The Shady Porch: Jell-O Pretzel Dessert


Jell-O Pretzel Dessert

I am a late-comer among fans of the salty-sweet combo.  My friend from high school always said she loved the two together and would eat chips with her candy bar, but I never thought it sounded that good. I was just fine with a candy bar or chips. However, palettes change and I now understand her appreciation for that tasty combination...thanks to this Jello Pretzel Dessert!

Jell-O Pretzel Dessert
Jello Pretzel Dessert 

When I saw this recipe, I thought, this is one that my salty-sweet friend would love! The pretzel crust was the first thing that caught my eye and then strawberries and cream cheese...sounds good, doesn't it? I put it on my want-to-make list, and sooner rather than later, I had to try it.  It was very good. There were a couple issues that I would try to deal with in the future, however. 
Namely, the recipe I had did not say to drain the thawed strawberries and the additional moisture prevented the Jello from setting up as jiggly as I like it. Secondly, I'm not sure what to do about it, but there were some bites that were just too salty for me to enjoy (I'm not a big salt fan anyway). I will say it was devoured by my family in short order so it warrants sharing! So without further ado, here is the Jello Pretzel Dessert.

     2 1/2 c. pretzels, crushed fine
     3 T. brown sugar (I used Splenda Brown Sugar)
     3/4 c. melted butter
Cream Cheese Layer
     1 - 8oz. pkg cream cheese, softened
     1 cup sugar (I used Splenda Blend)
     1 - 8oz. Cool Whip
Jello Topping
     1 pkg Sugar Free Strawberry Jello
     1-10 oz. pkg frozen strawberries (thawed & drained) or 
        16 oz. fresh sliced strawberries

Directions: Combine crushed pretzels, brown sugar, and melted butter and press into greased 9x13 pan. Bake 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, mix cream cheese and sugar until creamy. Blend in Cool Whip. Spread over cooled pretzel crust, making sure to spread it edge-to-edge to protect the crust from Jello leaks.

In a separate bowl, mix Jello according to directions, then add the drained strawberries, if using frozen. Refrigerate until partially set. If Jello is not partially set, it will leak through the cream cheese layer and make the pretzel crust soggy. 

Once the Jello has partially set, pour it over the cream cheese layer and refrigerate until firmly set, then serve.

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