Monday, September 21, 2015

No-Bake Strawberry Bars

When I first tried the original recipe, I was amazed by how delicious it was.  Who could have thought that cream cheese, gelatin and whipped cream go harmoniously together in such a way  in this no-bake dessert?  I give kudos to Judy at The Midnight Baker for sharing the recipe in her original post, No-Bake Cherries Jubilee Pie.  My family loves this kind of dessert and quickly voted to have it in a repetitious rotation :)  

This time I made it with strawberry gelatin and chopped fresh strawberries for the filling, and used rectangular baking dish to make the dessert.  I found that this combination works as well.  I think the only other modification I did was in the amount of sugar used in the crust in that I only used one teaspoon instead of three teaspoons.  Do follow her suggestion of using the extra creamy whipped topping because it makes a difference in the taste and texture.  And lastly, you really should try this because it's super easy and way too tasty not to make!  I, myself, can't wait to try it with different types of flavor and fruit.

No-Bake Strawberry Bars

Makes one 9-x-13 baking dish

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon sugar

1 tub (8 oz) extra creamy whipped topping
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 package (3 oz) strawberry gelatin dessert
3/4 cup boiling water
1 package (8 oz) fresh strawberries, save some prettier strawberries for garnish, the rest is chopped into smaller pieces

1 tub (8 oz) extra creamy whipped topping
 Fresh strawberries, halved

Mix all crust ingredients well.  Press into a 9-x-13-inch baking dish.

For filling, beat softened cream cheese with a wire whisk attachment on a stand mixer, set aside.  Mix the strawberry-flavored gelatin in a separate large bowl with the boiling water, stirring until all gelatin is dissolved.  This will take about 2 minutes.  Slowly whisk the gelatin into the cream cheese.  There will be lumps, don't worry.

Place the bowl with the gelatin/cream cheese mixture in a larger bowl filled with ice water and ice cubes until the gelatin is beginning to thicken.  This will take about 5 minutes or so.  Stir every minute or so that you keep an eye so it doesn't actually set.

Fold in 1 tub of the whipped topping, then fold in the chopped strawberries.  If the mixture doesn't "mound" refrigerate for maybe 10-15 minutes until it does (mine mounded without chilling).

Spoon mixture into prepared crust, spreading it out evenly.  Chill for 4-6 hours or overnight.

Top with the second full tub of whipped topping.  Decorate with halved fresh strawberries.

Source:  The Midnight Baker (No-Bake Cherries Jubilee Pie)

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