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The DAILY DIRT - The nitty and the gritty of outdoor news

Trail Chef: Mix & Match Cheesecake

Top off your meal with this simple and delicious dessert.

Here at Trail Chef, we've given you hearty breakfasts. We've shared our tastiest dinners. We've even got you covered when it comes to condiments. But we haven't yet touched upon the greatest meal of them all: dessert.

That all changes today. I confess, when I'm in charge of dessert on a backpacking trip, the crew usually ends up nibbling on dark chocolate bars or, if I'm really out to impress, goodies from the gateway town's best candy shop. But after checking out this fun recipe, I'm inspired to take it to the next level. I daresay you will be, too.

Mix & Match Cheesecake: Basics
Serves 4. Recipe by Cindy Crosby.

Jell-o No-Bake Real Cheesecake Dessert Mix
2 packages Mini Oreo Bite Size! Chocolate Sandwich Cookies (1.25 ounces each)
1/3 cup + 3 tablespoons powdered milk

At home: Open cheesecake box and pack only the filling mix. Place powdered milk in a zip-top bag.

In camp: To make the crust, crush the cookies inside their bags into a chunky powder. Open bags and pour powder into the bottom of four bowls. Mix 1 1/3 cups water (the colder, the better) and powdered milk in a Lexan bottle; shake well. Pour milk into a bowl and add cheesecake mix. Whisk with a fork for three minutes, or until thick. Spoon over Oreo crust in each of the bowls and enjoy.

Mix it Up: Flavor Variations
*Chocolate cheesecake: Replace 1/4 cup of the basic cheesecake mix with 1/4 cup instant chocolate pudding mix.
*Lemon cheesecake: Replace 1/4 cup of the basic cheesecake mix with 1/4 cup instant lemon pudding mix.
*Use shortbread cookies, Girl Scout Thin Mints, or Golden Oreos for the crust.

Top it Off: Best Toppings
Chocolate syrup
Caramel syrup
Jelly beans
Crushed Health bar pieces
Dried fruit
Blueberries (pack the tin from Krusteaz Wild Blueberry Muffin Mix)

Do you have any gold-medal backpacking desserts? Tell us about 'em at We'll publish our favorites in our upcoming Readers' Choice issue.

—Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan

Image Credit: Hyoh


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