Strawberry Pretzel Dessert

Strawberry Pretzel DessertKindle Cuisine
I am an avid reader. My husband likes to joke that he’s actually married to the back of my kindle. He may have a point. Usually, any free time I have is spent reading. I’ll read anything and everything but I love political thrillers, anything having to do with Black-Ops, and Romance novels of all kinds.

Because I read mostly on my kindle, I am able to do a web search whenever I come across something that I am unfamiliar with or want more info on. Usually, it’s a place, or in the case of the Black Ops stuff, some highly-technical super spy helicopter or whatever. Over the weekend, I came across something in one of my books that I just had to research. The main character in the story is a native of the state of Alabama and she kept talking about Strawberry Pretzel Salad.

Being the foodie that I am, I was immediately intrigued since I had never even heard of it before. But, the book presented it as a Southern staple along the lines of fried chicken or biscuits and gravy.

I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it is not, in fact, strawberries tossed in a bowl with pretzels and spinach leaves—since that is what comes to mind when I think of a salad. Instead, it is more like a cheesecake bar, though I am sure any devoted Southerner with better knowledge than me is going to roast me for calling it that. Whatever you want to call it, I have been obsessing over it and now I just HAVE to make it.

All of the pictures I have found online make it look so pretty and with the strawberries as good as they are right now, the timing is perfect. There are actually a number of recipes available online and all of them are similar, although some use frozen strawberries and some of them call for fresh. I am using fresh strawberries because it is summer and frankly, I think it will look prettier. I am also opting not to include pineapple. Not that I have anything against pineapple but I’m thinking that straight strawberry is a better place to start.

Strawberry Pretzel Dessert  
Adapted from All Recipes

3/4 cup butter, softened
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2-1/2 cups crushed pretzels
1 6-ounce package strawberry flavored Jell-O
2 cups boiling water
3 cups fresh strawberries, chilled
1 8-ounce package cream cheese
1 cup white sugar
8 ounces Cool Whip

Preheat your oven to 350ºF.

Make the crust
Cream the butter with the brown sugar. Mix in the pretzels and the pat mixture into the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking pan.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Prepare the gelatin
In a medium bowl, dissolve the gelatin in the boiling water and stir in the strawberries. Chill until partially thickened.

Make the cream cheese layer
While the gelatin is thickening, in a small bowl beat the cream cheese and white sugar together until smooth.

Fold the Cool Whip into the cream cheese. And, spread the cream cheese mixture over the top of the cooled crust, making sure to seal the edges. Place the baking pan in the fridge to chill.

Assemble the dessert
When thoroughly chilled, pour the gelatin mixture over the cream cheese layer. Place the pan back in the fridge and chill until firm.

Serve chilled.

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