Strawberry Pretzel Salad/Dessert
Fills 21 4-oz Mason jars, or 10-12 ramekins.
- 2/3 c. salted pepitas, chopped coarsely
- 2/3 c. pecan pieces, chopped coarsely
- 1 c. pecan pieces, ground fine
- 1/4 t. kosher salt
- 30 pkts. Splenda (or 1.25 c. granular Splenda) (OR LESS)
- 2 8-oz. packages cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 c. whipping cream
- 1 0.6-oz. package sugar-free strawberry flavored gelatin
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1 16-oz. package frozen sliced strawberries - no sugar added
Chop the pepitas and the smaller portion of pecans until they are mostly pea-sized and smaller. Grind the larger portion of pecans until they are beginning to stick together. (For method, see my recipe for lime cheesecake shooters.
The pepitas, before and after:
And the pecans, finely ground and coarsely chopped:
Combine the nuts and salt, and stir until well mixed.
Place 2 T. into each 4 oz. mason jar (or 1/4 c. into each 7 oz. ramekin). Tamp down lightly using a clean bottle or jar that's smaller than the opening of your serving dishes. (This photo is recycled from a shooter recipe.)
In a medium bowl, beat the Splenda, cream cheese and vanilla until smooth.
Whip the cream till soft peaks form. Using the lowest setting on your mixer, gently fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture, just until even in color. (Overbeating will turn the cream to butter.)
Spoon this filling into a gallon-sized baggie and snip off the tip of the bag. You may want to do this in two batches to make it easier to handle.
A side note... The first time I made these, I thought I'd skip the hassle of using a baggie and just carefully spoon the filling into the jars. Here's the result: on the left is the jar I spooned filling into; on the right is the jar where I piped the filling in. Much neater!
Evenly divide the filling between each jar. Place the jars into the refrigerator for about 1 hour. Placing all the jars in a large cake pan will make transporting them to and from the fridge easier.
After the cream filling is chilled, make the jello. In a medium bowl, stir together the gelatin mix and boiling water. Stir in frozen strawberries. Place the bowl into the refrigerator for three or four minutes. This will allow the gelatin to firm up a bit.
Evenly spoon the gelatin between each the jars. A small gravy ladle works well for this.
Also, having the jars in a cake pan while you fill them will save your counter tops from jello stains if, like me, you spill a little.
Place jars back into the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Serve chilled.