Strawberry Pretzel Salad is the first dessert that I attempted to make for Derrick over 10 years ago. I say attempted because although it is a simple dessert with basic ingredients, it does require some patience. It’s very important to allow each component to cool otherwise you’ll have a big soggy mess. My first try was a fail, but through the years I’ve picked up a few tips to help perfect it.
Derrick grew up eating this salty and sweet retro dessert. The crust is a layer of crushed pretzels, butter and a sprinkle of sugar. It is baked until golden brown and then topped with a layer of sweetened cream cheese and whipped topping. The last layer is made up of sliced strawberries and jello. It’s a salty and sweet dessert and each layer has a different texture. I love making this dessert for potlucks and large groups because it serves a crowd and you can make it in advance. It’s always a hit at parties because I think there’s just something nostalgic and fun about jello and whipped topping.
Strawberry Pretzel Salad
Prep: 30 minutes Bake: 8 minutes Inactive: 3 hours Yields: 1 9×13 pan
3 C coarsely broken pretzel sticks (break each stick into 3 -4 pieces)
¾ C butter, melted
1 tsp sugar
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
8 oz container of Cool Whip
1 C sugar
1 large 6oz box of strawberry jello mix
16 oz strawberries, sliced
2 C boiling water
Preheat oven to 400°.
Mix pretzels, butter and sugar together. Press mixture into 9×13 pan and bake for 8 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
In a large bowl beat cream cheese and sugar until combined. Gently fold in the Cool Whip.
Gently spoon filling onto the pretzel crust. Use an offset spatula to spread the fill evenly over the crust. Make sure to spread the filling all the way to the edge of the pan and that there are no holes or gaps in the filling, otherwise the jello mixture will leak through to the crust and make the crust soggy.
Place the pan into the fridge to chill while making the jello layer.
In a large bowl, dissolve the jello in boiling water. Set aside to cool slightly. Add slice strawberries and carefully laddle the jello mixture over the filling. Cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge to set. Can be made the night before.
Cut into squares and enjoy!
*I use fresh strawberries when they’re in season, but you can also use frozen strawberries as well.
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