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I’m off to the mountains this weekend, so I’ll be missing out on celebrating one of my favorite holidays – Halloween. Dressing up (myself, the bf, and the dog) and running around town with friends has always been a highlight each fall.

So to get in the Halloween spirit, I dressed up some sugar cookies instead. Do you like my country bumpkin pumpkin sugar cookies? Some are in desperate need of some dental work…

To make them, use a pumpkin cookie cutter and your favorite sugar cookie recipe. Then ice them with royal icing. Pretty easy. I found this royal icing recipe (below) to be the best yet. It’s easy to make, and dries in less than an hour.

Royal Icing

4 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons meringue powder
6 tablespoons water

Mix ingredients above at low speed until well blended and there is no sheen to the icing.

Adjust the consistency to your liking with drops of water, a little at a time.

Add coloring!




Halcyon Restaurant, Flavors from the Earth – Home
500 South Tryon #201
Charlotte, NC 28205
(704) 910-0865

Apple Spice Oatmeal Cookies

Click here for a printer-friendly version

Who knew oatmeal cookies could get any better? These soft and chewy spiced cookies are studded with bits of Granny Smith apple.

Yield: 52 cookies


1 1/4 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
9 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced into 1/4-inch cubes
1/4 cup apple cider
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup raisins


1. Position rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F. Prepare two baking sheet with silicone liners or parchment paper.

2. In a small pot over medium heat, simmer the 1/4 cup apple cider until it is reduced down to 2 tablespoons. Remove from heat and set aside.

3. In a medium bowl, combine oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger. Set aside.

4. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a medium pot until melted and foamy. Add apple and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add apple cider concentrate and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and cool.

5. With an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the remaining 8 tablespoons of butter and sugars at medium speed until combined. Add egg and vanilla extract, beat until blended. At low speed, add the flour mixture one-third at a time, mixing until just blended. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the cooked apple pieces and raisins.

6. Drop dough by tablespoons onto the prepared sheets, spacing the cookies 2 inches apart. With a wet palm, flatten each cookie slightly. Bake for 11 to 13 minutes, until cookies are golden brown on the bottom. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and cool completely.

Amount per serving

Calories 68.6
Total Fat 2.4 g
Saturated Fat 1.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.7 g
Cholesterol 8.9 mg
Sodium 3.8 mg
Potassium 42.9 mg
Total Carbohydrate 13.0 g
Dietary Fiber 0.5 g
Sugars 7.7 g
Protein 0.9 g

The smell of cumin, beef and beans will waft through Plaza Midwood and surrounding Charlotte, N.C., neighborhoods as the 8th Annual Plaza Midwood-Chantilly Chili Cook-Off gets underway on Saturday, Oct. 8.

The outdoor day-long event, held at the MMR Racing Parking lot off Central Avenue, will feature a chili competition for both amateurs and restaurant chefs, live music from local bands, a raffle and a motorcycle show.

Chili cook-off contestants will vie for trophies in three categories: Red chili, Green chili, and Taster’s Choice, which will be judged by the public.

Local bands performing are:

  • Belmont Playboys
  • Wiggle Wagons
  • Modern Primitives
  • Buck Mountain Stranglers
  • Haywire
  • Ryan Bach Band
  • The Loose Lugnuts

Tickets to attend the event cost $10 for adults and children 6 years old and up, and can be purchased at the door. All proceeds will go to Hospice & Palliative Care Charlotte Region.

Gates open at noon. Get there early to taste all the chili before it’s gone (and don’t forget your Pepto and Tums).

Four-legged friends on leashes are welcome.

For more information, visit the Plaza Midwood-Chantilly Chili Cook-Off site:

MMR Racing Parking Lot
1318-D Central Avenue
Charlotte, NC 28205

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