Every time a holiday or birthday rolls around, the guys in our family are looking for cheesecake. This time around, I thought I'd do something a little different for Thanksgiving and came up with these bars, rather than a full-sized cheesecake, given the amount of other goodies there were to contend with. When I spotted the chocolate graham crackers at the grocery store, I knew I had to use those for the crust since orange and chocolate pair so well.
1 sleeve chocolate graham crackers
3 T sugar
4 T melted butter
1/4 c pecan pieces
16 oz cream cheese
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c whipping cream
2 whole eggs plus one yolk
zest from two oranges
1/4 c fresh orange juice
For the crust, pulse together all of the ingredients in your food processor to form a coarse meal. Press the mixture into the bottom of an 8x8 pan sprayed with cooking spray. Bake at 350 for 12-15".
Beat together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add the cream, then the eggs and yolk, one at a time until well blended, then add the zest and juice from the orange.
Pour cream cheese mixture over crust and set inside of a larger pan filled with hot water, to create a water bath. Bake at 350 for 40-45" until set. Allow to cool in the pan, then chill until ready to serve. Cut into bars and garnish as desired.