Strawberry Jello pretzel dessert recipe
I'm not going to say this one's "easy" but it's worth it!
If you're two weeks or longer into your quarantine at this point, you're probably starting to go a bit mad finding things to do. Well, here's a delicious dessert that is by no means quick to make, but it's totally worth it. I'm not sugarcoating this one.
This dessert is technically called strawberry Jello pretzel "salad" and by all means you may call it a "salad" if it makes you feel less guilty. This is not healthy. But hey, nothing wrong with indulging a little.
I've been wanting to make this for years now. Or maybe it's taken me years to make it and now I've finally finished. This was a popular party dessert here in Pittsburgh, PA back in the 1960's (or so I've heard - I'm only 26). Gosh, everything was made with gelatin back in the 50's and 60's. So today I'm tying up my hair, blasting some old school jams, and having my own party in the kitchen.
This dessert consists of three layers: a salty pretzel crust, a sweet cream cheese and Cool-Whip center, and top layer of strawberry Jello. This recipe makes A LOT and it's got girth. It's a big boi. It's party size to feed up to 12 people.
Anyway, good luck!
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 1/2 cups pretzels, crushed roughly
- 2 packages strawberry Jello powder mix (6 ounces each)
- 2 cups water, boiling
- 3 cups fresh strawberries, chopped or sliced
- 1 package cream cheese (8 ounces)
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 tub frozen whipped dessert topping (8 ounces; I use Cool-Whip brand)
Prep (the worst part)
- WASH YOUR HANDS.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Take the butter out to soften prior to beginning... as I didn't and spent 20 minutes softening it in the microwave on the "defrost" setting.
- Crush the pretzels into rough pieces. I used thin pretzel sticks. Put them in a plastic zip-lock bag and use a rolling pin or whatever method you want. If you have a food processor, they can probably be smashed in there too.
- Rinse and cut up the strawberries. You can do small chunks or thin slices, it doesn't matter. Whatever makes you happy.
Layer 1 ~ Pretzel crust
- Cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the crushed pretzels. Pat this on the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. I used a single-use one. Make sure it's deep.
- Bake for about 10 minutes. It will smell SO GOOD.
- Set aside to cool.
Layer 2 ~ Jello top
- In a mixing bowl, add the packets of Jello powder mix and dissolve with the boiling water. Make sure it's completely dissolved. It should take a few minutes.
- Stir in the cut up strawberries.
- Chill in the refrigerator until half-set. Don't let it fully thicken. About one hour should get it chilled and very slightly set. You just don't want it completely runny, so use your best judgement.
Layer 3 - are your legs hurting yet from standing in the kitchen all day?
- You're not done yet - In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the cream cheese and white sugar until light and fluffy.
- Fold in the whipped topping/Cool-Whip.
- Spread this over the pretzel crust. Make sure to get all around the edges so the Jello won't leak down the sides.
- Chill in the refrigerator until firm enough - about an hour.
- Go watch Netflix. Taxi Driver was just added in the US.
- Pour the slightly set Jello mixture over the cream cheese layer. For goodness sakes be careful - don't splash sticky strawberry Jello all over your counter top.
- Chill this in the refrigerator for at least four hours. Yep.
- Goodfellas is on Netflix too, have at it.
Have a dance party while you cook. Then wash your hands again. Stay safe, friends.