There’s always room for Jell-O cookies

It was 1897 in LeRoy, N.Y. A carpenter by the name of Pearle Wait and his wife, May, were experimenting with how to preserve a cough remedy and a laxative tea. One of their experiments included using gelatin, and while they didn’t necessarily find a way to preserve their medicines, they did succeed in making history.

The fruit-flavored dessert they created instead became a household name. They decided to name it Jell-O, according to the Jell-O Gallery Museum’s website.

In the more than 100 years since its creation, Americans have found all kinds of ways to use Jell-O. It’s always been high on my dessert list. But there are ways to use the colorful powder that won’t produce something gelatinous, and I recently tried one of them: cookies.

This is from the blog “iSaveA2Z.” You can find the original at I doubled the vanilla in mine. Also the original recipe calls for sprinkling the cookies with the powder from another package of Jell-O. I opted for colored sugar instead.

* * *

Easy Jell-O-Flavored Cookies


1-1/2 cups butter, softened

1 cup sugar

3-ounce package Jell-O (any flavor)

1 egg

2 teaspoons vanilla

3-1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

Colored sugar for sprinkling


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prep a cookie sheet with parchment paper or cooking spray.

Beat the butter until creamy and then add the sugar and Jell-O. Beat until the mixture is fluffy.

Beat in the egg and vanilla.

Add in the flour and baking powder and mix until well combined.

Roll the dough into about 1-inch balls and place about an inch apart on the baking sheet. Flatten each ball slightly and sprinkle with colored sugar.

Bake for about 8 minutes per batch. (Beware: this will make a ton of cookies.)

* * *

I waited until the edges of my cookies looked brown, but with the batter being the color of the Jell-O, I thought the browned bottoms didn’t look as pretty, so I’d recommend not letting them get too browned before removing them and just letting them finish baking a little on the cookie sheet out of the oven.

My cookies turned out pretty crispy, and I thought they tasted more like sugar cookies than having a strong flavor of the Jell-O I put in them. I suspect that might be because I just used the colored sugar instead of sprinkling more powder on them, but I wasn’t looking for something too sweet, so I liked the light flavor.

After making these cookies, I have a bit of a craving for normal Jell-O. I just think I’ll avoid that laxative tea flavor. That doesn’t sound like a good idea to me.

Lindsey Young is managing editor of The Clarion, the Kansas Publishing Ventures newspaper in Andale. She can be reached at