Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Jell-o Playdough

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My husband doesn't embrace mess the same way I do.  He likes to look at the pictures after I've cleaned the kitchen. I took the above photo just for him.  That is honestly as messy as making playdough gets and, because it is mostly flour and water, it washes off easily.

The Jell-O dough is very similar to the classic dough in both ingredients and method.  The website I originally found this on warned that it would burn very quickly, but I didn't notice any difference in the cooking method or potential burn rate.

Since I wanted to double the batch but only had one packet of Jell-O, I made some variations to the recipe plastered all over the internet.  Here is my double-ish recipe, yielding 3.5 cups and costing about $3 per batch.  (Had I known this Jell-O was destined for Playdough glory, I would have bought the much-cheaper-but-every-bit-as-smelly store brand gelatin.)


2 c flour
4 TBS salt
2 TBS cream of tartar
2 TBS oil (I used vegetable, knowing this would be plenty smelly without essential oils.)
2 c water
1 3oz packet of Jell-O, any flavor.  Warning - you may want to choose a lighter color.  Staining may be an issue.

Put all the ingredients in a saucepan.  Stir well, and place over medium heat.  At first, stir it every 20-30 seconds, giving it a good scrape around the edges of the pot.  When it gets clumpy, turn the heat to low and stir until it forms a cohesive mass.  Turn the ball of dough out on to a plate or the counter and let cool for a few minutes before kneeding.

This time, she wanted to smash it with a spoon.

What I like about this dough:  Even though I raised the amount of water and flour, the dough came out a brilliant red.  (I used cherry Jell-O.)  It smells delicious.  I forgot myself at one point, put my doughy finger in my mouth, and promptly spit it out (even though it wasn't that bad) as my watchful child said "no no!" and laughed at my folly.  She had fun smelling it, but after my display, didn't try to eat it.

What I would change:  This turned our hands a little pink.  I'm not sure if it was because it was still hot or if it will stain even when cooled.  We will test it tomorrow to be sure, in case I need to warn moms.  Also, about half the recipes I saw said the dough would keep for a few days if refrigerated.  I am storing a small bit on the counter in a plastic container, and the rest (also in a plastic container) in the refrigerator.  I will let you know what comes of this.

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