If we’re ever heading to a summer potluck, this is what Mike asks me to take. This dish is the perfect summer treat whether you’re picnicking at a park, meeting friends for a barbecue or hanging poolside. So naturally, I thought it should be posted before the Fourth of July just in case you’re looking for another summer dessert idea. I’ve seen this recipe everywhere, but one thing I do that I haven’t seen is to add fresh strawberries on top. Other recipes call for frozen strawberries mixed into the top Jello layer and that’s it, but what’s summer if not fresh fruit?
The key to this recipe is patience. I’ve tried to speed it up before when I was late for a barbecue and while it still tasted fine, it looked kinda sloppy. If you don’t let the first layer (pretzel layer) cool completely then it’s hard to spoon the cream cheese mixture over it. If you don’t spread the cream cheese mixture thoroughly over the pretzel layer then the top layer can seep into the holes and down into the pretzel layer making it soggy. Each layer alone doesn’t take hardly any time at all to make, but you have to leave yourself time in-between each one. I usually get myself in trouble when I’m crushing pretzels in the food processor while mixing the cream cheese, sugar, and Cool Whip, while waiting for water to boil for the Jello. Basically, just attack each layer individually so you aren’t tempted to put all the layers together before they’ve set up on their own first.
- Layer #1
- 2 cups crushed pretzels (use a food processor)
- 3/4 cups butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- Mix the above ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Press flat onto the bottom of a 9X13 inch pan. Bake at 400F degrees for 5 minutes. Let cool completely!
- Layer #2
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 8 oz Cool Whip
- Mix together until smooth. Spoon over pretzel layer making sure to go all the way to the edges of the pan and cover pretzel crumbs completely. Refrigerate.
- Layer #3
- 2 (3 oz) packages strawberry Jello
- 2 cups boiling water
- 2 (10 oz) packages frozen strawberries
- 1 pint fresh strawberries
- Mix strawberry Jello and boiling water together. Add frozen sliced strawberries. Refrigerate for about 1 hour until slightly jellied. Pour carefully over cream cheese mixture and refrigerate.
- Top with freshly sliced strawberries