Friday, January 7, 2011

"Koolickles" - Kool-Aid Pickles

Popular in small, predominantly African-American Mississippi Delta towns, Koolickes are simply dill pickles that have been allowed to soak in a strong mix of Kool-Aid and brine. Koolickles combine two flavors well; sour and sweet. Their popularity is soaring; the New York Times wrote a great article about these pickles, and they even received a nod from Alton Brown on his show, "Feasting on Asphalt". 

Not willing to drive over to Mississippi for a 50-cent pickle, I decided to try my hand at making Koolickles at home. Almost every recipe that I found called for "red" Kool-Aid; not being sure which flavor "red" represents, I went for a combination of cherry and tropical punch.

If curiosity gets the better of you and you'd like to make your own Koolickles, the process is really simple. Honestly, the hardest part is making room in the refrigerator for the pickle jar! 



Koolickles

Ingredients:
1 gallon jar dill pickles
1 lb granulated sugar
2 pkgs unsweetened Kool-Aid 


Place a colander over a large bowl and drain all of the pickle brine. Do not discard the brine. 


NOTE: I could NOT get the jar open, no matter how many times I tried. Finally I placed a plain rubber band around the lid, which added extra grip, and the jar opened easily.

This is actually arubber band that was holding collard green bunches together.

I love that Mt Olive's address is "Corner of Cucumber & Vine". 

Mix the sugar and Kool-Aid into the reserved brine and stir well until completely dissolved. 

Kool-Aid can ONLY be stirred with a wooden spoon! 

Slice the pickles in half lengthwise. 



Return the pickle halves to the original jar. Add the Kool-Aid/brine mixture to cover the pickles; you WILL have leftover brine. Resist the urge to drink it.

At this stage you may be questioning just what in the world you are doing.


Seal the jar and place the pickles in the refrigerator for one week. The pickles will absorb the Kool-Aid brine and take on their new color and flavor. Don't be alarmed if the pickles shrink slightly -this is completely normal.

After one week, the koolickles should be ready. Enjoy!



31 comments:

  1. I've been meaning to try this forever.
    This would be good for a Halloween party - nice and gory!

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  2. Great idea! Don't forget about the classic peeled grapes as eyeballs!

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  3. This looks like too much fun... maybe I'll get the small pickle jar to try it out. You are right, the toughest part is finding room in the fridge for it!

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  4. I'm sure the recipe will reduce well. The key is to make a "double strong" batch of Kool-Aid - just use twice the sugar that the package calls for!

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  5. Kool-Aid without sugar is REALLY REALLY tart. I don't know how this would work without sugar. Maybe you could use something like Splenda?

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  6. I've never heard of Koolickles, thanks so much for sharing! I posted a link to your site on ediblecrafts.craftgossip.com :)

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  7. This is just too cool! Love your blog!!!
    Thanks for the great info (the sprout one especially)!
    Have fun with the coming snow!
    I'm just down the road a bit in Tuscaloosa!
    I couldn't post with my wordpress account, strange. mamasquirrel.wordpress.com

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  8. Thank you, Chic Cookies!!

    Nice to meet you, CinLin!

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  9. I sent on the link to my pickle loving son in Tulsa... will he give it a try? You're guess is as good as mine!

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  10. Well as strang as it sounds you first have to love the big dill pickles! and most times strange things really can turn out to be great?
    will give it a try and let you know?
    Marlene

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  11. Bettina, I hope your son enjoys them!

    Marlene, sometimes the strangest flavor combinations make the BEST foods. Like peanut butter & cheese crackers, or banana & mayonnaise sandwiches!

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  12. VERY interesting. I may have to give this a try.

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  13. Interesting...but do the pickles take on the flavor of the kool-aid?

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  14. Thanks, Steph! Are you the same Steph who writes on al.com? I'm here in Birmingham as well!

    lgm52, the pickles DO take on the Kool-Aid flavor, but still retain that sour "dilliness" of the pickles. It's like having the best of both worlds!

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  15. You didn't say how they tasted. Did you like them?

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  16. lfhpueblo: they were actually surprisingly good! a great mix of sweet fruitiness and sour dill flavor. they're a bit strong by themselves, but i think would be great combined with another food. definitely an acquired taste!

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  17. I grew up eating these....but we didn't add sugar to ours. As kids, we loved all things sour! So if you like that mouth puckering tartness, delete the sugar. The most tart flavors to use are Cherry, Lemonade, and Lime! Mmmm...thanks for taking me back.....my mouth is watering now!!!!!

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  18. Lemonade and lime sound great, Shoshoni!!! I'm also thinking about trying grape! And I never considered leaving out the sugar!

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  19. My grandmother took dill pickles (sliced or in spears) and poured off the juice and added 1/2 cup sugar (for the average size jar) and let them sit for about a week (not in the fridge). Each day you turn the bottle. The pickles are then both sweet and dill and crunchy. She also used to make them with a cup of red hots instead of the sugar. She never made them with kool-aid so I'll have to give this a try too.

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    1. Taryn I so want to try the red hot idea, do you know how much she used??

      Kim www.doctorpickle.com

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  20. Taryn, I've heard of people using red hots, but have never tried it - I might have to try this now!

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  21. Really? Really?! You don't say how they taste at the end - was the cherry/tropical mix successful? or would you suggest just a solo flavour....

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  22. souperior: they were quite good! i really couldnt distinguish the sweetness as all cherry or all tropical punch; just a fruity "red" flavor. but it went really well with the sour tartness of the dill!

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  23. Very interesting. I'll have to give this a try.

    ArtByG on Etsy

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  24. wooooooooooooooooow, color me intrigued! i think i'd have to like... quarter the recipe though. if i don't take a liking to these charming pickles, wouldn't want an entire gallon in my fridge, ha. but they look so fun! can't imagine not enjoying a colorful pickle :)
    -meg
    @ http://www.clutzycooking.blogspot.com
    @ http://www.myscribblednotebook.blogspot.com

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  25. If you reduce the recipe, please let me know how it turns out! :)

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  26. Julia, I have been looking high and low for a recipe to confirm what I remember from childhood so I can add it to our offerings at events. Doctor Pickle (www.doctorpickle.com) serves south Florida and have limited special events to fried pickle and pickles on a stick but this is going to be a hit. If I remember correctly when I had it the pickle was more sour than sweet so I am guessing they did it without sugar but I am going to do a test run using your recipe. If you do not mind I would like to use your recipe as an option (giving you full credit) in our recipe section.
    Kim Pickle kim@doctorpickle.com www.doctorpickle.com

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    1. These are right in between sour and sweet, but I'm sure the flavor will change depending on the type of Kool-Aid used! You are more than welcome to use my recipe with credit! Thanks for your comments, Kim!!

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