Fresh Strawberry Pretzel Dessert

Found at: http://www.reneeskitchenadventures.com/2018/02/fresh-strawberry-pretzel-dessert.html

Sweet, plump and fresh Florida strawberries are used in this classic no-bake dessert layered with a creamy sweet cream cheese mixture on a salty pretzel crust.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound fresh Florida strawberries
  • 1 small box sugar free strawberry jello
  • 1 cups boiling water
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 3 oz. mini pretzels, crushed into crumbs (should make about a cup of crumbs)
  • 2 TBS granulated sugar
  • 5 TBS unsalted butter, melted
  • 8 oz. Neufchatel cheese (or 1/3 less fat cream cheese), at room temperature
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 TBS milk
  • 1 cup Cool Whip® light

Instructions

  1. Hull strawberries and cut into 1" pieces. Place in refrigerator until needed.
  2. In medium sized bowl, combine the strawberry jello mix with 1 cup boiling water. Stir to dissolve gelatin. Stir in 1/2 cup cold water and place in refrigerator.
  3. While jello mixture is forming, crush mini pretzels into crumbs. (I use my food processor to make this process easy.) Add 2 TBS granulated sugar to the crumbs and drizzle in melted butter. Stir or pulse to combine.
  4. Press pretzel mixture firmly into the bottom of an 8" x 8" square pan*. Set in refrigerator while you make the cheese layer.
  5. In a medium bowl, combine the cheese, vanilla extract, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, and 1 TBS milk with an electric mixer until smooth. Beat in the 1 cup of Cool Whip® light.
  6. Spread mixture evenly over the crust layer.
  7. Check the jello mixture. It it's beginning to gel, stir in the strawberries. If it's still liquidy, put the pan with the crust and the cheese layer in the fridge until the jello begins to for a gel. Once the jello is beginning to form, fold in the berries and spread the jello layer onto the cheese layer. Cover and place in fridge until firm. (about 2 - 3 hours) Cut into squares to serve.

Yield: 12 servings

Prep Time: 00 hrs. 20 mins.

Cook time: 05 hrs. 00 mins.

Total time: 5 hrs. 20 mins.


*for a crisper crust, bake in 350 degree oven for 10 min and allow to cool completely before assembling dessert layers. 

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