Monday, February 14, 2011

The Jell-o Project: Valentine Crunch

"Please, please don't put sweetened condensed milk in it!" Ethan begged.

Valentine Crunch was originally presented to me as Christmas Crunch several years back by my friend Natalie. It is delicious and has a nice blend of flavors and textures that is sure to be a winner at your holiday dinner table. I had every intention of making this Jell-o salad for a Christmas-time meal, but things got busy and I didn't do it.

I ate the pretzels and some of the other ingredients and kept forgetting to replace them. Then, one thing led to another and soon we were breathing down the neck of Valentine's day. I was going to have my Jell-o salad, gosh darn it. It's red, it's sweet, it's the perfect Valentine's day treat.

This is essentially the recipe, although mine was a little different (more sugar with the cream cheese, less with the pretzels) it's a winner all around. Funnily enough, several places on-line refer to this as raspberry pretzel dessert. The crunchy pretzel crust is most definitely what makes this Jell-o recipe a big winner.

Best of all, not a lick of sweetened condensed milk.

Although, the can of crushed pineapple (oops! Pioneer woman doesn't add the crushed pineapple to her cream cheese-sugar-cool whip mixture) was definitely a potential deal breaker. Here's how the dinner-time drama went down:

Jonah - ate his Valentine Crunch Jell-o salad/dessert first. Cleaned his plate. Declared it decidedly delicious.

Isaac - ate one bite. Asked, "is that enough for dessert?" The kid does not like fruit. I had mercy on him, but did make him have a nice, cool-whippy, pretzel-crunchy bite, just so he got the full effect, sans raspberries.

Me - ate mine second (there were mashed potatoes and gravy on the plate I had to attend to first) and then eyed Isaac's uneaten portion greedily.

Robert - ate it, and loved it--In his own, understated way.

Ethan - Got the Calvin and Hobbes book out so he could perform a reenactment Calvin's dinner-table drama with facial expressions as he attempted to take one tiny bite. I do not know what this kid's problem is. I told him he could not have dessert unless he ate the whole thing and licked his plate clean.

If you get to call this Jell-o a salad and have it along side your dinner, consider yourself lucky. If it's served up for dessert, enjoy!


Anna said...

I love that salad/dessert!!!

Senia said...

I want to eat your blog.

This is a very popular dessert in MN (Jell-o- surprise, surprise!). My friend Abbey is obsessed with it. I've even been to baby showers where the Mommas-to-be request this instead of cake.
...After we've eaten our hot dish, of course.

Erika said...

You evil temptress, you! Just when I'm trying to be good you post a delicious picture of one of my FAVORITE recipes. This is the kind of thing that I have been known to eat the leftovers for breakfast. Makes my mouth water just looking at it.

Gwen said...

You know I have seen this recipe before! It took me a while to think of it, but as I was going to sleep last night I realized that I know it because my step-sister Heather in Utah makes it. It's very salty/sweet.

Call me crazy, but jello with sweetened condensed milk sounds good....

Afton said...

sweetened condensed milk in jello IS good. I guess I've just used it as an ingredient once too often for Ethan's taste. Well, for everyone's taste. No one likes it except me.