"This decadent, creamy dessert was born out of an addiction," says our Trail Chef. "I couldn't bear a backpacking trip without cheesecake." This crowd-pleaser requires no cooking and is super-easy to make. Click here to see a step-by-step slideshow.
1/2 block Neufchâtel "light" cream cheese
5 large (3-4") chocolate cookies or graham crackers
2 tbsp powdered sugar
a pinch of nutmeg
a pinch of salt
1 lemon (optional)
Cut the Neufchâtel cream cheese (its tangier taste and lighter texture are better than regular), leaving the foil wrapper in place, then and wrap in plastic. Be careful not to touch with you fingers to avoid bacteria and help it last up to 4 days on the trail. Place in a quart-size freezer bag (you’ll use this later). Wrap the cookies or graham crackers in paper (to cushion them slightly), then in plastic (to keep them fresh), then in a hard-sided container.
Pack the sugar, nutmeg, and salt in a small zip-top bag. Zest 1/2 of the lemon, let zest dry for about 30 minutes, then add to the same bag.
Make the filling: Fold the quart-size freezer bag over your hand to make a little cup. Unwrap the cream cheese and, with a plastic spoon, add a little of the sugar mixture, blending well with each addition to avoid lumps. Seal the top of the bag, then smush the cream cheese into one corner.
Prepare cookies and crumbs: Place one cookie in the empty sugar mixture bag, and using the bottom of a water bottle, carefully crush the cookie. Set aside.
Assemble the sandwiches: Snip the corner of the bag where the cream cheese is and squeeze to pipe filling onto bottoms of two cookies, mounding in the center. Carefully top with another cookie, gently pressing down.
Crumb coat your sandwiches: Gently dip the sides of sandwiches into your smashed cookie bag, turning carefully to coat all sides.