Older kids will love these apple chips - with a heart cut out so they know who baked for them.
Slicing device (either a Mandolin, food processor or
Parchment paper or Silpat baking mat
Cinnamon and sugar (optional)
Choose a few apples with no blemishes (Gala or Honey Crisp
apples work well). Thinly slice the apples crosswise. A kitchen
tool called a Mandolin is best for this job because it produces
very thin slices, but a food processor also will work. Both of
those tools are extremely sharp. You can also use a knife and cut
very thin, uniformly sized slices. No matter what tool you use,
slicing the apples is an adults-only job. Note that it is critical
to slice the apples very thinly so they will dry out.
Lay out your slices on a cutting board and put your kids to
work with some small, heart-shaped cookie cutters. Use the cookie
cutter to cut out the seedy center of each apple slice. Dip all the
slices in some freshly squeezed lemon juice to prevent browning.
Depending on your family's taste, you could sprinkle the slices
with a small amount of cinnamon and sugar before baking.
Bake the apple slices on parchment, a Silpat baking mat or a
cooling rack for an hour and 10 minutes in a 250 degree oven. Watch
the apples carefully toward the end of the cooking time because
they can burn quickly. Once they are lightly browned, take the
slices out of the oven and gently remove them to a rack. They will
crisp up as they cool.
Caitlin Murray Giles is a full-time mother of three and part-time freelance writer living in Wicker Park.