Strawberry Pretzel Dessert

I made this one with regular pretzels for a baby shower and after the rave reviews, made it again with gluten free pretzels so I could taste it. Very nice! Sweet and salty, creamy and crunchy. Perfect mix!

2 cups crushed thin pretzel sticks
3 Tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks)
2 cups boiling water
1 package (6 ounce) strawberry flavor gelatin
8 ounces (1 large block) cream cheese at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 container Cool Whip
2 heaping cups sliced strawberries fresh or frozen
Additional whipped cream for garnish optional

Preheat oven to 400 F.
Finely crush pretzels with a rolling pin or food processor. Combine crushed pretzels with 3 tablespoons sugar and butter. With a spatula, press pretzel mixture into the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking pan to form a crust. Bake 6 to 10 minutes until lightly browned. Cool completely.
Pour 2 cups boiling water over strawberry gelatin. Stir until melted and let cool to room temperature.
Beat cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, and Cool Whip until combined. Spread evenly over cooled crust.
Add strawberries to cooled gelatin and let thicken slightly. Spread strawberries and gelatin over cream cheese layer. Refrigerate until firm.
Cut into squares to serve.

If I have labeled a recipe as GlutenFree or Dairy Free but it appears to have those ingredients in it... that means the recipe is still delicious with substitutes/replacements. Ex: soy milk, lactose-free cheese, Bragg's liquid aminos (for soy sauce), all-purpose gluten free flour (Better Batter is my favorite), etc. Please check your individual ingredients to be sure they are GF or DF, if that is what you need.

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