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Strawberry pretzel salad is an old-fashioned Southern recipe that’s popular at potlucks and holiday dinners. But why it’s called a salad is anyone’s guess! This fruity, sweet and salty treat is actually a strawberry dessert with a pretzel crust.
STRAWBERRY PRETZEL SALAD INGREDIENTS
- 5 cups of salted pretzels (You’ll need five cups of whole pretzels. After you crush them, you’ll have about two and a half cups.)
- 1½ cups of sugar
- ¾ cup of butter
- 12 ounces of cream cheese
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla
- 12 ounces of Cool Whip
- 3 to 4 cups of fresh strawberries, sliced
- 6 ounces of strawberry gelatin
- 2 cups of boiling water
- 2 cups of ice water
INGREDIENT SUBSTITUTIONS & ADDITIONS
STRAWBERRIES – Pretzel jello salad doesn’t have to be strawberry flavor. You can use fresh raspberries, blueberries, cherries, oranges, pineapple or even a mixture of different fruits if you’re feeling fancy.
COOL WHIP – If you’re outside of the US or can’t get hold of Cool Whip, an alternative to this whipped topping would be softly whipped cream with a little sugar added.
HOW TO MAKE THIS STRAWBERRY PRETZEL SALAD RECIPE
STEP ONE: Preheat your oven to 400 Lightly butter the bottom of a 9×13 pan.
STEP TWO: Place the pretzels into a Ziploc bag and use a rolling pin or wooden spoon to crush them. Make sure that each pretzel is broken in to several pieces.
STEP THREE: Melt the butter and add it to a medium-sized bowl along with the crushed pretzels and half of the sugar (¾ of a cup). Mix together and then transfer into the 9×13 pan. Press the mixture down firmly.
STEP FOUR: Bake thepretzel base for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
STEP FIVE: In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, the remaining sugar and the vanilla until well combined. Next, carefully fold in the Cool Whip. (If the Cool Whip is your favorite ingredient in this dessert, you can add a little more on top of each serving.)
STEP SIX: Spread the cream cheese mixture on top of the pretzel crust. Lay strawberry slices on top of that. (When adding the cream cheese mixture to the pan, make sure that it goes all the way to the edges. This creates a barrier to prevent the jello from seeping down into the pretzel base and making it soggy.)
STEP SEVEN: In a medium bowl, dissolve the jello in two cups of boiling water. Once it is completely dissolved, add two cups of ice water and stir. Refrigerate for 15 minutes or until the jello is just starting to thicken but has not yet set. (When making the jello, don’t leave it in the fridge for too long. If it sets too much it will have chunks and won’t pour evenly over the strawberries. If you just can’t get enough of jello, you can add an extra 3-ounce box of gelatin and an extra two cups of water.)
STEP EIGHT: Carefully poor the strawberry jello over the strawberries. Cover and refrigerate for two hours or until the jello is set. Slice into squares to serve.
IN THE FRIDGE: It’s perfectly fine to make this strawberry pretzel salad a day or two ahead of your party. Just cover it and store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve it. Strawberry pretzel salad with fresh strawberries will keep for up to three days in the refrigerator.
IN THE FREEZER: It’s not a good idea to freeze strawberry jello pretzel salad. Freezing jello destroys the chemical bonds in the gelatin, which means that it will become runny when you defrost it. The strawberries are likely to go a bit mushy too.
Whether you’re hosting a barbecue, bringing a dessert to a potluck dinner or just want a simple dessert for the holiday season, this strawberry pretzel salad recipe is sure to go down a treat. The sweet strawberry jello, creamy Cool Whip and salty, crunchy pretzels together create a taste sensation that kids and adults will love.
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Strawberry Pretzel Salad
- 2 1/2 cups pretzels, crushed
- 1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
- 3/4 cup butter, melted
- 12 ounces cream cheese
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 12 ounces Cool Whip
- 3-4 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
- 6 ounces strawberry gelatin (2 packages)
- 2 cups water, boiled
- Preheat oven to 350 °.
- In a medium bowl, combine crushed pretzels, ¾ cup sugar, and melted butter. Press intothe bottom of the 9×13 pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool completely. a. When crush pretzels by putting them in a ziploc bag and using a rolling pin, wooden spoon, or your hands to crush them.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, remaining ¾ cup sugar, and the vanillauntil well combined. Fold in the cool whip.
- Spread the cream cheese mixture on top of the pretzel crust, making sure it completelycovers the crust and touches the sides of the pan. This will help “block” the jello (in step5) from going into the crust and making it soggy. Place in the fridge until chilled.
- In a medium bowl, add the 2 cups of boiled water to the jello and stir until jello iscompletely dissolved. Stir in sliced strawberries. Chill in fridge until the jello is partiallyset.
- Carefully pour or spoon the strawberry jello over the top of the cream cheese mixture.Cover and refrigerate until the jello and dish is firm.
- When adding the cream cheese mixture to the pan, make sure that it goes all the way to the edges. This creates a barrier to prevent the jello from seeping down into the pretzel base and making it soggy.
- When making the jello, don’t leave it in the fridge for too long. If it sets too much it will have chunks and won’t pour evenly over the strawberries.
- If you just can’t get enough of jello, you can add an extra 3-ounce box of gelatin and an extra two cups of water.
- If the Cool Whip is your favorite ingredient in this dessert, you can add a little more on top of each serving.