Cranberry Congealed Salad

We cannot have Thanksgiving without a cranberry salad. This recipe, taken from Paula Deen Magazine steps it up a notch. You could even use if for dessert if you wanted. It is delicious.  Such a gorgeous red color that is such a complimentary side to the turkey.

1 cup flour

1 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 cup butter, melted

2 (8 oz) packages of cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1 ( 8 oz) container frozen whipped topping, thawed

2 (3 oz) packages orange gelatin (this gives you that great orange-cranberry flavor combination)

2 cups boiling water

2 (14 oz) cans whole-berry cranberry sauce

1 cup cold water

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 13×9″ baking pan with nonstick cooking spray

In a medium bowl, combine flour, pecans and brown sugar. Add melted butter, stirring to combine. Press mixture into bottom of prepared pan; bake for 12-15 min or until light golden brown. Let cool completely.

In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar at medium speed until smooth. Add Cool Whip and beat until blended well. Spread mixture over cooled crust; cover and chill for at least 4 hours. or refrigerate for up to 2 days (this would be great to make ahead so you have your salad already made and could concentrate on the turkey).

In a large bowl, stir together gelatin and 2 cups boiling water. Add cranberry sauce, stirring until combined. Stir in 2 cup cold water. Slowly pour gelatin mixture over chilled cream cheese layer. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours or up to 2 days. Cut into squares and serve. Garnish with whipped topping and a fresh cranberry and mint leaf.

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