Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

I have had the recipe for this delicious dessert for more than ten years now. I have made it dozens and dozens of times over these years and never- for some reason- posted it on my blog. Until now, that is. :) Last Sunday we celebrated Orthodox Easter with friends of ours who are Orthodox Christians. This was the dessert I decided to make for this occasion. It is super easy to put together, yet every time I have made it for parties, I have had excellent reviews. This time was no exception: there was only one piece left out of the whole pan- hence, the corner piece is what I had to take a picture of for here. :))

Another great thing about this "salad" dessert is that it is extremely versatile. You can make it with pretty much any kind of fruit, as long as you can find a gelatin to match its flavor. I have made it with raspberries and it is outstanding. I am pretty sure blueberries, cherries, peaches/apricots will be awesome too. It is not overly sweet and the combination of the slightly salty pretzel crust, the tangy cheesecake middle layer and the fruity top layer is  a winner. It could be a little tricky to serve and keep it in neat looking slices- as you can see from the picture below, but nobody complains once they have a bite. :)

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

2 cups crushed pretzels
3/4 cup butter, melted
3 tablespoons sugar
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 (8 ounce) carton frozen whipped topping, thawed
2 (3 ounce) packages strawberry gelatin, such as Jell-O
2 cups boiling water
2 (10 ounce) packages frozen strawberries or 1 lb fresh strawberries, sliced

Preheat oven to 350F.
Stir together crushed pretzels, melted butter and 3 tablespoons sugar; mix well and press mixture into bottom of 9x13-inch baking dish. Bake 8-10 minutes, until set; set aside to cool. 
In a large mixing bowl cream together cream cheese and sugar. Fold in whipped topping. Spread mixture onto cooled crust, making sure to create a "seal" all the way to the sides of the pan as you don't want the gelatin layer to seep in to the pretzel crust and make it soggy.
Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Stir in frozen strawberries and allow to set briefly. When mixture is about the consistency of egg whites, pour carefully and spread over cream cheese layer.

Refrigerate until set, at least a few hours or overnight. Enjoy!

Special thanks for this outstanding recipe to my sister-in-law, Kathryn- all the way from Texas! :)

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