I'd never heard of this one until college when my roommate Kerrie introduced me to the joys of 'strawberry pretzel salad'. It sounded bizarre to me at the time - how are pretzels and strawberries in a salad? - but it was love at first bite. I still don't get why it's called a 'salad' (which is why I call it dessert), and the recipe has changed slightly over the years to accommodate my husbands love for the crust, but it still brings back the happiest of memories. This recipe serves 12. While it is simple to make, it takes a lot of steps and is best after chilling, so plan ahead!
Full recipe under the video
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2-4 c (4-8oz, 113-226 g), gluten free pretzels crushed to desired fineness (see notes)
2 Tbsp (16g) Better Batter Gluten Free Flour (original or gum free)
6 tbsp (75g) granulated sugar
12 Tbsp (3/4 c, about 170g) butter or dairy free margarine, melted
8oz (226g) regular or vegan cream cheese, room temp
1 c (200g) granulated sugar
2 c (8oz, 226g) whipped topping or whipped cream, thawed or whipped
2 packages (3oz, 85g) strawberry flavored powdered gel dessert
2 c (8oz, 236 ml or g) boiling water
2 packages frozen chopped strawberries, 16 oz each (about 453g) - or 2lb (907g) total, frozen or thawed
Brand/Allergy Friendly Recommendations: Pretzels: Glutino (contains soy) Gluten Free Flour: Better Batter (sponsored) or GFJules Butter or Margarine: Earth Balance or Smart Balance (check for particular allergens, each brand has several options) Cream Cheese: Violife (contains coconut) Whipped Topping: Rich Whip or So Delicious (check for particular allergens, each brand has several options) Butter/Oil: Smart Balance, Spectrum Palm Oil, or Nutiva Coconut Oil Chocolate Chips: Enjoy Life or Simply Delicious
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Crush pretzels to desired fineness - you will need more pretzels if you make a coarser crust (and it will tend to be crunchier) and less if you crush the pretzels finer. Stir in flour and 6 Tbsp sugar. Add melted butter or df margarine and stir until the mixture comes together. Press out into the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan or 2 9 inch pie plates. Bake at 350F for 10 minutes, then remove and set aside to cool completely.
In a mixing bowl, whip together cream cheese and sugar until creamy and smooth - this will take a little time. Once the mixture is smooth and starts to be fluffy, remove from the beaters and, using a spatula, fold in the whipped topping. Cover and set aside to chill while the crust is cooling.
In a separate bowl, stir together the gel dessert and boiling water. Stir well until the gel dessert is dissolved and set aside to cool to room temperature (try not to let it thicken too much). Gather the strawberries (thawing enough to break apart)
Assemble the dessert:
On top of the chilled crust, carefully spread the cream cheese mixture, making sure to completely coat the crust - this will help keep it from getting soggy! Drain the juice (if any) from the strawberries and stir into the gel liquid.
You have two choices for the strawberry layer:
You may stir the strawberries into the gel liquid and gently pour the mixture over the cream cheese layer
You may place the strawberries onto the cream cheese layer and gently pour the gel liquid over the top
You will get a slightly different texture depending on how cold the strawberries are and what method you use.
Cover the dessert tightly and chill for several hours or up to overnight. Cut just before serving.
Better Batter Gluten Free Flour
1885 E Pleasant Valley Blvd Altoona PA 16602