Monday, October 25, 2010

Halloween Jell-O Worms

This week I am going to be posting some fun Halloween recipes that would be great for parties or just fun for the family. The first one I am posting I made last year as part of our Halloween night dinner and will do again this year. The pictures I am sharing are from last year's dinner and are not very good pictures but give you an idea of what fun things I like to do for the holiday.

For these fun worms, it's important to use a tall, slim container to hold the straws, such as a 1 liter orange juice or milk carton (be sure to use something with a 4 cup capacity). The straws should fit tightly together. If you use too large a container, the gelatin will run right back out before it sets. Also, be sure to buy the straws with the flexible neck, as they give the worms the most realistic "earthworm" appearance. Recipe makes about 100 long worms.

What You Need:
1 pkg. (6 oz) purple gelatin {raspberry or grape work}
3/4 oz. unflavored gelatin {usually found by the canning supplies}
3 C. boiling water
3/4 C. whipping cream
green food coloring, as needed
100 plastic straws

In a medium, heat safe mixing bowl, stir together plain and flavored gelatin powders.  Pour boiling water over, stirring until gelatin is fully dissolved.  Allow gelatin to cool til only slightly warm. Stir whipping cream into the gelatin mixture. Stir in green food coloring (you'll probably need 10 drops or more) until your gelatin gets that purpley-brown-grey color of earthworms. With your 100 straws fully extended and snug in your chosen container, pour the gelatin mixture over the straws, filling the container. Cover container and chill at least 8 hours. You can make them and store them this way up to two days in advance of serving. Remove straws from their container. Cutting or ripping a disposable container away is easiest. With hot tap water running, place batches of 4-5 straws under hot running water for a couple quick seconds. Remove "worms" from their straw casings, pressing with fingers and running down the length of the straw, sort of "squishing" the worm out. Set on waxed paper to set up.  Repeat until all worms are removed. Chill, covered, on waxed paper. Serve in a chilled bowl, as pictured. I put crushed chocolate cookies in the bottom first to look like dirt. Have fun and enjoy!

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