No baking, no melting, and just one mixing bowl! Mom’s Christmas Jello Balls are one of the easiest cookies you’ll make this holiday season! And, not only that, they taste great too! Use any flavour or colour of Jello you want!
The 24 Cookies of Christmas series is taking it easy today! Easy in the way that these are the easiest confection you’ll make this Christmas! Oh, I remember these so well! My mom used to make these jello balls regularly, not just at Christmastime. You know something though? To the best of my knowledge, she only ever made the red balls, never the green!
She sure was a creature of habit. In fact, almost every meal was predictable – well, not every meal, but there was a day or two in every week when you knew what was going to be for dinner that night. I’m referring to Pork Chop Tuesday, of course. That’s what we affectionately called it.
I’m breaking the mold and changing things up a bit. I added a green jello ball to the mix just to show the versatility of this recipe. I’m sure my mom would be okay with that!
WHAT KIND OF JELLO DO YOU RECOMMEND?
These jello balls are all about personal preference. I’ve never been a huge fan of jello – there’s just something about the texture that doesn’t sit well with me. But, in cookie form, I’m all over it!
Obviously, I picked a red and green jello for this particular Christmas version. I think the red one is cherry and the green one is lime. (Does green jello come in another flavour but lime?)
You can use whatever flavour you like. If I were not making these for Christmas, I would most certainly go for grape. If I were to eat jello the way it was meant to be eaten, it would have to be grape!
MORE CHRISTMAS COOKIE RECIPES!
Did you know that I’ve been posting a 24 Cookies of Christmas series for a few years now? There are over 100 Christmas cookie recipes that you can find right here at Lord Byron’s Kitchen! To make it easier to find, I have created a page for each series. Just click on the image below and you’ll find the full series for that volume all one page!
THICK CREAM IS NOT WHIPPING CREAM!
Please, Dear Reader, do not confuse thick cream with whipping cream. Whipping cream is usually 35% milk solids, but I think the canned thick cream has a higher percentage than that.
I grew up with the Fussell’s brand. Oh my God, that stuff is so good! I can still see my dad shaking the can vigorously to ensure that the milk solids in the can were well mixed with the water that had separated from the cream. When he would finally peel back the lid, the cream was one pure cohesive unit. It was a thing of beauty!
Canned Fussell’s cream was popular in most Newfoundland homes. In our home, it was common to have dessert on Sunday’s which consisted of dollops of the canned cream right onto the top of canned peaches or pears in syrup.
SO, WHAT IS CANNED THICK CREAM?
Canned thick cream is a heat-sterilized cream with a slight caramelized flavour that’s also known as spooning cream. The thick, smooth consistency is delicious as a topping on fresh berries, fruit or your favourite dessert and can also be used as a replacement for cream when cooking.
It’s really that simple! If you’re a fellow Newfoundlander, you’ll no doubt already have a can on hand. But, if not, Dear Reader, you can find it wherever Carnation products are sold. If you can get your hands on a can of Fussell’s though, get it! I cannot find an online source for it.
Since publishing this recipe, I have received so many questions about the cream. Please note that thick cream IS NOT THE SAME AS CONDENSED MILK! To make things a little easier, here are what those two cans of cream look like:
CAN’T FIND EITHER OF THE CANNED CREAMS ABOVE?
If you cannot find Fussel’s Thick Cream, use Carnation Thick Cream. If you cannot find Carnation Thick Cream, you can make your own. Fussel’s is basically a traditional English clotted cream, but just not as thick. Fussel’s has the texture of full fat sour cream, where clotted cream looks more like whipped butter.
Here’s a picture of canned thick cream with the lid removed:
Alternatively, you can use either clotted cream or double cream from the Devon Cream Company. Both of these can be found in most major grocery stores. Unlike Fussel’s or Carnation, which is canned and stored on a shelf, Devon creams are jarred and usually found in the diary or deli sections.
MORE CHRISTMAS CONFECTIONS!
In some cases, we want more than a cookie. That’s why I have two more Christmas-themed collections you might want to consider. The first, is my 12 Bundt Cakes of Christmas, and the second is my 12 Biscotti of Christmas. Click on the image below to see each collection all on one page with links to each recipe!
STORING, PACKAGING, AND FREEZING
Mom’s Christmas Jello Balls will stay fresh for about 3-5 days in a covered container and in a cool place. But, if you plan to freeze these cookies, use a food-safe container that can be frozen. You’ll want to ensure a very tight fitting lid too. (I use these quite often when freezing baked goods.) I like to place a sheet of plastic wrap over the top of the container before pushing the lid on. This helps to create a better seal. The goal is to keep all of that cookie freshness locked in!
You can freeze these cookies for up to three months. They will come out of the freezer looking just like they did when you put them in there. Once you thaw them, they will taste just as fresh, and be just as soft, as the day you first baked them.
If you’re feeling extra festive, make a double batch and share these with your friends and neighbours. I cannot tell you enough times how much people love to receive homemade Christmas cookies. And it feels so good to do so!
When all is said and done, whether we have just waged a war between Fussell’s and Carnation or not, who knows!? But, really, we’re going to be too busy popping Mom’s Christmas Jello Balls in out mouths to care!
Mom’s Christmas Jello Balls
- 3/4 cup thick cream, Fussell's or Carnation brand (170 mL)
- 3 ounce package red Jello
- 2 cups unsweetened desiccated coconut, very finely grated – not shredded!
- Add the thick cream to a mixing bowl, along with the Jello powder. Stir well to combine.
- Add 1 1/2 cups of the desiccated coconut to the mixture and stir to combine.
- Roll the mixture into 1 tablespoon-sized balls. Roll the balls into the remaining coconut to coat.
- Place balls onto baking sheet and refrigerate for 2 hours.