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It’s called a salad, but this recipe is actually more in the dessert line. It’s extremely refreshing and is good when you’re looking for an unusual dessert to serve. It makes a nice change from the usual run of cakes and cookies (good though they are).

This recipe originated from a potluck held at a former job. The first time I tasted this salad, I could hardly believe it contained pretzels. I thought what was at the bottom of the concoction had to be some sort of butter-toffee candy, but as you’ll see, it is indeed pretzels.

Though this isn’t difficult to make, I do recommend reading through the entire recipe before proceeding. Preparation time shouldn’t require more than a half-hour or so. I’ve not done any ingredient substitutions, so I have none to recommend; though I imagine a bit of experimentation wouldn’t hurt.

This recipe should be made the night before it’s to be served – it responds well to overnight refrigeration. Serve this at your next dinner and you’ll reap more than your usual share of compliments!

INGREDIENTS and METHOD

You’ll need a 13x9x2 pan, preferably glass, but a metal one will do.

First, mix together the following:

  • 2 cups (500 ml) broken pretzels
  • 1/3 (75 ml) cup sugar
  • ¾ cup butter or margarine, melted

Spread this mixture out in the pan, and then bake for 10 minutes in a 350°F (180°C, gas mark 4) oven. Keep an eye out and don’t overbake! Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.

Next, mix these ingredients:

  • 1 8 oz. (250 gm) brick cream cheese - at room temperature
  • 1 12 oz. (375 gm) of Cool Whip - at room temperature
  • 1 cup (250 ml) sugar

Beat the cream cheese (electric mixer suggested, medium speed) until it’s nice and fluffy, and then add the sugar. Once mixed thoroughly, fold in the Cool Whip. Spread this mixture on top of the cooled pretzel mixture, covering it completely.

Finally, prepare the topping mixture:

  • 1 large box of raspberry Jell-O or similar gelatin dessert
  • 1½ (375 ml) cups hot water
  • 2 large bags of frozen raspberries - thawed

Mix the Jell-O and hot water, and stir until completely dissolved. This is important – incomplete mixing will result in the famous thick gelatin layer many of us remember from our youth, and we don’t want that. Once the Jell-O is completely dissolved, add the raspberries. Mix well, and pour into the pan, over the cream cheese/pretzel mixture. Spread out the raspberry/Jello mixture and make it look pretty.

The final step is to refrigerate the salad. As I mentioned, it’ll do best if it is allowed to stay in the refrigerator overnight. I suggest covering the pan with plastic film or aluminum foil. After the salad is well-refrigerated, the only task that remains is to eat and enjoy!

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