Pretzel salad is a wonderful layered dish that is a lot of fun and a somewhat unexpected addition to any meal or party. Easy to make and a fun to eat, the pretzel salad can be prepared even by people who consider themselves to be helpless in the kitchen.
Begin work on the first layer. Crush two cups of pretzels. Do not crush into a fine powder. Instead, pound the pretzels to form a somewhat coarse mixture. Add in ¾ cup of melted margine and three tablespoons sugar. Toss the mixture so that the pretzels are evenly coated. Press this first layer into a crust along the bottom of the baking dish and bake at around 400 degrees for six to eight minutes. Remove from the oven and allow the pretzel crust to cool thoroughly.
For the second layer, combine eight ounces of cream cheese, a cup of sugar, and two cups of non-dairy whipped topping. Spread this mixture evenly over the pretzel crust.
Preparing the final layer requires boiling water. In the second mixing bowl, pour two cups of boiling water over the contents of a six ounce box of strawberry gelatin. Stir until the gelatin is thoroughly dissolved in the water. Gradually add in a ten ounce box of frozen strawberries and stir in the frozen ingredients. This will help cool the gelatin considerably. The mixture should be near room temperature within ten minutes.
After the strawberries and the gelatin are thoroughly mixed, pour the combination over the second layer in the pretzel salad. Immediately place the finished pretzel salad in the refrigerator and allow time for the gelatin to set. Two hours is usually sufficient. Cut into squares and serve.
The pretzel salad can be prepared several hours before serving, and normally will not take more than a half hour to assemble.
While fresh strawberries can be used, make sure to wash thoroughly and at least quarter the berries before use. Freezing the fresh cut strawberries in advance will also will also help to cool the gelatin mixture in a manner similar to the package of frozen strawberries.