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  • 1 large navel orange
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 2 1/2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 24 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon orange extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup grated semisweet chocolate


  1. Preheat oven to 325F.
  2. To prepare candied orange peel, cut strips of rind off orange using a sharp peeler.  Reserve remaining orange for another use. Place orange strips in a small saucepan. Add enough water to cover and bring to a boil. Drain and repeat 2 more times, using fresh water each time. (This removes the bitterness from the rind.)
  3. Add 1 cup water to the blanched orange rind.  Add 1 cup sugar and simmer 20 minutes or until soft, sweet and opaque. Drain and reserve the orange-infused sugar-water for another use. Toss strips in the remaining quarter cup sugar and let cool. Chop and set aside.
  4. To prepare crust, place all ingredients  in a food processor and pulse to combine. (The mixture should cake easily.) Place a level tablespoon of crust mixture into each cup of a silicone mini muffin or tartlet pan. Use the back of the tablespoon to tamp down the crust. Set aside.
  5. To prepare custard, beat cream cheese, honey and powdered sugar with a mixer at medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. (Be careful not to beat air into the eggs, as this will make the cheesecake fluffy, not dense and smooth.) Add sour cream, flour, orange extract, vanilla extract and 1 tablespoon of the candied orange peel. Mix well. Spoon just enough batter into each crust to fill.
  6. Place pans on baking sheets. Bake 12 minutes, or until the cheesecakes are nearly set, but not cracking. Place pans on wire racks to cool, then carefully pop out each cheesecake. Top each cheesecake with shaved chocolate and remaining candied orange peel. Arrange on a serving platter.

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The recipe was originally published as Orange Cheesecake Tarts on

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