In the year I moved into my first apartment, post-divorce and unemployed, I spent a good six months living out my best impression of a college brah. Somehow, my small 10-unit apartment complex was stocked with plenty of twenty-somethings who seemed to never go to work, never require sleep and never get hungover. Every event was an excuse for a party, including a nasty little hurricane that blew through early in the fall. And of course, befitting of our millennial status, alcohol, and all its applications, was oft-used for celebratory (and consolation) purposes. When October rolled around, continuing in the frat party spirit, my complex decided to bless our block with an inaugural Halloween Party. And thus, these Candy Corn Jello Shots were born.
Time to Make: 48 hours
1 box orange jello
1 can coconut milk (full-fat, don’t play around with that lite junk)
1 envelope Knox gelatin
1/4 c. sugar
1 bottle whipped cream flavored vodka
While those Cuties come in a giant bag for $5 and are so easy to peel, don’t be tempted: you have to get navel oranges, the kind you need your teeth or a friend with good fingernails to start for you. Luckily, you won’t have to peel them. Oh no, what you get to do is much more laborious — cut the oranges in half and scoop out their insides. When you want to give up after orange number six, keep going because presentation, presentation, PRESENTATION!
After you’ve disemboweled your oranges and only managed to mangle a few of them, arrange the halves cut side up, tight fitting, in a baking dish.
Prepare the orange jello, but bring only 1 cup of water to boil, stirring in a cup of whipped vodka after the mixture has cooled. Fill each orange halfway with the cooled concoction. Stick in the fridge and busy yourself with gluing all those sequins onto that leotard for your ‘costume.’
The next day, eat the little jiggly bits of congealed booze that have seeped out from the cracks in your oranges and prepare the white layer by mixing 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup coconut milk (shake the can before you open it to disperse those delicious fatty globules). Sprinkle the packet of gelatin on top, let mellow for one minute and then crank up the heat to medium and stir until dissolved. Slowly add 1/4 cup of white sugar and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat and let the temperature drop before adding another 1/2 cup of the flavored vodka. Pour into the orange halves, filling each to the top as you take a shot (or two) of vodka to congratulate yourself on your domesticity. Let set overnight.
Sharpen up your best Williams Sonoma knife and slice each orange half down the middle, hotdog style. Then cut the sections into halves again, hamburger style. Arrange on a totable tray and dispense to partygoers every time “Monster Mash” comes on the playlist.