FOR THE CRUST
- 2 ½ cups crushed salted pretzels
- ¼ cup white granulated sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) of salted butter, melted
FOR THE FILLING
- 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
- 1 (8-ounce) container of whipped topping, thawed, such as Cool Whip
FOR THE STRAWBERRY JELLO TOPPING
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1 (6-ounce) package strawberry JELL-O
- 1 ½ cups cold water
- 4 cups fresh sliced strawberries
- Extra whipped topping or whipped cream for garnishes, if desired.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium size mixing bowl, stir the crushed pretzels and sugar together. Pour the melted butter over the pretzel mixture and stir with a fork or wooden spoon until the crumbs are completely moistened. Press the pretzel crumb mixture into the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish. (I like to use a glass baking dish so you can see all three beautiful layers.) Bake for 10 minutes. Set aside and cool completely.
- Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Gently fold in the Cool Whip or whipped topping. I use a rubber spatula to fold the topping in. Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over the cooled crust. Place in the refrigerator while you prepare the topping.
- Place the dry strawberry jello in a medium size bowl. Pour the 2 cups of boiling water over the dry jello and stir until jello is dissolved. Let cool for about 5 minutes and add 1 ½ cups of cold water and mix well. Chill in the refrigerator until jello mixture is slightly congealed.
- Slice fresh strawberries and place on the cream cheese layer. When jello has thickened a little and slightly congealed spoon jello mixture over the sliced strawberries. ( Note Tip: Slightly congealing the strawberry jello helps to keep the pretzel crust from becoming soggy) You’ll know when the jello is the right consistency when you can spoon the mixture over strawberries rather than pouring. This is the secret that I learned after making it last time. The crust stayed crunchy and crisp until we ate it all.
- Keep refrigerated until serving time. Cut into squares and garnished with whipped topping or freshly whipped cream, if desired. Strawberry Salad will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days so it can be made up several days ahead of time. Enjoy!🍓