I really love this dish. I don’t call it a dessert because I eat it right along with my main meal. But, I am sure it should be viewed more as a dessert. When I first attempted this, I came out with a mess. A real mess. But after a little practice and a few suggestions, I have been enjoying it ever since.
Here are a few common problems
*Crust too hard
*Soggy, mushy mess in the middle
This is not a salad you want to make on a whim. You really need to be patient and attentive if you want it to turn out just perfect. The crust needs to cool completely, the cream filling needs to set, and the jello mixture also needs time to set before layering. It is best to make this dish the night before you want to eat it. But feel free to lick the bowls so that you are not deprived.
This is the good stuff right here. I was caught licking the spatula tonight. I continued to slurp and smack my lips with no shame. I even shared.
One secret, is that you really do have to reduce the water, use the strawberry juice, and let this chill in the fridge for an hour before layering.
I like a heavy cream to strawberry ratio in my salad.
Joyful Momma’s Strawberry Pretzel Salad
- 1 1/2 cups crushed pretzels
- 4 1/2 tablespoons white sugar
- 3/4 cup butter, melted
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
- 1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
- 1 (6 ounce) package strawberry flavored gelatin
- 1 cups boiling water
- 1 (24 ounce) package frozen strawberries (sliced strawberries with sugar added) Usually in a container of some sort. These are not the strawberries in the bag. I found mine on the bottom shelf of the freezer section at Walmart.
1. Crush pretzels and mix with 4 1/2 Tbsp sugar and the melted butter
2. Press pretzel mix into the bottom of an ungreased 9×13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes exactly. Do not over bake or you will run in to problem #1 of a very hard crust. You want to not break a tooth on this yummy dish. Remove from oven and cool COMPLETELY on a wire cooling rack.
3. In a medium bowl, combine the 1 cup boiling water and 6 oz strawberry jello. Stir until dissolved. Add in the frozen 24 oz of strawberries and juices. Stir until the strawberries thaw and mixed well. Set in fridge for 1 hour to chill
4. In a medium bowl, beat together 1 cup sugar and cream cheese. I used and electric hand mixer and beat it until nice and smooth. Then, fold in the cool whip with a spatula. Don’t use your mixer for this part. Taste test as you see fit.
5. Spread cream cheese mixture on to the pretzel crust (after completely cool….getting the idea?) and let chill in the fridge while the jello mix sets as well. Make sure to really get the mixture into the corners of the dish. we want to create a barrier so that no jello juices can sneak down and cause problem #3 of a soggy crust.
6. After the jello mix has chilled for one hour, layer on to the cream cheese filling. Smile at your beautiful layered success. Chill over night and serve to your friends and loved ones with pride.
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