Jul 2, 2012

Strawberry & Cream Cheese Pretzel Salad

This is the perfect take-along dessert for this week's 4th of July festivities.  It consists of 3 layers of goodness - a salty pretzel crust, a creamy center, and a sweet strawberry top - the ultimate combo.  Serve on blue plates for the full on red, white, and blue effect!

1 1/2 cups pretzels, coarsely crushed (we put pretzels in doubled-up plastic bags then beat them with a rolling pin...)
4 1/2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
8 oz cream cheese, softened
8 oz container of whipped topping (i.e. Cool Whip)
3/4 cup sugar
6 oz package of Strawberry Jello (the bigger box)
2 cups boiling water
16 oz package frozen strawberries, thawed and sliced (or you can try slicing fresh strawberries)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease 9"x13" baking pan.

2. For crust layer combine crushed pretzels, 4 1/2 Tbsp sugar, and melted butter in a bowl.

3. Press crust into bottom of greased baking pan.  Place in preheated oven and bake for approx 10 minutes until hardened.  Remove from oven and let cool completely.

4. While crust is baking, prepare strawberry mixture.  Combine strawberry Jello, boiling water, and strawberries in large bowl.  Stir well until Jello dissolves.

5. Place strawberry mixture in refrigerator (or in freezer if you're in a rush) until Jello is partially set - it will be thick and soupy but still pourable.

6. While crust is cooling, prepare the cream cheese layer.  With electric mixer, mix cream cheese, whipped topping, and 3/4 cup sugar until light and fluffy.

7. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over cooled crust.

8. Once Jello mixture is partially set, pour over cream cheese layer and place baking pan in refrigerator for several hours.

9. When Jello is fully set, it's ready to serve.  Slice and enjoy!

This is one of our family's favorite desserts.  Rarely does it last longer than 24 hours.  We've even been known to eat it for breakfast...  Hope you enjoy!


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