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Strawberry Pretzel Dessert October 15, 2012

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I first had this Strawberry Pretzel Dessert as a Raspberry Pretzel Dessert about 8 years ago at a family get together and absolutely fell in love with it. And while I loved it, Raspberry seeds and all, my kids weren’t completely sold. Rather than strain the seeds from the raspberry puree, I opted instead to use strawberries and it has been a huge hit.

This dessert is light, consistent, beautiful and best of all, it can be made in advance. It’s perfect for potlucks, family get-togethers or perhaps even a bunko night.

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Here’s what you need: pretzels, flour, butter, cream cheese, whipped topping, sugar, jello, water and strawberries.

I was going to use fresh strawberries, but George Clooney happened to be filming his movie this particular day and I couldn’t get past security to buy the strawberries from the store.

Turns out, frozen berries work better anyway!

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To start, crush your pretzels by using one of those handy little mini food processors.

If you don’t have one, a rolling pin works just as well.
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Add the 4 1/2 TBL sugar to the crushed pretzels.
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Pour the melted butter over the sugar and crushed pretzels.
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Stir to combine.
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Spread mixture over the bottom of an ungreased 9×13 pan if making a whole recipe. On this particular day, I was making a half recipe, so I used an 8×8 pan.

Bake at 350 for 10 min. regardless of whether you are making a half recipe or a whole recipe.
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While the crust is baking, prepare the second layer. With a mixer, whip the cream cheese until smooth. Blend in the sugar.
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Then fold in a carton of whipped topping. (If making a half recipe, simply use a half carton of whipped topping, the rest can be used for garnish if your children don’t find it first.)

Lick the beaters clean and put the mixture in the fridge so you won’t be tempted to eat it by heaping spoonfuls.
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Bring the water to a boil and stir in any flavor of red jello that you have on hand.

I’ve used strawberry, raspberry, cherry and cranberry and they’ve all been divine.
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Add your frozen strawberries.

Mine were partially thawed by now. But I learned the colder the berries, the faster your dessert will set.
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Crush them with your masher.
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Until they won’t mash no mo.
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Once your crust is COMPLETELY cool, (you can put your crust in the freezer for about 10 min to speed the cooling) pour the cream mixture over the COOLED pretzel crust.

And by the way, make sure the crust is cool or the cream mixture will turn into a melted soupy mess.

Nevermind how I know this.

Carefully spread the cream mix evenly over the pretzel crust.
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Top it with the beautiful jello fruit mix.
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Chill in fridge until jello is set, about 3 hours.

Here’s the recipe:

Feel free to halve the recipe below as I did in the tutorial. The original recipe feeds quite a lot!

Strawberry Pretzel Dessert
Makes about 18 servings

1 1/2 C. Crushed Pretzels
4 1/2 TBL. Granulated Sugar
3/4 C. Butter, Melted
1 C. Sugar
2 (8 oz. pkg.) Cream Cheese
1 (8 oz. pkg.) Frozen Whipped Topping, Thawed
1 (6 oz. pkg.) Strawberry Jello (or any flavor red jello)
2 C. Boiling Water
1 (16 oz. pkg.) Frozen Strawberries

1. Combine crushed pretzels, 4 1/2 TBL. sugar and melted butter. Press into 9×13 pan. Bake at 350 for 10 min. Cool completely.
2. Whip sugar and cream cheese until smooth. Fold in thawed whipped topping. Gently spread over cooled pretzel crust.
3. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil, add jello and stir until dissolved. Add frozen strawberries to hot jello mix and crush with a masher. Pour over cream cheese layer.
4. Chill until set. Approximately 3 hours.

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