I feel blessed being able to say that the northern California coastal areas have fresh local strawberries nearly half of the year. Our local farm stands usually have fresh local strawberries from March or April until early November. While the berries found later in the season are usually smaller than those picked at the beginning of summer, the fall berries are dark in color and rich in flavor.
I stopped at the farm stand over the weekend and picked up a half a flat of berries. The boys and I can usually finish these off in two days flat, but this time I thought I would make something special for them. I was checking out a dessert recipe from the Brown Eyed Baker blog and came across this strawberry dessert recipe that brought back some childhood memories….so I thought, wow, I have to make this for my kids…..My mom use to make a dessert really similar to this, and we use to love it! It was a typical pot luck or holiday dessert back in the 60′s.
My hubby and I have been watching Mad Men on TV, ever since we stayed with my sister and her husband and they made us watch it with them….not that I need another TV show to get hooked on right now, with the new fall season about to start. Well, anyway, I am sure you are wondering by now where I am going with this. Mad Men brings back lots of childhood memories as far as the food they eat….and this recipe is similar to the kinds of homemade desserts they made back then.
So I made this dessert on Sunday afternoon. The hardest part is just waiting the hour or so for the jello to partially set, then complete the assembly and wait about 4 more hours to chill before serving. It turned out that it was worth the wait. The boys (all three) enjoyed extra large slices. It serves 20, so I had to let them have extra large pieces or we will never be able to finish it. Adapted from Kraft Foods Recipe
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes plus 5 hours refrigeration
2 cups pretzels, crushed
1/4 cup sugar, granulated
2/3 cup butter, slightly melted
12 ounces cream cheese, 1/3 less fat, softened
1 cup Cool Whip, whipped topping, thawed
1/4 cup sugar, granulated
1 package (6 ounce) jello, strawberry flavored
2 cups water, boiling
1 1/2 cups water, cold
4 cups strawberries, fresh, sliced
Preparation: Preheat oven to 350°F. Place pretzels in a large zip lock bag and crush thoroughly using a meat mallet or rolling pin. Place butter in a microwave safe mixing bowl and microwave for 20 seconds until slightly melted. Add pretzel crumbs and 1/4 cup of granulated sugar. Combine ingredients, then pour into a 13×9-inch baking dish.
Press crumbs evenly over bottom and slightly up edges of dish. Bake for 10 min. Remove from oven and cool for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, beat together cream cheese and remaining 1/4 cup sugar until blended. Stir in cool whip.
Spread mixture over crust. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Combine boiling water and jello mix in large bowl;stir for 2 minutes until dissolved. Add cold water and stir. Refrigerate jello for 1-1/2 hours or until thickened but not fully set.
Add Slice strawberries to gelatin and stir gently to combine.
Carefully spoon mixture over cream cheese layer spreading berries out evenly. Refrigerate 3 to 4 hours or until firm.
Nutrition: Per Serving About: 200 calories, 11 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 1 g protein, 23 g carbohydrates, 1 g dietary fiber, 280 mg sodium