When it comes to branding and marketing a food product I’d have to say that JELL-O wins by 100 percent! Who doesn’t remember growing up with that flavorful, gelatin and hearing the JELL-O commercial? I ate my share growing up — at home, at church pot-lucks, picnics, and even in the hospital. It was the first food my mother allowed us to eat after we had the flu and at that point it tasted almost as good as steak — well, maybe not THAT good!

One of Norman Rockwell’s famous paintings shows a little girl unmolding her JELL-O. Molded salads are memorable and nothing looks or tastes quite like a beautiful gelatin mold, especially those with names like Apple Blossom, Ambrosia, Gazpacho Salad, or Juicy Layered Orange Pineapple. Molds offer cooks the opportunity to be creative with layers such as a red, white, and blue for the Fourth of July, a Crown Jewel Dessert full of little colorful gelatin cubes, or a Rainbow Ribbon Mold made with the colors in the rainbow.

With the necessity for some of us to watch our sugar intake, I thought I’d include some really delicious recipes from one of my old JELL-O cookbooks.
Since coffee desserts seem to be popular these days, see if these two don’t satisfy your coffee habit! They call for JELL-O Pudding & Pie Filling.

Café Ladyfinger Dessert

Ingredients:

– 2 packages (3 ounces each) ladyfingers, split
– 1 cup freshly brewed strong coffee, at room temperature, divided
– 1 package (8 ounces) Philadelphia Free Fat Free Cream Cheese
– 2 cups cold fat free milk
– 2 packages (4-serving size each) JELL-O
– Vanilla Flavor Fat Free Sugar Free Instant
– Reduced Calorie Pudding & Pie Filling
– 1 tub (8 ounces) Cool Whip Free whipped – Topping, thawed, divided
– Shaved or chopped chocolate for garnish

Directions:

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Brush cut side of ladyfingers with about ¼ cup of the coffee. Place ladyfingers on bottom and up side of 2-quart serving bowl. Beat cream cheese and remaining ¾ cup coffee in large bowl with wire whisk until smooth. Gradually beat in milk until smooth. Add pudding mixes. Beat with wire whisk 1 minute or until well blended. Gently stir in ½ of the whipped topping. Spoon into prepared bowl; cover. Refrigerate 1 hour or until ready to serve. Top with remaining whipped topping. Garnish with 3 tablespoons shaved or chopped chocolate.

Tiramisu Ingredients:

– 1 package (3 ounces) ladyfingers, split
– 1 ½ cups cold skim milk, divided
– 1 container (8 ounces) Philadelphia Light Soft Light Cream Cheese
– 2 tablespoons instant coffee
– 1 tablespoon hot water
– 2 tablespoons brandy (optional)
– 1 package (4-serving size) JELL-O Brand
– Vanilla Flavor Fat Free Sugar Free
– Reduced Calorie Pudding & Pie Filling
– 2 cups thawed Cool Whip Lite Whipped Topping
– 1 square (1 ounce) Baker’s Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate, grated

Directions:

Cut ladyfingers in half horizontally. Cover bottom of 8-inch springform pan with ladyfinger halves. Place remaining ladyfinger halves, cut ends down, around sides of pan. Place ½ cup cold milk and cream cheese in blender container; cover. Blend on medium speed until smooth. Dissolve coffee in hot water. Place in blender container with brandy and remaining 1 cup cold milk. Add pudding mix; cover. Blend until smooth. Pour into large bowl. Stir in whipped topping immediately. Spoon pudding mixture into pan. Refrigerate 4 hours or until set. Remove sides of pan. Garnish with chocolate.

This next recipe would be fun for Valentine’s Day or President’s Day this month.

Very Cherry Dessert

Ingredients:

– 1 ½ cups boiling water
– 1 package (8-serving size) or 2 packages (4-serving size) JELL-O Brand
– Cherry Flavor Gelatin Dessert, or any red flavor
– 1 ½ cups cold water
– 1 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling
– 4 cups angel food cake cubes
– 3 cups cold milk
– 2 packages (4-serving size) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding & Pie

Filling

– 1 tub (8 ounces) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed

Directions:

Stir boiling water into gelatin in large bowl at least 2 minutes until completely dissolved. Stir in cold water and cherry pie filling. Refrigerate about 1 hour or until slightly thickened (consistency of unbeaten egg whites). Place cake cubes in 3-quart serving bowl. Spoon gelatin mixture over cake. Refrigerate about 45 minutes or until set but not firm (gelatin should stick to finger when touched and should mound). Pour milk into large bowl. Add pudding mixes. Beat with wire whisk 1 minute. Gently stir in 2 cups of the whipped topping. Spoon over gelatin mixture in bowl. Refrigerate 2 hours or until set. Top with remaining whipped topping and garnish as desired.

Enjoy!

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