Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Strawberry Pretzel Bars

These bars have always been one of my favorite desserts--
as in, if it's at a dinner or potluck I cannot resist. 
I have found FAR too many people who have no idea what this dessert is all about. 
And when you describe it, there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of attraction. 
But once you try a piece of this concoction, I think you'll agree!

I haven't had this glorious little dessert for years and years. 
But when I found Brown Eyed Baker's post about it, I knew it was time to bring this recipe back to life. 

Though none of the steps are complicated, there are a LOT of steps to this little recipe. 
Between crushing (processing) pretzels, melting butter, boiling water, stirring Jello, slicing strawberries, stirring fluffy filling, I think I dirtied EVERY bowl in my entire kitchen. 
But despite all the steps which might be interpreted as hassle, this dessert is SO worth it.  
Perfect for parties and potlucks, I encourage you to try this out the next time you need to bring a dish.
This was gobbled up in an instant!

recipe adapted from browneyedbaker.com and kraftrecipes.com 
NOTE: be sure to allot 4 or 5 hours in order for gelatin to set--in other words, don't wait till the last minute!

2 cups finely crushed pretzels
1/2 cup sugar, divided
2/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 and 1/2 pkg. (8 oz. plus 4 oz) Cream Cheese (or the lighter Neufchatel version), softened
2 Tbsp. milk
1 cup thawed Cool Whip Whipped Topping (or light)
2 cups boiling water
1 pkg. (8-serving size, 6oz.) Strawberry Flavor Gelatin
1½ cups cold water
1 qt. (4 cups--2 lbs.) strawberries, sliced

Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix pretzel crumbs, 1/4 cup of the sugar and the butter. Press onto bottom of 13×9-inch baking pan. Bake 10 min. Cool.

Beat cream cheese, remaining 1/4 cup sugar and the milk until well blended. Gently stir in whipped topping. Spread over crust. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Meanwhile, stir boiling water into dry gelatin mix in large bowl at least 2 min. until completely dissolved. Stir in cold water. Refrigerate 1½ hours or until thickened (spoon drawn through leaves definite impression). Stir in strawberries. 
Spoon over cream cheese layer. Refrigerate 3 hours or until firm. Cut into squares to serve. Store leftovers in refrigerator.


  1. I have been looking for this recipe online! When I was at my in laws a few months ago, a friend of theirs brought this dessert over and I thought I had died and went to heaven. Thanks for posting!

  2. Mmm. These look and sound delicious!