When I offered to bring dessert to a mother's day bbq a couple of weeks ago, I didn't have a clue what to bring. So I looked ahead on the Baked Sunday Mornings recipe schedule, and decided to kill two birds with one stone, and make the Strawberry Pretzel Salad scheduled for this week.
In the book, Matt explains that there are many, many variations of this. In my family, there are two. One of which I've blogged about before (and my personal favorite) made with a pretzel crust, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla pudding and cool whip, and topped with raspberry pie filling. The other has a graham cracker crust, some kind of creamy filling (i'm sure cool whip is involved) and topped with jello.
This Baked version is a combination of the two. A pretzel crust, whipped cream and cream cheese filling, and strawberry jello. Although the crust and the filling is pretty fool proof, I had never made the one topped with jello and struggled with the instruction to wait until the jello is partially set before pouring it over the dessert. I guess I waited to long, because my jello was slightly lumpy. I took a blow torch to it, thinking it would melt down a bit and get smoother, it helped a bit, but it didn't have a significant impact on the over all look. My jello layer remained lumpy.
I waited until we cut into it and served it to whip out the camera, but it was a mess. A delicious mess, but a mess nonetheless. It was basically impossible to cut neat squares of this dessert. The jello layer was way too soft, and was sliding everywhere.
So I decided to make it again, but in a way I could get cute pictures out of it. I made a half batch and got 10 servings out of it. And again, I screwed up the jello layer, letting it set too much before pouring it on the creamy filling. So I started over, and as soon as the liquid jello was cool I poured it on the dessert to get a nice, smooth final layer. I let it set, and added sliced strawberries to the top.
I'm a huge fan of desserts using pretzel crusts (see this insanely delicious tart, here), and you really can't go wrong with a filling of whipped cream, sugar and cream cheese, although, I'm not a big fan of the jello. Ever since my first pregnancy, I have had a weird thing with artificial flavors. So that's basically all I could taste. Still, I thought it was a refreshing dessert, perfect for a summer bbq!
The recipe can be found on the Baked Sunday Mornings website.