I’m back with another brunch dish – this Lemony Strawberry Pretzel Treat. Just like my last post, Arcadia-Inspired Tuscan Kale Salad, a big flavor profile in this dish is lemon.
Brunch tables and summer dessert lineups deserve to be graced with this bright and zesty creation. A sweet and crunchy pretzel crust is topped with a lemony whip, topped with fresh strawberries and drizzled with honey or balsamic glaze.
Real or e-cookbooks?
Recently, I posted a poll on Instagram asking if people preferred actual copies of cookbooks or an e-book. Personally, I don’t like collecting books for lack-of-space issues. However, I’ll always find room for cookbooks.
Turns out that the people who responded to the IG poll feel the same. In fact, feel free to answer the poll below if you feel one way or the other!
There’s just something so nice about unplugging and getting lost in the kitchen with a cookbook. At least, that’s how I’ve felt since getting a copy of Half Baked Harvest’s cookbook, Super Simple.
The creator of HBH Tieghan Gerard is so good to follow on social media. Each weekend she’ll post a weekly recipe and grocery list. Then each day she walks through how to cook each recipe so you can cook along with her.
cooking inspiration and the origin of the lemony strawberry pretzel treat
But her cookbook – it’s been like a kitchen bible to me. My kids even enjoy sitting down and looking at all the gorgeous photography. The best part of the book is the list of ingredients she provides to always keep stocked so that you can make most of the recipes.
Once we got that initial stock of food going, we use an app (like OurGroceries) to keep track of things when we run out of them. It’s a system that’s worked really well for us. It’s enabled me to be less bogged by lack of ingredients as I explore cooking.
All that to say, this Lemony Strawberry Pretzel Treat is adapted from her “Strawberry Pretzel Tart” recipe with slight modifications. Like a choose your own ending Goosebumps book, I’ve included instructions for a sweet or tangy ending. Of course, I highly recommend getting the cookbook for yourself! It’s a kitchen work of art.
Here’s what you’ll need.
You might have most of these ingredients laying around already.
- Fresh strawberries
- Bag o’ pretzels (mini or sticks or regular…any work)
- 1 large egg beaten
- Melted butter
- Mascarpone or cream cheese
- Lemon juice
- Heavy cream or coconut milk
- Lemon zest
- Fresh basil or thyme (optional)
- Balsamic glaze (optional)
Prep the pretzel crust
Begin by lining a baking sheet with some parchment paper or a silicone mat. Preheat your oven to 350.
First, make your pretzel crust. Fill a gallon-sized Ziploc bag about 85% with the pretzels. Use a heavy object like a rolling pin, meat mallet or small pan to crush the pretzels into smaller crumbs. However, don’t crush them too small.
In a bowl, mix together the pretzel crumbs, beaten egg, melted butter and at least 3 tablespoons of honey to desired sweetness. Once well combined, spread the pretzel mixture onto your lined baking sheet. Using a spatula, rolling pin or your hands, press down into the crust until its about a quarter of an inch thick.
Pop the crust into the oven for about 10 or so minutes. You want it to be lightly toasted. Of course, you may need to eye it depending on your oven. Remove it from the oven and let it cool completely. You won’t need your oven beyond this point.
make your toppings
While the crust cooks, wash your strawberries and slice them up. Set them to the side.
Next, it’s time to make the lemony whip. Using an electric or handheld mixer, combine your marscapone or cream cheese with some lemon juice.
I typically buy mascarpone in 8 oz containers. If you use half the container, I’d recommend about 1-2 tablespoons of juice. If you like extra whip or lemon flavor, feel free to adjust from there.
Next, slowly add your cream, coconut or heavy whipping. Continue to whip for a few minutes until soft peaks form. Add a tablespoon or so of honey and a hearty portion of lemon zest and whip for another minute. Spread the whip onto the cooled pretzel crust.
Assemble the lemony strawberry pretzel treat
Now spread the sliced strawberries all over the whip. If you want to go the sweet route, drizzle some honey all over to finish it off. If you want a more adventurous finish, top with an herb like basil or thyme. Then, drizzle with a balsamic glaze.
Please note, the balsamic glaze is different than just regular balsamic vinegar. You can drizzle a little balsamic vinegar for sort of the same effect, but it’ll be much runnier. Not really ideal.
A balsamic glaze is thicker and a little sweeter. You can buy some already made at the store. Otherwise, it looks like you can make your own with balsamic vinegar and brown sugar.
Funny story, when I made this I had every intention of topping it with balsamic and basil and totally forgot! The Half Baked Harvest version is topped with chamomile flowers. I just went with what we had on hand for funsies.
I hope you’re able to try this little taste of summer while strawberries are in abundance. Something about lemon and strawberry together just make it feel like the ultimate summer treat.