At first impression, it may not seem that pretzels are the perfect dessert ingredient, but they really are. Their crunchy and salty nature contrasts so well with desserts that are sweet and creamy. Or desserts that are sweet and chewy. Or even sweet and chunky. Okay, basically any dessert at all. Take this Strawberry Pretzel Cheesecake Salad, for instance.
While pretzels work great as a substitute for graham crackers in a crust, in this “salad” we’ve mixed them right in and they provide a nice crunch against the velvety cream cheese and juicy strawberries. We’ve upped the crunch factor by combining the pretzels with some chopped pecans, butter, and brown sugar, and baking the mixture in the oven until it forms a kind of quick candy brittle.
That salty-sweet-crunchy brittle set against the fresh strawberries and oh-so-slightly tangy cream cheese mixture is just absolutely delicious. Just make sure you wait until you’re about ready to serve to mix in your strawberries and pretzel mix – you don’t want to lose any of that delightful crunch!
Strawberry Cheesecake Salad
Serves 4-6; 15 minutes
- 2-3 cups strawberries, diced
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 8 oz whipped topping
- 1 cup pretzels, chopped
- 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
- 3/4 cup butter, melted
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, combine pretzels, pecans, brown sugar, and melted butter and mix to combine. Spread onto prepared baking sheet and bake for 7-9 minutes. Set aside to cool while you make the cream cheese mixture.
- In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, vanilla, and granulated sugar, and beat with an electric mixer until fluffy. Gently fold in whipped topping.
- Right before serving, fold in strawberries and pretzel-pecan mixture. Enjoy!