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Strawberry Pretzel Salad

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INGREDIENTS
2 ½ cups of pretzels, crushed
1 ½ cups sugar, divided
¾ cups butter, melted
12 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)
2 teaspoons vanilla
12 ounces cool whip (thawed in the refrigerator)
3 to 4 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
6 ounces strawberry jello (2 packages) note: you can use sugar-free if you like
2 cups water, boiled

INSTRUCTIONS:
Preheat oven: to 350 degrees.
Make the crust: Combine in a medium bowl, crushed pretzels, sugar, and melted butter. Press into the bottom of a 9×13 pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool completely.
Make the Jello: In a medium bowl, mix boiling water and jello. Stir until jello is completely dissolved. Stir in sliced strawberries. Chill in the fridge until the jello is partially set (for about 1 hour.)
Make the Cream Cheese Layer: In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, remaining sugar, and vanilla, until well combined. Fold in the cool whip.
Layer: Spread the cream cheese mixture on top of the pretzel crust, (make sure it completely covers the crust and touches the sides of the pan). Let chill in the fridge for a few minutes)
Layer the Jello: Carefully pour or spoon the strawberry jello over the top of the cream cheese mixture. Cover and refrigerate until the jello and dish are firm (about 3-4 hours).
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