No Bake Berry Pretzel Dessert

Photo Credit: Barfeet In The Kitchen

If you aren’t into cake baking or don’t want to heat up the kitchen with the oven, this no bake berry pretzel dessert recipe will be a fast dessert you can prepare involving a crust base, cream cheese filling and fresh berries. This dessert recipe is based on strawberry pretzel salad, which is a dessert that Mary, the author of Barefeet In The Kitchen recipe blog, enjoyed when she was younger. The traditional version included Cool Whip and Jello, but to create a fresher, healthier take, she created this no bake berry dessert recipe instead. Rather than using Cool Whip, which has multitudes of preservatives and unknown ingredients, Mary uses a combination of heavy cream and cream cheese. The cream cheese aids the stabilisation of the whipped cream and holds up for a long period in the dessert, similar to how incorporating plenty of powdered sugar of skim milk powder would stabilise whipped cream.

As a result of this fresh berry dessert using cream cheese, it is ideal for cheesecake lovers to make during the warmer months. Simpler than the classic strawberry cheesecake recipe, this dessert doesn’t require an oven to set, because the mixture is meant to be creamy and has a firm pretzel base to keep everything intact. The combination of the fresh berries and cream cheese will remind you of cheesecake without the fuss. If you enjoy the tangy taste and creamy texture of mascarpone cheese, you can use that instead of traditional brick cream cheese with amazing results. Just like cheesecake, modify the types of berries and fruit used too. Mary recommends using a mixture of strawberries and blueberries which are perfect for the entire summer, but very ripe, sliced peaches would be delicious too. Alternatively, try blending raspberries and blackberries into the berry mixture for this dessert recipe.

Savoury components are slowly finding their way into dessert recipes with the fascination of salted caramel. This summer dessert recipe incorporates the saltiness of pretzels in the crust, which adds a crunchy and savoury dimension to the dessert. To make the crumbs, you simply have to crush the pretzels with a food processor or rolling pin until the desired texture is reached. Mary enjoys the pretzels to be a little coarser so that you get bites of larger pretzels throughout the dessert. If you enjoy them a little finer, simply keep crushing the mixture until the crumbs are very small. The crumb mixture should be packed into the baking dish lightly so that it doesn’t stick to the base later when you are trying to serve the berry dessert recipe. It will be easier to get an even layer of crust in this berry dessert recipe if the pretzels are finer rather than thicker.

The secret to the pieces of this dessert slicing nicely out of the pan is to serve it well chilled. This means it is an ideal make-ahead dessert because you can prepare it ahead of when you want to serve it and refrigerate it. Despite this cream cheese dessert using a large amount of whipping cream in the filling, the cream cheese stabilises it which allows the cream to be stored in the refrigerator for a long time without falling. Keep this dish in mind whenever you have something special in the summer like a backyard party or potluck at someone else’s home. Since this is prepared in a smaller baking dish, you will want to double the batch to serve a crowd. Thank you to Mary, the writer of Barefeet In The Kitchen recipe blog, for sharing her no bake berry pretzel dessert recipe with us.

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