I don’t know why she makes it for Christmas, but my aunt makes Jello/Pretzel Salad every year. And every year, I make up my mind to add it to my summer potluck rotation. And every year, I follow the directions to the letter, and every year I fail. Luckily, Cool Whip hides a multitude of sins. Here’s my step by step near disaster, complete with pictures!
What you need:
2 c. crushed pretzels
2 tbs. sugar
3/4 c. melted butter
Okay, so far, so good. Mix these three together, and transfer into a 9×13″ glass pan. Bake at 400 for 10 minutes, and allow to cool completely.
Nice and crust-y! Next:
8 oz. softened cream cheese
9 oz. thawed Cool Whip
1 c. sugar
Blend these three and spread over cooled pretzel crust.
Now, see the pretzels standing all around the edges? Don’t do this. I’m telling you, don’t do this. My recipe told me to, and I think this decorative touch is the source of my constant woes with this dish. Instead, make sure you spread the cream cheese mixture all the way to the edges so you get a good seal around the layer. And then let me know if yours turns out better than mine.
6 oz. strawberry Jello (this is the big box, and trust me when I tell you, two small boxes do NOT equal 6 oz.–that was a return trip to the grocery store for me)
2 c. hot water
2 c. cold water
20 oz. frozen strawberries
Prepare jello according to package directions, and add strawberries.
Look at that! They float!
Pour jello over cream cheese mixture and refrigerate overnight.
Okay, here’s where it gets tricky for me. Every time I add the jello, it seeps under the entire thing and starts bubbling like it’s alive. The cream cheese mixture sort of fragments and floats, which makes the whole thing look
like what comes out of my 8 year old after he ingests too much cottage cheese and fruit punch significantly less appetizing.
Cool Whip to the rescue! What they don’t know won’t hurt them, right? (Side note: I love Cool Whip beyond all reason. I use it so much, I should purchase stock.)
It may not be pretty, but the Lunch Bunch crew loved it, kids and adults alike!