Monday, August 22, 2011

Cherry Cola Cooler: Pop, Soda, Coke

Favorite Recipes from Caldwell, IdahoBack in June, I posted a recipe for a cherry Coke salad, and made mention of a similar recipe from a remembered cookbook from my youth. Lo and behold, that book is this week's Amazing Magical Jell-o Desserts and it seems like it's altogether appropriate to feature the recipe that triggered the memory.

I'll admit: I waffled a bit though. I mean, more than one eggnog recipe, sure. More than one way to roast a turkey? Of course. Five different sugar cookie variations? It's only natural. But two cherry Coke Jell-O dishes? It seems a bit...indulgent. But I asked Kelly which recipes she thought I should write about this week, and she immediately said the cherry Coke one. Far be it from me to say no to my sister (at least when her dictates nicely coincide with my wants).

♥ Cherry Cola Cooler

1 package (3 oz.) Jell-O brand cherry flavor gelatin
1 cup boiling water
1 cup cola beverage

mixing bowl
1-cup liquid measure
mixing spoon
4 small glasses

  1. Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Add cola beverage.
  2. Pour into small soda glasses or individual dessert dishes.
  3. Chill until set, about 1 hour. Garnish with thawed Birds Eye Cool Whip non-dairy whipped topping and maraschino cherries, if desired. Makes about 2 cups or 4 servings.
It's another ♥ recipe, so think about your preschoolers. Or preschoolers in general.'s an easy recipe.

I know I normally take a moment to tell you to use better ingredients, but I'm not going to say a bad word about Cool Whip. I love Cool Whip. It's not a substitute for whipped cream for me; it's an entirely different substance with different applications. For example: whipped cream goes on mincemeat pie, Cool Whip on pumpkin pie. There's an order to the universe.

When this cookbook came out, Cool Whip was just 10 years old. Back then, it was made by Birds Eye -- which makes some sense, as Birds Eye was the really super nifty division of General Foods that was all about revolutionizing frozen foods. Cool Whip: a revolutionary dessert topping. Cool Whip: totally okay to dollop on your cherry cola cooler.

And, no, that's not a paid endorsement. I just loves me some Cool Whip. (If you're hearing Stewie Griffin in your head right're welcome.)

Since we're taking the time to talk brands here, I want to say flat out that I think you should use honest-to-goodness Coca-Cola in this treat. Why? Because I just think it tastes better. It tastes more like a soda fountain. It tastes more like...well, what I think Pop Shoppe cola must have tasted like, and I was a kid who was enthralled at the idea of Pop Shoppe pop. I was a rabid watcher of Ramblin' Rod growing up as I did in the Portland area in the 70s, and Ramblin' Rod gave birthday boys and girls Pop Shoppe pop. It seemed important. It seemed magical. It seemed good. Helluva good bit of promotion, there, ye olde Pop Shoppe.

And, yes. I called it pop. I call it soda now, but that shift only happened once I moved to DC (21 years ago this week!). My dad has held on to "pop" longer, but he calls it "soda pop." No one in my family has ever called anything other than a Coke a Coke, though, so I haven't lost all my sparkling soft drink lingo to the South.



  1. I've also made this entirely with Coke, instead of 1/2 Coke and 1/2 water. It's very yummy, but you'll need to take extra precautions - boiling Coke is FOAMY! Leave plenty of room for the foam in your mixing container.

    Lately I make this with sugar-free versions of the ingredients. It's a decent diabetic-friendly dessert, but I'm sure the real version tastes better.

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