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RASPBERRY JELLO PRETZEL SALAD

RASPBERRY JELLO PRETZEL SALAD

A Symphony of Sweet and Tart: Raspberry Pretzel Salad

Calling all dessert lovers! This Raspberry Pretzel Salad is a delightful combination of textures and flavors. It features a buttery pretzel crust, a creamy and sweet middle layer, and a vibrant raspberry Jell-O topping, creating a dessert that's both refreshing and satisfying.

Ingredients:

  • The Crumbly Crust:

    • 1 ¾ cups crushed pretzels (about 6-7 cups whole pretzels) - Pretzels, crushed into a coarse crumb, form the base of this delicious salad.
    • ¾ cup salted butter, melted (12 tablespoons) - Melted butter adds richness and helps bind the pretzel crumbs together.
    • 3 tablespoons sugar - Sugar adds a touch of sweetness to the crust and complements the salty pretzels.
  • The Dreamy Middle Layer:

    • 12 ounces cream cheese, softened - Softened cream cheese creates the base of the smooth and creamy middle layer.
    • ¾ cup sugar - Sugar sweetens the middle layer and balances the tang of the cream cheese.
    • 8 ounces cool whip, softened (1 container) - Cool whip adds delightful lightness and sweetness to the middle layer.
  • The Vibrant Raspberry Topping:

    • 2 cups boiling water - Boiling water is used to dissolve the raspberry Jell-O.
    • 6 ounces raspberry Jell-O (two 3-ounce boxes) - Raspberry Jell-O adds a vibrant pink color and delightful raspberry flavor to the topping.
    • 2 cups frozen raspberries - Frozen raspberries add bursts of sweet and tart flavor to the topping.

Instructions:

  1. Preheat and Prepare: Begin by preheating your oven to 400°F (200°C). Butter a 9x13 inch baking pan. This ensures the pretzel crust bakes evenly and prevents sticking.

  2. Creating the Crumbly Crust: In a food processor or blender, crush the pretzels until you have a coarse crumb consistency (about 6-7 cups of crushed pretzels). In a large bowl, combine the crushed pretzels, melted butter, and sugar. Mix well until everything is evenly combined and the crumbs are well coated.

  3. Pressing in Perfection: Press the pretzel mixture evenly into the prepared baking pan. Use a spoon or your hands to ensure a firm and even crust.

  4. Baking to Golden Perfection: Bake the pretzel crust in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, or until it's golden brown. The edges should be slightly darker than the center.

  5. Cooling the Crust: Remove the pan from the oven and let the crust cool completely at room temperature for about 30 minutes. This is important before adding the next layer.

  6. Creaming the Dreamy Center: In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together the softened cream cheese and sugar until smooth and light. This will be the base of your creamy middle layer.

  7. Folding in Lightness: Gently fold in the softened Cool Whip to the creamed cheese mixture until just combined. Be careful not to overmix, as this can deflate the Cool Whip and make the layer dense.

  8. Spreading the Love: Spread the creamy mixture evenly over the cooled pretzel crust. Use a spatula to ensure it reaches all the edges and creates a smooth layer.

  9. Refrigerate for Setting: Place the pan in the refrigerator and chill the cream cheese layer for at least 30 minutes, or until it's set.

  10. Creating the Vibrant Topping: In a small saucepan, heat the boiling water. Add the raspberry Jell-O and stir until it's completely dissolved. This will create the base for your vibrant topping.

  11. Adding the Berry Burst: Pour the dissolved Jell-O into a bowl and stir in the frozen raspberries. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes, allowing the raspberries to soften slightly and the Jell-O to thicken slightly.

  12. Pouring the Perfection: Carefully pour the raspberry Jell-O mixture over the chilled cream cheese layer. Tilt the pan gently to ensure even distribution of the topping.

  13. Setting the Stage for Perfection: Place the pan back in the refrigerator and chill for at least 2 hours, or until the Jell-O topping is completely set. Ideally, refrigerate overnight for the best results.

  14. Serving a Symphony of Sweet and Tart: Cut the Raspberry Pretzel Salad into squares and serve chilled. Enjoy the delightful combination of the crumbly pretzel crust, the creamy middle layer, and the sweet and tart raspberry topping!

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