Dec. 14, 2023

Make the Season Sweet with These HGO Staff Recipes


December 14—Over the last few days, the HGO team has been having a delightful time celebrating the holidays with a festive social media countdown, The 12 Days of Opera. We’ve been offering up lots of gratitude along with plenty of prizes to make this season even more magical for our followers. It is now Day 6, and today we invite you to join us in culinary celebration with our very own HGO staff recipes! We asked the team to submit their favorites, then selected these five recipes to share. Explore the diverse and flavorful world of these delicious creations, and make a flavorful new addition to your holiday festivities!  

Rose and Elia’s Coquito 



15-oz can cream of coconut  

13.5-oz can coconut milk  

12-oz can evaporated milk  

14-oz can sweetened condensed milk  

Dash vanilla extract 

1 cup Bacardi white rum (or more 😉) 

Plenty of cinnamon 

Optional: For added thickness and flavor, add a little bit of coconut ice cream. 



Combine all ingredients in blender and mix to desired consistency. Best served cold. Should be stored in an airtight container/bottle in the fridge. 



Chelsea’s Magic Middles 



1 1/2 cup flour 

1/2 cup unsweet cocoa 

1/2 t baking soda  

1/2 cup sugar  

1/2 cup packed brown sugar  

1/2 cup soft generic butter  

1 cup peanut butter  

1 teaspoon vanilla  

1 egg  

3/4 cup confectioners sugar  



In a small bowl, combine flour, cocoa, and baking soda. Blend well. In a large bowl, beat sugar, brown sugar, butter, and 1/4 cup peanut butter until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and egg, beat well. Stir in flour mixture until blended. Set aside.  

In small bowl, mix remaining peanut butter and confectioners sugar. Roll into 1” balls. For each cookie, shape about 1 T of set-aside dough around each ball, covering completely. Place each cookie on the cookie sheet. Flatten with bottom of glass dipped in sugar. Bake at 375 for 7-9 minutes or until slightly cracked on top. 


Jessica’s Coconut Pie 

(makes two 9-inch pies) 


Pie ingredients: 

1 1/2 cups of sugar 

¼ t salt 

3 tablespoons cornstarch 

6 T flour  

2 cups evaporated milk diluted with 1.5 cups of water 

5 eggs yolks, well-beaten 

1 heaping cup sweetened coconut flakes 

1 t vanilla 

2 T margarine, unmelted 

2 baked 9-inch pie shells 


Meringue ingredients: 

3 egg whites 

1/4 cup sugar 



Combine sugar, salt, cornstarch, flour, and evaporated milk/water mixture. Cook over low heat until thickened. Add egg yolks and coconut and continue cooking over low heat for 10 minutes. Add vanilla and margarine. Pour into 2 baked pie shells. Top with meringue (recipe below) and bake according to meringue timing. 



Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Gradually add in sugar and beat until mixture forms stiff peaks. Put on top of pie and bake in hot oven (425 degrees F) for 5 minutes or until delicately browned. 


Tory’s Potato Latkes 



2 large Russet potatoes, peeled 

1 large onion, cut in half 

2 large eggs, beaten 

½ cup flour 

2 t kosher salt, plus more for finishing 

Fresh ground black pepper 

Safflower or other oil, for frying 



Using a coarse- size grate option, grate potatoes and onion into a large mixing bowl. Put the mixture into a towel or cheesecloth, and squeeze out as much liquid as possible (crucial for crispy pancakes). 


Add mixture back to bowl and add the eggs, flour, salt, and pepper, and mix until well combined. This is the time to add whatever spices/flavoring you want, so customize to your tastes! My favorites are garam masala and smoked paprika.  


In a deep non-stick pan, add oil for frying, about 1/4” deep. When oil is hot, form approx. 1 T of potato mixture per latke into a ball, add to oil, and flatten into a disk with a spatula. Cook each latke for about 5 min per side, or until dark golden and crispy. Season immediately with flaky salt and serve with traditional sour cream and apple sauce. 



Megan's Haystack Candy 



8-oz Nestle semi-sweet chocolate morsels 

8-oz Nestle butterscotch morsels 

1 can of lightly salted cashews (halves or pieces okay) 

7-oz package dried chow mein noodles 

Special tools: paddle spoon, double boiler (or a small pot that will sit above a large pot filled with hot water) 



In a double boiler, use paddle spoon to mix both bags of morsels until smooth. Roughly chop cashews and pour into melted mixture, stirring until coated well. Then gently fold in noodles until just incorporated—do not overmix. Line a cookie sheet with wax paper and drop mixture down by the teaspoon. Cool in fridge. 

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