1 pound of fresh strawberries, sliced
1/4 cup or more granulated sugar
For the Crust:
1 cup of all purpose flour
1/4 cup of finely minced pecans
1/2 cup (1 stick) of unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
For the Filling and Topping:
1 (8 ounce) package of cream cheese, softened at room temperature
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
2 cups of powdered sugar
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
1 large (16 ounce) Cool Whip, or equivalent homemade whipped cream, divided
1/2 cup of chopped pecans
Combine the strawberries and sugar; refrigerate until needed, giving them a stir once in awhile. Taste for sweetness and adjust as needed.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a bowl, mix together the flour, pecans and butter until mixture resembles cookie dough. Spread into the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch glass Pyrex baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely, about an hour.
For the filling, cream together the cream cheese and butter, then mix in the powdered sugar and vanilla until well blended. Gently fold in 2 cups of the whipped topping and spread mixture on the cooled crust.
Drain the strawberries well and using a slotted spoon, tap off any excess juices and scatter the strawberries over the top of the cream cheese filling. Top the strawberries with enough of the remaining whipped cream to cover. Sprinkle pecans on top, if using, cover and refrigerate for a full 24 hours.