla Pear Jello Shots
Makes 16-18 shots

Ingrediants
1/2 cup pear nectar
1/4 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
2 envelopes Knox gelatin
1/2 cup vanilla vodka
1 pear

Instructions
1. Pour 1 cup pear nectar (reserve half cup for later), 1/2 cup sugar and scraped vanilla bean in a medium sauce pan. Whisk to combine. Sprinkle 2 envelopes Knox gelatin on top and let it sit a few minutes to activate. Whisk again and turn on medium heat. Bring to a simmer (just to dissolve sugar and gelatin).

2. Add 1/2 cup vanilla vodka and remaining 1/2 cup pear nectar. Pour into a lightly greased loaf pan and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours or until completely firm.

3. When set, run a butter knife along the edges. Place your hand on the top of the jello and flip the pan over. Run a slow stream of hot water over the bottom of the pan until you feel the jello release onto your hand. Place jello loaf onto a chopping board and cut into even squares. Slice pear vertically and cut out matching squares for topping the shots.
Photo: Courtesy of Michelle Cordero.
Salted Caramel Pumpkin Pudding Shots
Makes 12 shots

Ingredients
1 (3-oz) box pumpkin spice flavored instant pudding
8 oz tub Cool Whip
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup caramel- or salted-caramel flavored vodka
1/2 cup caramel sauce (plus some for drizzling on top of shots)
2 tsp sea salt (split in halves)
Whipped cream for topping

Instructions
1. In a large bowl, mix your box of instant pumpkin spice pudding and 3/4 cup milk with a whisk until combined.

2. Add your 3/4 cup caramel or salted-caramel vodka and whisk again until combined.

3. Slowly fold in 8 oz of Cool Whip.

4. Slowly fold in your 1/2 cup caramel sauce and 1 teaspoon sea salt, and then freeze for at least an hour to thicken up.

5. Spoon into shot glasses and top with whipped cream, caramel drizzle, and then sprinkle the remaining sea salt on top.
Image: Courtesy of Michelle Cordero.
For more Jell-O shots for every occasion, check out Michelle Cordero's book, Jelly Shots.