This delightful Jello cocktail is just in time for Easter (and Easter dinner with family). Combining all the classic kitchen-love of a gelatin dessert* with the power punch of a Jello shot, this cocktail dessert is perfect. And it’s topped with a Peep. Need I say more?


1 3-oz. box strawberry jello

3/4 c. boiling water

1/2 c. triple sec

1 c. ice cubes

1/2 c. thawed Cool Whip, plus extra for garnish

4 Peeps

Directions: In a small bowl, combine jello and boiling water; stir until completely dissolved. Place dissolved jello, triple sec and ice cubes in a blender. Blend until smooth. Add Cool Whip; blend until smooth. Pour into four small highball glasses. Refrigerate for at least two hours. Garnish with a twip of Cool Whip and a Peep. Makes 4 servings.

*Once when I was about seven-years-old, my mother was cooking and baking for a dinner party that my parents were hosting. Several couples were coming over and my mom was in hostess mode, pulling together course after course of her best “company” dishes. For dessert she planned a frozen gelatin dessert. This throw-back dessert (probably going back to when “iceboxes’ were still a novelty in the kitchen) layered fruited jellos and Cool Whip (“Dream Whip” for all you 1960’s Lutheran Cookbook ladies in the house) for a dreamy, pastel 9×13 confection. My mom had let me help make the frozen dessert and I felt a proud “I helped” ownership over that icy Jello masterpiece. I couldn’t wait until the guests arrived and my gelatin dessert would make its appearance.

After the dinner course finished that evening, all the wives were in the kitchen busily helping my mom pack leftovers into Tupperware and pour percolated coffee into china cups.

It was time for dessert. My mom looked at me and seriously asked, “Annie, do you want to get the dessert out of the freezer?” Of, course! I opened the freezer and a blast of icy steam rolled out. I grabbed the handles of the covered casserole pan, wincing at the icy-awful stickiness of frozen aluminum. Then proudly, slowly, I turned to carry my perfect frozen dessert to the counter. All the women in the kitchen were looking at me, smiling sweet smiles, and politely giving me my first glimpse of hostess glory.

And then, as if Satan himself couldn’t handle my happy moment, the pan dropped, and fell frozen dessert side down, on our kitchen floor. I was stunned. Completely humiliated! (When getting the dessert out of the freezer, I had accidentally grabbed the handles of the pan’s lid, and it was just a matter of time until the pan unfroze from the lid and dropped to the floor.)

For a moment, no one said anything. Hot tears came to my eyes. I wanted to die of embarrassment. I wanted to run to my bedroom and never come out. Ever.

Then a sweet woman asked, “Can we slide a placemat underneath, do you think? That may do it!” Quickly the woman sprang to action, buzzing with pluck and industry. My mom grabbed a sturdy placemat and three woman bent down and went to work salvaging the face-down dessert. With smooth slides and jimmies, they maneuvered the placemat under the dessert. Then, as we all held our breath, my mom clamped placemat to pan and turned the dessert upright with a quick 180 flip.

We all looked around the kitchen at each other, smiling little secret’s-safe smiles.

Then, ending the episode, my mom exonerated me: “No one ever has to know what happens in the kitchen.”