Star-spangled sweetness coming at you! Freedom Bars are a perfect treat for Fourth of July cookouts or whenever you need a bite of luscious liberty. A creamy, crunchy, and salty crust, with just a hint of tropical citrus, serves as the base for a jammy, summer strawberry topping: you could even sprinkle them with blueberries for the full red-white-and-blue feeling! Freedom Bars are so refreshing and so good you'll want to salute them!
Ingredients• 2 cups pretzels, finely crushed • 3/4 cup sugar, divided • 3/4 cup butter, melted • 2 cups water, boiling • 1 (6-ounce) package of strawberry gelatin • 1 pound of fresh strawberries, chopped • 2 (8-ounce) packages of cream cheese, softened • 1 tablespoon lime zest, grated • 1/4 cup lime juice • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the crushed pretzels and 1/4 cup sugar together in a small bowl.
Stir in the melted butter.
Spread the pretzel mixture in a 15x10-inch baking pan.
Bake until golden brown, about 9-11 minutes.
Allow the crust to cool completely.
In a bowl, add the boiling water to the gelatin and stir until completely dissolved, for about 2 minutes.
Gently stir in the strawberries.
Let the strawberry mixture cool slightly before refrigerating for at least 30 minutes.
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, lime zest, lime juice, vanilla, and remaining sugar until blended.
Stir in the cooled pretzel mixture.
Spread the cream cheese pretzel mixture evenly into a 13x9-inch baking pan.
Top with the strawberry mixture.
Cover and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.