I first glommed onto this salad (or is it a dessert?) at a tearoom near my home called the Chocolate Angel. It is a wonderful combination of sweet and savory in three layers: a pretzel crust, a cream cheese/Cool Whip middle, and a strawberry Jello topping. It's easy-peasy to make, but a bit time consuming because you have to wait for the Jello to partially set. I prefer to make this in individual serving-sized Pyrex bowls. The ones shown are 10 oz. ovals. Please forgive the lousy photography:
First, the bottom pretzel layer. For these bowls, a level 1/3 C of the crushed pretzel mix is perfect. I used a small round-bottomed glass, like a shot glass, to tamp the mixture down and level it.
Here's an aerial view of the second layer. Be sure your pretzel layer is completely cool before starting this step. It is very important that you spread the cream cheese mixture all the way to the sides to make a tight seal. If you have any holes, your Jello may leak and cause your crust to get soggy. These are ready to go into the fridge to chill.
The Jello is still at the jiggly stage, but you can see what the finished product looks like. The recipe is below:
STRAWBERRY PRETZEL SALAD
This recipe will make nine single serving portions.
2 C crushed pretzels (take 'em for a ride in your food processor)
3/4 C melted butter
3/4 C sugar and 3 TB sugar, divided use
1 - 8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened
1 - 8 oz container Cool Whip, thawed
1 - 3 oz pkg strawberry Jello, prepared according to package directions
1 - 10 oz pkg frozen sweetened and sliced strawberries, thawed and drained
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Combine crushed pretzels, butter and 3 TB sugar. Portion into nine oven-proof single serving dishes. Tamp down firmly and bake for seven minutes. Remove and allow to cool completely.
Mix softened cream cheese with remaining sugar. Fold in Cool Whip. Spread mixture over cooled pretzel layers. (You will probably have left over cream cheese mixture.) Cover lightly and chill.
While your layers are chilling, prepare your strawberry Jello. Cover and chill until partially set. Drain your strawberries and stir into the Jello. Portion the Jello on top of the cream cheese mixture. Cover again and allow to chill until the Jello is completely set.
"I am not
a glutton; I am an explorer of food." How I miss Erma Bombeck!