apples for apple chips

There aren’t a lot of elementary school projects I look back on fondly. The year we had a class rabbit, which I took home with me for a weekend? All I got was a mess to clean in the basement one night and a strange cedar-chip smell in our classroom year-round. Making a scaled-down solar system? That wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t something I’d like to do again, either. Then there was the annual Great American Day where I’d go in dressed as Mary Todd Lincoln, basically every year, wearing the same brown polyester dress and bonnet. I can’t remember where we bought that costume, but boy, it saw a lot of Halloweens.

One project that stands out in particular memory was something you’d think I’d have loved, especially with the alternatives: a class cookbook, with one recipe coming from each child, being printed up and made into copies for each of us to keep.

Looking back, I don’t know why I didn’t ask my mom for help with that cookbook—in fact, judging from the barbeque chickens and vegetable casseroles that filled the completed copy, I think I was the only one who didn’t. But, I swear, in my little six-year-old mind, I thought the teacher said we had to come up with it on our own.

I was very diligent about rule-following back then; I still remember the guilt I’d felt after saying I read an entire book for BookIt!, when I’d actually skipped two pages. [A certain person I know recently admitted to lying his way through every one of those monthly reading competitions, all in the name of free personal-pan pizzas, and this made part of me felt a lot better. The other part thought I should write a confession letter tomorrow. ] So I don’t need to tell you that if I thought I had to do it myself, I was going to do it myself.

I knew I couldn’t make cookies unless someone was there helping me and I hadn’t the faintest idea of how to make any main entrée or a meal. So, wracking my brain for something—anything—I wrote down the only recipe I really knew I could make, the thing I’d bring you, as a six-year-old, if I were treating you to a meal at my house: cereal.

The short ingredients list of milk, cereal, bowl and spoon was followed by an equally short set of directions, something to the effect of: Pour cereal into bowl and add milk, then use spoon to eat. It’s a little embarrassing now that I think about it.

It’s especially embarrassing when I think of how many easy, easy recipes are out there, recipes simple enough for a child to remember them, although maybe not always safe enough for a child do (as in, knives or ovens required).

I could’ve explained how to make a hot fudge sundae, right? Ice cream, toppings, what more do you need? Or maybe a fruit salad? Just cut up fruits and throw them in a bowl, maybe mixing them around with yogurt, if you’d like?

apple chips

Or, if I had been just a little precocious, I could’ve explained how to make apple chips.

When I first saw this recipe, I almost didn’t believe something so easy could really taste good. But Kelly at Eat Make Read called them, well, I think, addictive was her word, and, in my experience, foods that are addictive are foods I like most.

You only need two ingredients: apples and powdered sugar. Couldn’t be simpler, right? And as far as directions, it’s about as basic as pouring cereal into a bowl: slice apples as thinly as possible. Cover two cookie sheets with powdered sugar and top with layer of apples then another layer of powdered sugar. Bake at 250 degrees for two hours, alternating the sheets halfway through.

If you’d like to see the original recipe, head over here (and while you’re there, look around: Kelly’s got a beautiful food blog with great design and quality recipes).

But, I promise, I’m not oversimplifying. This is as easy as it gets, and the chips, well, they really are addictive. Plus, despite the sugar, you’ll feel like you’re healthy for eating them since, you know, they’re just apples.

Shanna Mallon

Shanna Mallon started Food Loves Writing back in 2008, as a way to remember her grandma and write about her life through food. Since then it's become a place leading her to a lifestyle of eating whole foods, a new home in Nashville and the love of her life, Tim. Follow Shanna on Twitter @foodloves, keep up with Food Loves Writing on Facebook and stay inspired with the monthly newsletter.

This Post Has 13 Comments

  1. Lan

    i bet the house smelled so warm and cozy. i’ll make this for jab’s snack this week. did you slice them by hand or with a mandolin thinger? i might have to sprinkle with some cinamon because i just love love that combo.
    i really enjoyed your story about the classroom recipe book. i think we did that too, in 5th grade tho, but for international dishes. at 6 years old, we had to actuall bring the dishes to school to share.
    and no, i don’t get tired of being nice to you. unless you write something gawd-awful mean about Madonna or Matt Nathanson …

  2. Nick

    My mom used to make these for me ALL THE TIME. They are absolutely delicious.

    We clearly had different school experiences. You were making cookbooks and I was trying to avoid wedgies. :)


  3. Katie

    Hmmmm…. definitely sounds easy enough :) Would it work with old apples – the ones you know won’t taste the best but are still too good to throw away?

  4. Chessa

    Embarassing? No way! I think it is SO sweet. And, you thought of doing it on your own which is wonderful and independent!

    Now these things sound fabulous. I will have to try them.

  5. Don

    Nick, I was giving wedgies and scraping the white stuff out of Oreos. The guys I was giving wedgies to are all bigger than me now and the white stuff didn’t taste as good without the chocolate wafers.

  6. Alejandra

    I love this story. It’s funny because I was actually just thinking about the cookbook my kindergarten class put together and called my mom to ask her to email me the recipes that she had contributed. These sound wonderfula nd i plan on making them at home although do you know if the sugar is required? I have to control my sugar intake so I would like to skip that part if possible.

  7. Joie de vivre

    Cereal? That is the cutest thing ever.

  8. Shannalee

    Lan, I’m chuckling at the image of me, bringing in cereal as my class potluck meal. Yeah, I think I’m glad we just made a book. (PS, will you hate me if I tell you I never know who musicians are and actually had to Google Matt Nathanson just now? Because if you will, I didn’t just tell you that.)

    Nick and Don: I’ll never understand boys.

    Katie: My apples were actually a little old, too. I cut off brusied parts, but everything worked out otherwise. Go for it!

    Chessa and Joie de vivre: You’re both very kind. Wish I’d known you then!

  9. kelly

    i’m so glad you liked them as much as i did! you’re halloween costume made me giggle… i definitely had a few of those costumes that saw multiple years (and lots of groaning).

  10. Shannalee

    Thanks for posting this one, Kelly! So good!

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