Another dish from last night’s party. Like the Copper Penny Carrots, making the dish a day ahead allows the flavors to take an overnight mingle. The pretzel crust is the salad’s best feature providing plenty of texture and contrast to the other layers.
Not a hard dish to prepare, quickly finished after the gelatin mixture thickens, this salad provides big results. A three-layer salad, it has versatility for serving alongside your entrée, or, as a sweet dessert treat. The crust, a baked mixture of crushed pretzels, brown sugar and butter, provides the dish its chewiness, and the cream cheese middle layer its creaminess. Add a topping of sweetened gelatin with fruit and how could you go wrong? The result is a pretzel salad with an awesome blend of flavors and texture. Added bonus (because we are into that around here) you can present this in small squares and serve at least 18 people, and you can do it easily because the concoction is rich and satisfying enough to allow for it.
It will take an hour to complete this always popular salad but 30-minutes of that hour is waiting on the gelatin mixture to set and thicken so the cook gets a break before putting the layers together and then it goes right back to the fridge and all pau!
Strawberry Pretzel Salad
3/4 cup butter, softened
5 T. brown sugar
2-1/2 cups crushed pretzels (not too finely crushed)
1-(6 oz.) pkg. strawberry gelatin
2 cups boiling water
2 small pkgs. frozen, sweetened strawberries or container to equal 20 oz.
1 cup sugar
1-(8 oz.) block cream cheese
1-(8 or 12 oz.) container Cool Whip, thawed
Directions Preheat oven to 350. Combine butter, brown sugar, and pretzels and stir until the ingredients are thoroughly combines. Press into a buttered 9×13” glass dish. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven; cool. Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. In large bowl, combine frozen strawberries and the gelatin mixture, stirring often. As berries thaw, stir to blend well and snip the berries into smaller uniform, pieces if desired. Keep stirring until mixture is thoroughly combined then place bowl in refrigerator and chill until slightly thickened. In large bowl, combine the sugar and cream cheese and use a wooden spoon to thoroughly cream ingredients; add the Cool Whip and beat on low speed with electric mixture until just combined. Spread the cream cheese mixture on the cooled crust then top with cold thickened gelatin mixture, spreading each layer to the sides of the pan. Refrigerate overnight, covered. Cut into small squares for serving.