Dear Jeanne: My whole family just loves this. Is there any way to cut down the fat? I love reading all your suggestions! Thanks for anything you can do.
— Bea, Riverside, Calif.
Dear Bea: I have been sent this recipe several times. It is one of those dishes that people bring to potlucks or family gatherings and that everyone seems to love. I prefer to call it a dessert, rather than a salad, as it is so dessert-like. Be sure not to crush the pretzels into crumbs — just small pieces.
STRAWBERRY PRETZEL SALAD
2 cups crushed pretzels
3/4 cup melted butter
3 tablespoons plus 3/4 cup sugar, divided use
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese
1 tub (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
2 packages (3 ounces each) strawberry gelatin
2 cups boiling water
2 packages (10 ounces) frozen strawberries
1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple
Whipped topping for garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. To make the crust, mix together the pretzels, butter and 3 tablespoons of the sugar.
2. Press this mixture into a 9-by-13-inch pan and bake for 7 minutes. Set aside and cool.
3. In a mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese and remaining 3/4 cup sugar. Fold in the whipped topping and spread over the cooled crust. Refrigerate until well chilled.
4. In a small bowl, dissolve the gelatin in the boiling water and allow to cool slightly. Add the strawberries and pineapple, and pour over the cream cheese mixture.
5. Refrigerate until serving time. To serve, cut into slices and serve with a dollop of whipped topping.
Makes 12 servings.
LIGHT STRAWBERRY PRETZEL DESSERT
2 cups whole-wheat pretzels, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup butter, melted
3 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup sugar, divided use
1 package (8 ounces) fat-free cream cheese
1 container (8 ounces) fat-free whipped topping
1 package (0.6 ounces) sugar-free strawberry gelatin
2 cups boiling water
1 package (20 ounces) frozen strawberries, or 3 cups fresh, sliced
1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple in juice
1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
2. Combine the pretzels, butter and 3 tablespoons of the sugar. Pat into a 9-by-13-inch pan and bake for 7 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool.
3. In a mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese and remaining 1/2 cup sugar. Fold in the whipped topping and spread over the cooled crust. Refrigerate until well chilled.
4. In a medium-size bowl, dissolve the gelatin in the boiling water, stirring until completely dissolved. Add the frozen strawberries and stir. If using fresh strawberries, allow the gelatin to cool for 15 to 20 minutes before adding. Add the pineapple, and chill until it begins to thicken.
5. Pour the gelatin mixture over the cream cheese mixture and refrigerate until fully set.
Makes 12 servings.Comment on this story
Each serving contains approximately: Original Recipe: 516 calories; 23 gm fat; 52 mg cholesterol; 892 mg sodium; 71 gm carbohydrates; 7 gm protein; 2 gm fiber. Revised Recipe: 324 calories; 5 gm fat; 12 mg cholesterol; 264 mg sodium; 63 gm carbohydrates; 7 gm protein; 4 gm fiber.
Jeanne Jones is the author of 33 cookbooks, most recently "Cooking From the Cupboard" (Rodale Press). For more information, you can go to her website, jeannejones.com.
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