Taste of Home offers a unique Jell-O salad recipe incorporating mandarin oranges and pretzels. The pretzels add a pleasant crunch, while the mandarin oranges and crushed pineapple contribute a fruity flavor. Betty Crocker suggests a more traditional take using cranberries.
To make the Taste of Home recipe, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, mix 2 cups crushed pretzels and 3 teaspoons sugar; stir in 3/4 cups butter. Push into an ungreased 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Bake 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. In a large bowl, dissolve 6 ounces orange gelatin in 2 cups boiling water. Add 16 ounces crushed pineapple and 11 ounces mandarin oranges. Chill until partially set, approximately 30 minutes.
In a small bowl, beat 8 ounces cream cheese with 3/4 cups sugar until smooth. Fold in 2 cups whipped topping. Spread over the pretzel crust. Gently spoon gelatin mixture over cream cheese layer. Cover, and refrigerate 2 to 4 hours or until firm. Cut into squares. If desired, garnish with additional whipped topping.
To make the Betty Crocker recipe, add enough water to reserved mandarin orange juice to measure 1 1/4 cups. In 1-quart saucepan, heat juice mixture to boiling. Place 3 ounces orange gelatin in medium bowl. Pour boiling mixture on gelatin; stir until gelatin is dissolved. Stir in 16 ounces whole-berry cranberry sauce until sauce is melted. Stir in 11 ounces mandarin orange pieces. Pour into 4-cup mold. Refrigerate approximately four hours or until firm; remove from mold.