I remember the first time I saw this dessert, I was confused – and kind of grossed out. Let’s face it, it’s certainly not the most attractive looking dish in the world. Whenever Jon has a work luncheon party at NASA, it’s always on the potluck menu. And, is usually the first thing to go as well! I shied away from it for years before I finally gave into temptation and gave it a try. And then promptly kicked myself for not trying it sooner…
A layer of crunchy salty pretzels, coated in butter then baked. Then layered with a sweet cream cheese layer, and topped with a layer of strawberry Jello that’s been studded with strawberries. So, I tracked down the recipe from Jon’s co-worker to share with you guys. I made a few adjustments – making my own homemade whipped cream instead of using Cool Whip, and also using fresh strawberries as opposed to frozen. I’m trying to use up the last couple quarts of my flat I bought last week, and this was perfect for it.
This is the perfect thing to bring to a potluck BBQ, because it’s different and fun. For anyone who loves a sweet and salty combo, this is a winner! I hope everyone has a great weekend welcoming summer into our lives. Don’t forget to enter our grilling giveaway going on through Monday! Be safe, kids!
Strawberry Pretzel Salad
1 cup + 3 Tbsp granulated sugar
2 1/2 cup coarsely crushed pretzels
1 cup butter, melted
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
6 oz box strawberry Jello
1 1/3 cups heavy whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar
3 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
2 cups boiling water
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Crush pretzels using a resealable bag and a rolling pin, and place in small bowl.. Add 3 tablespoons sugar and melted butter, tossing to combine. Press evenly into 13 x 9 pan. Bake at 400° for 6 minutes. Place in refrigerator to cool.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix cream cheese with 1 cup sugar. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute. In a large bowl combine the heavy cream with the powdered sugar. Using a hand beater, beat on medium speed until starting to thicken – about 1 minute. Add vanilla and increase speed to high, beating until stiff peaks form – about 2 minutes more. Gently fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture and then pour over the cooled crust. Refrigerate to chill.
Mix 2 cups boiling water with the Jello, stir to dissolve. Chill until almost congealed. Add the fresh strawberries, stirring to mix. Pour over cheese layer and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
Source: adapted from Jon’s co-worker Karon E.