Strawberry Salad with Pretzel Crust
Crust and topping ingredients:
1 1/2 cup crushed pretzels
1/2 cup melted butter
2 tablespoons sugar
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sour cream
1 cup whipped cream
1 package strawberry jello
1 cup boiling water
3/4 cup ice cubes
1 pint fresh strawberries, cleaned and sliced or quartered
Whipped topping for garnish
In bowl, mix together the crust ingredients. Set aside 1/3 cup for topping. Place remainder in bottom of 9x9 pan and press firmly. Bake at 375 for 5-10 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.
In mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Fold in sour cream and whipped cream. Smooth on top of crust, making sure it covers completely and all the way to the edges of the pan. (If you don't, the jello will seep under this layer and cause a soggy crust.) Place in refrigerator while preparing jello.
In medium-sized glass bowl, sprinkle jello over boiling water. Stir to completely dissolve. Add ice cubes and stir until cool and ice is nearly melted - quickly remove any remaining slivers of ice (you don't want runny or watery jello.)
Place strawberries on whipped topping/cream cheese layer. Carefully pour slightly thickened jello over top. Refrigerate until ready to serve. At serving time, spread with another thin layer of whipped topping and sprinkle with remaining pretzel mixture. Cut into squares to serve. Makes 9 squares.
Some recipes call for frozen berries, and in the winter that may be the best option. But I would recommend eliminating the ice cubes and using the frozen berries instead to chill the jello as they will contain some water. Either way, promptly refrigerate any leftovers and use up within 24-48 hours. (The crust will get soggy the longer it stays in the refrigerator.)
P.S. A shout out to my mom, since it's her birthday today. Hope it's great!