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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Dorothy Dean presents how to make and eat Jell-O worms

By Audrey Alfaro For The Spokesman-Review

I can hardly contain myself. My most favorite holiday of the year is less than one month away. Eek!

I’ve been very busy preparing, too – stringing cotton spider webs on the windows, hanging ghosts and skeletons along my front porch, hammering gravestones into my yard, creating my daughter’s elaborate costume and making spooktacular treats.

While my ghoulish meringue ghosts, witch finger cookies and pretzel spider webs are my Halloween favorites to make, another one slithered onto the list: Jell-O worms.

Pinkish in color, they’re long, slender, slimy and sweet – just how a worm should be. Well, at least these edible ones.

They start with a mixture of Jell-O, gelatin, heavy cream and green food coloring. That mixture is then poured into straws that are packed in a container and then chilled until set.

Once set, they’re squeezed out and placed on a platter of Oreo “dirt” crumbs and ready to be served.

They’re shockingly delicious, and, although they’re a bit of a project, they’re super fun to make.

And I promise, the reactions are worth it!

While my jaw-dropped daughter was so giddy about “eating worms” and had a blast slurping them up, my husband couldn’t get the thought of eating actual worms out of his head.

That’s how spot on the look and texture of them is! Needless to say, his chewed-up worms ended up in the trash. It’s all mind over matter, and apparently our daughter has him beat at that.

Have them at your Halloween party and see which way your guests go.

Besides spilling out of a can on a platter of dirt, they’d make a creepily awesome garnish on a cocktail or topper on a cake. You also can change the color by switching out the Jell-O: lime (green), lemon (yellow), berry blue (blue) and more.

Jell-O Worms

Adapted from

1 package (6 ounces) raspberry or grape flavor gelatin

3 envelopes unflavored gelatin

3 cups boiling water

3⁄4 cup heavy cream

12 drops green food coloring

100 straws with bendable necks

Tall container (milk carton, large Mason jar, vase)

1 package (about 15 ounces) Oreo cookies, crushed into fine crumbs

Combine gelatins into a bowl and stir in the boiling water. Set aside to cool for about 20 minutes and then stir in the heavy cream and drops of food coloring.

Meanwhile, pull all the straws to extend to full length and stand them, bendy side down, into a container. You want them packed tightly with the ends firmly pressed against the bottom of the container.

Slowly pour the gelatin mixture into the top of the straws until it fills the container. The mixture will self level in the straws, so don’t worry about filling each individual one perfectly. It also will flood into the container, and that is normal.

Place in fridge to set until firm, 6-8 hours.

To remove worms from straws, hold the top end of straw with one hand, and, using the fingers on your other hand, squeeze the worm out. Alternatively, you can roll a rolling pin over the straws or run a straight edge ruler over them to squeeze them out.

Cover and chill until ready to use.

To serve, pour Oreo crumbs on a platter or in a bowl and arrange worms on it.

Worms will hold at room temperature for as long as 2 hours.

Audrey Alfaro can be reached at

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