Preztel Salad

If you recognize this dessert by its photo but not its name I won't be surprised.  In all my years of attending picnics I have heard at least 4 different names for the epitome of summer desserts: pretzel salad, strawberry pretzel salad, pretzel squares, strawberry pretzel squares; and I'm sure the list goes on from there.  (I'm still not sure why we call it pretzel salad... there is really nothing salad-y about this dish.)  Ultimately what you call this dish doesn't really matter.  In fact, once you try it your mouth will be so full you won't be able to call it anything other than mmmm.

2 cups finely crushed pretzels
1/2 cup sugar, divided
2/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
12 oz cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp milk
1 cup  thawed cool whip
2 cups boiling water
6 oz strawberry gelatin
1-1/2 cups cold water
4 cups strawberries, sliced

Preheat your oven to 350°F.
Add the boiling water to gelatin mix in large bowl and stir 2 minutes until completely dissolved. Stir in cold water. Refrigerate 2 hours or until thickened (spoon drawn through leaves definite impression - if it looks chunky when you stir it, it's thickened too much).

Mix pretzel crumbs, 1/4 cup sugar and butter. Press onto bottom of 13x9-inch pan. Bake 10 minutes and then let cool.

Beat the cream cheese, remaining sugar and milk until blended. Stir in cool whip, and then spread over the cooled crust.  Refrigerate.

Once the gelatin is thickened enough, stir in the strawberries and then spoon over cream cheese layer. Refrigerate 3 hours or until firm.


I'm not sure what says "summer picnic" to me more - pretzel salad or strawberry shortcake.  What about you?  Does your ultimate summer picnic dessert have strawberries in it, too?



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