Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch springform pan or 2 (12-count) mini cheesecake pans with nonstick cooking spray. Wrap the outside of the pan with aluminum foil.
Add the cookies in a large resealable bag. Cover the bag with a kitchen towel and crush with a rolling pin until the cookies are coarsely ground. In a medium bowl, mix together the cookie crumbs with the melted butter. Press the mixture into the bottom and 1-inch up the sides of the prepared springform pan or mini cheesecake pans. Put on a sheet pan and bake for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool before adding the cheesecake filling.
Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
In bowl of a food processor combine the cheeses with the sugar until mix until completely blended. Add the eggs, 1 at time, incorporating completely after each addition. Add a pinch of salt, the almond extract, and orange zest and blend for 10 seconds. Pour the filling into the prepared pan with crust. Put the springform pan into a roasting pan and pour in enough hot water to come 3/4 of the way up the sides the springform pan. If using a springform pan bake for 1 hour, if using mini cheesecake pans bake until completely set, about 25 to 30 minutes. Carefully remove the roasting pan from the oven and transfer the springform pan from the water bath to the counter and let cool completely before removing the cake from the pan. Slice and serve.
Recipe courtesy Brian Boitano