This is my aunt's recipe and to tell you the truth. I think, if I was being honest, I could probably sit down and eat an entire 9x13 all by myself. That is how much I truly love this recipe. It is sooooo good.
Mix 1 cup flour, 3 tablespoons sugar, 1/2 cup softened margarine, and 1/4 cup chopped pecans, if using, and press into a 9x13" baking pan. Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven til lightly browned. Cool completely. Sometimes I double this for a thicker, sugar cookie-type crust.
Mix 1 cup confectioners sugar, 8 ounces softened cream cheese, and 8-9 ounces thawed cool whip. Spread this mixture over the cooled crust.
Combine 1 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons cornstarch, 1 1/2 cups water, & 3 ounces strawberry jello mix in a large saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened. Stir in the strawberries. Pour this mixture over the cream cheese layer. Chill this layered sessert until it is completely set.
You can choose to decorative touches at this point. You can put some whipped cream in a pastry bag that has a star tip on it. Make round swirls at intervals around the sides or cut the individual pieces then put a swirl on each one. Next, after washing and selecting the most attractive looking strawberries from the bunch before chopping the remaining for the recipe, place them on paper towels to dry. When ready, carefully cut slices across and down through the berries, leaving only the stem intact. Now, you can spread the layers apart, fanning them out. Place one strawberry on each swirl of whipped cream. And, if you want to take it to the absolute limit, you can sprinkle those strawberres with edible glitter. I would use an iridescent pearl luster dust.
This must be kept chilled.
This can also be made with any other flavor jello and corresponding fruit such as peach. I am also about to post a pudding version to this called Chocolate Delight Layered Dessert so you can look for that one too.