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HR Synergy Recipes

HR Synergy’s Oreo Cheesecake Recipe

  • 2 lb cream cheese softened (four 8-ounce packages)
  • 8 oz sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 18 Oreo cookies roughly chopped
  • 28 regular Oreo cookies
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter melted


  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Pulse the Oreos in a food processor until the cookies have become a fine crumb. Pour in the melted butter and pinch of salt and blend until combined.
  3. Pour your crumb mixture into the prepared springform pan and press evenly into the bottom of the pan and up the sides of the pan. You can use the bottom of a flat glass or a flat measuring cup to really press it in well and get a nice, even crust.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes.
  5. Allow it to cool completely.


  1. Add your softened cream cheese to the mixing bowl of your stand mixer and beat with a paddle at medium/high speed for about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and beat for a few seconds more. The goal is to make sure the cream cheese is as smooth as possible, so your cheesecake doesn’t have any lumps.
  2. Add the sugar and sour cream and mix at medium-low speed until just combined. Scrape the bowl again and mix for 10 seconds.
  3. Add eggs and vanilla and beat on low speed until combined, about 30 seconds-1 minute. Scrape the bowl again. Add chopped oreos and fold in by hand.
  4. Using 18-inch heavy-duty aluminum foil, wrap the outside of your springform pan with four sheets of foil.
  5. Place your wrapped pan in a deep roasting pan. You can alternatively use a baking sheet, so long as the sides are about 2 inches deep.
  6. Using very hot water, add water to the baking sheet until there is about 1 ½ inch of water around the springform pan. On a rack in the lower 3rd of the oven, carefully move your pan into the oven.
  7. Bake for 1-1 ½ hours. After about an hour of baking, check the cheesecake’s consistency. A slight jiggle of the pan (while still in the oven) should tell you if it’s ready or needs more time. The cheesecake should be jiggly but not liquid. If it seems very liquidy still, give it 10-15 more minutes and check it again.
  8. Once the cheesecake is set yet jiggly, turn the oven off but leave the cheesecake in the oven for another hour or so until the oven has cooled down. Resist the temptation to open the oven during this time! The purpose of this step is to allow the cheesecake to cool slowly as the oven cools. Doing this will prevent it from cracking, as one of the biggest reasons cheesecakes crack is the drastic temperature change going from the hot oven into the much cooler kitchen.
  9. Once the oven and the cheesecake are cooled, remove from the oven and carefully remove the foil lining the pan. Chill in the fridge for at least 6 hours.
    Before serving, run a knife around the edge of the pan to ensure an easy release when the springform is removed. Top with whipped cream and additional Oreos as you desire.

Michelle’s Loaded Baked Potato Soup


  • 2 Tbsp Salted Butter (divided)
  • 1 large Onion (finely diced)
  • 3 Garlic Cloves (minced or 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder)
  • 4 lbs Potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 4 cups Chicken Broth
  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • 3 Tbsp Flour
  • 2 cups Whole Milk
  • 1 1/2 cups Heavy Cream
  • 1 tsp Salt (or more to taste)
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 1/2 cup Sour Cream
  • 2-3 cups Sharp Cheddar CheeseGarnish:
  • 1 lb. Bacon (cooked and crumbled)
  • 4 Green Onions (chopped)
  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • Sour Cream


      1. Heat a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add 2 Tbsp of butter and onion and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring often, until the onions start to become soft and golden in color. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
      2. Add cubed potatoes and chicken broth. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Let simmer for about 25 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. The time will depend on how large the pieces of potato are. You may need to reduce the heat to low.
      3. Meanwhile, heat another pot over medium heat. Add 2 Tbsp of butter. Using a whisk, add flour and continually whisk to form a paste. Stir in whole milk, heavy cream, salt, and pepper. Continue to whisk often as the mixture begins to thicken. Let it cook for at least 10-15 minutes, or until the mixture begins to coat the back of a spoon. Stir in sour cream until it is completely incorporated.
      4. Add cream mixture to the potatoes in a pot and stir. Stir in the cheese and let melt and thicken. Taste for seasonings.
      5. Cook bacon according to package instructions. Top soup with crumbled bacon, extra cheese, green onions, and sour cream, if so desired.

Peter’s Grandmother’s Scottish Shortbread


  • 1/2 lb. Butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 cups flour


  1. Preheat oven to 250-300F.
  2. 1/2 lb. Butter, 1/2 cup sugar, Mix the butter and sugar with your hands.
  3. Slowly add flour and work in.
  4. Place in baking dish.
  5. Bake 250-300F until golden (~30 min).
  6. Cut and enjoy. Yum!


HR Synergy Jessica’s Red Wine Cranberry Sauce with Honey


  • 2 (12 ounce) packages of fresh cranberries (6 cups)
  • 1 ¾ cups dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • ½ cup water
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 4 slices of fresh ginger root (1/4 inch thick)
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper



  1. In a medium pot over medium heat, combine the cranberries, sugar, red wine, ½ cup water, honey, ginger, and salt.
  2. Simmer gently until most of the cranberries have popped and the sauce is thick and syrupy, 20-30 minutes.
  3. Stir in the black pepper.
  4. Chill thoroughly before serving.

Linda’s Boo Pops!

Here are Linda’s Boo pops or Tootsie Pop ghosts – before and after. 

What You Need
  • 1 or 2 tissues
  • Tootsie Pop
  • Piece of ribbon, yarn or string
  • Black marker


  1. Put the tissue(s) over the top of the Tootsie Pop.
  2. Tie with the ribbon.
  3. Add 2 dots with the black marker for the eyes.
The kids love these on Trick or Treat!



Have you seen the 2 qt mini slow cookers?

Prep your lunch at home and cook it in the break-room!


  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced for garnish
  • Sesame seeds, for garnish


  1. In a large bowl, combine onion, garlic, honey, soy sauce, ketchup, vegetable oil and red pepper.
  2. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper, to taste. Place chicken thighs into a slow cooker. Add honey mixture and gently toss to combine. Cover and cook on low heat for 3 hours and 30 minutes.
  3. Remove chicken thighs from the slow cooker and shred the chicken before returning to the pot with the juices. Cover and keep warm for an additional 30 minutes.
  4. Serve immediately, garnished with green onions and sesame seeds, if desired.
Michelle’s Favorite Fries: Poutine-style
Did you vote on our “Calling all french fry lovers” Social media post last month? Michelle’s favorite is poutine!
  • 1 quart vegetable oil (for frying)
  • 1 (10 1/4 ounce) can beef gravy
  • 5 medium potatoes, cut into fries
  • 2 cups cheese curds
  1. Preheat the oil in the deep fryer, or a deep heavy skillet if you’re using one instead, to 185 °C. Warm the gravy either in a saucepan on the stove or in a microwave.
  2. Add the fries to the hot oil and fry them for five minutes just so they turn light brown. Scatter them on paper towels to drain.
  3. For serving, divide the fries between four plates, sprinkle them with cheese curds, and pour the gravy over everything, then serve.
Grab & Go Berry Shortcake Kabobs
Michelle will make these for her family reunion this month!
  • 2 pints of strawberries
  • 1 pint of blueberries (or blackberries or other “blue” colored berries)
  • 1 box of white cake mix
  • 3/4 cup of Greek vanilla yogurt
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 1/3 cups of water
  • 1 bag of white chocolate chips
  • Skewers
(*Time saver: substitute baking the cake for pre-made Angel food cake)
  1. Combine the cake mix, greek yogurt, egg whites and water in a bowl.
  2. Mix until smooth and pour into a greased cake pan or dish. (9×13)
  3. Bake at 350 for 20-25min until toothpick comes out clean or according to directions on the box.
  4. Cut stems off of strawberries and halve them if need to in order to create uniform sizes.
  5. Cut shortcake into 2-inch cubes.
  6. Take skewer and alternate strawberries and blueberries and shortcake cubes. (I like to do three or four of each per stick).
  7. In a glass bowl melt chocolate in the microwave for about two minutes stirring every every 30 seconds.
  8. Once fully melted, insert it into a large plastic bag and cut off the corner tip.
  9. Drizzle all over kabobs and place in fridge to set.
Enjoy your S’mores outdoors!
  • 1 large marshmallow
  • 1 graham cracker
  • 1 (1.5 ounce) bar chocolate candy bar

(Pick your favorite and dare to change it up! I like Peanut Butter Cups!)

  1. Heat marshmallow over an open flame until it begins to brown and melt.
  2. Break graham cracker in half; sandwich chocolate between graham cracker and hot marshmallow.
  3. Allow marshmallow to cool a little before eating.
“National Chocolate Chip Day” Cookies
  • 1 cup bread flour
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp coarse kosher salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, 2 sticks
  • *2 Tbsps water, room temperature
  • *1 tsp espresso powder
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 5 oz dark chocolate, chopped
*You can substitute 2-3 Tbsps of decaf coffee for the water & espresso powder
  1. In a medium bowl, sift together the flours, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
  2. In a medium or large saucepan, add the butter and melt over medium heat. The larger the pan you use, the quicker the process will be!
  3. Bring the butter to a boil, stirring frequently. As the water begins to boil out of the butter, the milk solids in the butter will separate, sink to the bottom, and begin to toast and brown. As this begins to happen, make sure to stir constantly so the butter browns evenly. It may become quite foamy, splatter a bit, and be difficult to see, so keep a close eye on it, removing from heat and continuing to stir if it starts to foam over.
  4. Once the butter has turned a nice nutty brown, remove from the heat and pour into a large liquid measuring cup to stop the cooking. Allow it to cool down for a minute or two, give it a stir, and carefully add 2-3 Tbsps of water to the butter to bring it back up to 1 cup (240 ml) of liquid.
  5. Set aside to cool to room temperature. To help speed this process up, you can place in the fridge for 10-15 minutes. You want to make sure the butter is still liquid when you’re adding it to the dough later on, so make sure to remove after 15 minutes.
  6. In a large bowl, add the sugars, vanilla, espresso powder, and cooled brown butter. Cream together with an electric hand mixer until light and fluffy, 1-2 minutes.
  7. Add the egg and yolk and beat until incorporated.
  8. Add the dry ingredients, about ⅓ of the mixture at a time, and beat between additions until just incorporated. It’s okay for there to be a bit of unmixed flour on the edge of bowl, this will be incorporated in the next step.
  9. Using a wooden spoon, fold the chocolate chips and chunks into the dough
  10. Scoop the cookies onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet in 3-Tbsp-sized mounds.
  11. For optimal flavor, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or, even better, overnight.
  12. Preheat the oven to 350˚F (180˚C).
  13. Evenly space the dough 3 inches (8 cm) apart from one another on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
  14. Bake in a preheated oven for 12-14 minutes.
  15. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 2-3 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Linda’s Bunny Cake
  • Two 9″ circle cakes baked
  • White frosting
  • Flake coconut
  • Red food coloring
  • Gum drops
  • Licorice
  1. Start with two 9″ layers you’ve baked.
  2. Cut according to the diagram.
  3. Arrange bunny on a tray and top with fluffy-white frosting.
  4. Sprinkle lavishly with flake coconut.
  5. Tint a small amount of coconut pink for the ears by adding a few drops of red food coloring diluted in water.
  6. Decorate with gum drops for eyes, nose, and polka dots on tie. Licorice for mouth and whiskers.
Michelle’s Can’t-Miss Coconut Custard Pie
  • Dough for single-crust deep-dish pie
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut, chopped
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 2-1/2 cups 2% milk
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Toasted sweetened shredded coconut, optional
  1. Preheat oven to 450°. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to a 1/8-in.-thick circle; transfer to a 9-in. deep-dish pie plate. Trim and flute edge. Line unpricked crust with a double thickness of heavy-duty foil. Bake 10 minutes. Remove foil; bake 5 minutes longer. Sprinkle coconut over crust; set aside. Reduce oven setting to 350°.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, milk, sugar, flour, vanilla and salt. Pour over coconut; sprinkle with nutmeg.
  3. Bake, uncovered, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, 45-50 minutes. Cool on a wire rack 1 hour. If desired, top with toasted coconut to serve. Refrigerate leftovers.
Michelle’s Easy Valentine Trifle Dessert
  • 4 cups cheesecake flavor pudding (instant works fine, also vanilla flavor is okay) — color pink with food coloring or use strawberry flavor
  • 3–4 cups whipped cream (fresh is best!)
  • 2–3 cups of cake cubes (about a 9×13 size cake)
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 2 cups strawberries (sliced)
  • Optional: you can add more berries if you like–the more the better!
  1. Wash and pat the berries dry. Let them air dry while you prep the rest.
  2. Cut your cake into cubes, whip your cream, and make your pudding.
  3. Then start layering in a medium size bowl or trifle dish. Start with the pudding, then add cake cubes so they can soak in the pudding. Add the fruit and whip cream.
  4. To make it look pretty, stack the outer-edge row of the glass in a nice line, alternating with strawberries, cake, raspberries etc. Continue layering until all the ingredients are gone, finishing with whip cream on top.
  5. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Enjoy!
Michelle’s Favorite Buffalo Chicken Dip for the Big Game (1/2023)
  • 2 cups chicken, diced, cooked
  • 2/3 cup buffalo sauce
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup blue cheese dressing (or Ranch dressing)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 2 green onions, diced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine blue cheese dressing, sour cream, and cream cheese.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine diced chicken, buffalo sauce, and garlic powder. Add half of the chicken mixture to cream cheese mixture along with celery, green onions, and half of the cheddar and mozzarella cheeses.
  4. Spread mixture into an 8×8 baking dish. Top with remaining buffalo chicken and remaining cheese. Bake for 25 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.

Michelle’s Favorite Lace Cookies (12/2022)

  • 1 cup butter salted
  • 2 1⁄4 cups brown sugar packed
  • 2 1⁄4 cups rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons flour all purpose
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, brown butter until it turns brown in color and nutty in aroma. Remove from heat. Allow to cool 5 minutes.
  3. In a mixing bowl or mixer, combine brown sugar, oats, egg and vanilla. Gradually add brown butter. Mix until combined.
  4. Stir in salt and flour.
  5. Using a cookie scoop, drop onto a parchment lined cookie sheet leaving ample room to spread. Bake 6 minutes or until golden brown. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for about a minute before removing to a wire rack.
Tips to Make them Thin and Crispy
  • Do not chill the dough. Mix and bake immediately.
  • Do not use aluminum foil or grease your cookie sheet.
  • Use a spatula to remove them from the sheet after they cool for 5 minutes and allow them to cool on a wire rack to continue to crisp.
To Store
  • Room Temperature – Cool cookies before storing in a glass airtight container. Store with wax paper up to 2 weeks.
  • Refrigerate – Cool cookies before storing in a glass airtight container. Store with wax paper up to 2 weeks. This method is great for keeping them crisp, especially in humid environments.