Strawberry pretzel salad sounds like a weird dish, but it actually works well … almost too well, in my opinion. The buttery salty pretzel crust, cream cheese layer, and sweet strawberry topping is dessert nirvana. So of course this dessert will be perfect for the 4th of July.
I was introduced to strawberry pretzel salad at a dreaded work pot luck a few years ago. See, my work pot lucks usually consisted of a cornucopia of really bad “homemade” boxed creations like radioactive lime jello, margarita, coconut cake and half-price day-old bagels. I think they were secretly trying to kill us! I don’t work there anymore, so I can say this stuff now. But when my co-worker, Katina, brought her strawberry pretzel salad to work, it was ravaged (and not just by me), and I was hooked.
The recipe called for frozen strawberries, but I’ve found that it works really well with fresh strawberries as well. I used what I had left from my On The Vine CSA box, but unfortunately I had to get more from the grocery store because my 22 month old kept devouring them from off the counter.
The best thing is that strawberry pretzel salad is easy to assemble, and the only thing you need to bake is the crust. A godsend since it is still 104 degrees at 9pm this evening! Just follow the quick tips of advice below for success, and you will be a rock star at your next pot luck.
Happy Fourth of July everyone!
- Crush the pretzels with a meat tenderizer until they are in about 1/2 inch or smaller pieces.
- Make sure that you cool the crust completely before spreading the cream cheese mixture.
- Make sure that you cover the cream cheese mixture against the side of the pan to prevent the jello from seeping into the crust.
- Put the jello and strawberries in the fridge to cool until it resembles egg white consistency, before pouring over cream cheese mixture.
- Prep Time : 30 minutes
- Cook Time : 7 minutes
- Yield : 24
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Melt butter in a sauce pan, and add pretzels and 3 T sugar.
- Pour into 9x13 pan, and put in oven for 7 minutes.
- In the mean time, mix cream cheese and 2/3 cup sugar. Add cool whip and vanilla. Set aside.
- Add strawberry jello mix to 2 cups hot water, and add strawberries. Allow to cool in fridge.
- After crust has cooled, spread cream cheese mixture on top. Place in fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Pour strawberry jello mixture on top of cream cheese layer. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.