There aren’t a lot of elementary school projects I look back on fondly.
The year when 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 wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t something I’d like to do again, either.
Then there was the annual Great American Day, when 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 in my memory was something you’d think I would have loved, especially considering the alternatives. We made a class cookbook, with one recipe coming from each child, and it was printed up with copies made 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 barbecued 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 our entries on our own.
I was very diligent about rule-following back then. I still remember the guilt I felt after saying I read an entire book for Book It! 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 acquiring free personal-pan pizzas, and this made part of me felt a lot better… at least in part. The other part felt like I should write an official confession letter immediately.)
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 sort of main entree or a full meal.
Wracking my brain for something –anything – I wrote down the only recipe I really knew that 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:
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 make on their own (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 your fruit and throw it in a bowl, maybe mix them around with some yogurt, if you’d like?
Or, if I had been just a little more 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 The Best Remedy called them addictive. And in my experience, foods that are addictive are the foods I like most.
You only need two ingredients: apples and powdered sugar. Couldn’t be simpler, right?
And as far as directions go, it’s about as basic as pouring cereal into a bowl: slice the fruit as thinly as possible. Cover two cookie sheets with powdered sugar, and top with a layer of apples, then another layer of powdered sugar. Bake, rotating the sheets halfway through.
I promise, I’m not oversimplifying. This is as easy as it gets. And these chips really are addictive. Plus, despite the sugar, you’ll feel like you’re doing something healthy when you eat them.
You could make them this way, simply and plainly adorned. But I’ve spiced things up a bit in the version below, with some added warming spices and a touch of cayenne. But the process to put these together is just as easy as ever. With a little help, a kid could make them.Print
Enjoy the bounty of seasonal fruit this fall with the best baked apple chips, made with a mixture of flavorful warming spices.
- Preheat oven to 250°F.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
- In a small bowl, stir together powdered sugar, pumpkin pie spice, ginger, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper until combined.
- Thinly slice apples as thin as you can get them. Remove the seeds.
- Sprinkle a thin layer of powdered sugar mixture over both baking sheets.
- Arrange slices in a single layer on top of the sugar, then sprinkle another thin layer of powdered sugar mixture over the top.
- Place the baking sheets in the oven and bake for 1 hour. Switch positions of the baking sheets and place back in the oven for another hour. When the time is up, check on them to see if they’re crisp. If not, place them back in the oven until they’re slightly golden and crisp.
- Remove chips from baking sheets and transfer to cooling racks. Once completely cooled, place in an airtight container to ensure they don’t get soft.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 2 hours
- Category: Healthy Snacks
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Vegetarian
Keywords: apple chips, fall, autumn, healthy snack
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Measure Ingredients and Preheat Oven
Measure the sugar and spices as listed in the ingredients list.
Preheat the oven to 250˚F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
Step 2 – Make Spiced Sugar
In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, pumpkin pie spice, ginger, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper.
If you’re not interested in the hint of spice that the pepper will bring, you can skip it. But I love the touch of heat that it adds alongside the warming spices.
Step 3 – Slice Apples
Place an apple on its side and slice into rounds as thinly as possible. The best way to do this is to use a mandoline, set to an 1/8-inch thickness.
Be sure to use the hand guard and a protective glove if you have one, particularly as you get closer to the end of the apple. Remove any seeds from the apple slices.
Step 4 – Bake
Sprinkle a thin layer of the powdered sugar mixture over both of the prepared baking sheets.
Add the apple slices in a single layer on top. Then, sprinkle another thin layer of the powdered sugar mixture on top of the apples. I like to use a fine mesh sieve to sprinkle the sugar mixture evenly.
Bake for one hour. Then, switch the positions of the baking sheets and bake for another hour, until they are crisp on the edges. If the chips are not crisp yet, continue to bake them in 5-minute increments.
If you notice any smaller ones browning more quickly, be sure to remove them and let the larger rounds bake more.
Remove from the oven and transfer the chips to cooling racks. Once cooled, store in an airtight container to ensure they don’t get soft. Apple chips can be stored in airtight containers in a cool, dark place for up to 1 week.
Make It More than Just Chips
These baked apple chips are delightfully delicious on their own. But if you are looking to shake things up with your snacking, here are a few of my favorite ways to enjoy them:
- Make a trail mix out of the chips with added peanuts, M&M’s, and coconut flakes for a fun take on snack time.
- If you want something to dip these chips in, dreamy pumpkin cream cheese is just the thing to dive into. The fall flavors complement each other perfectly.
- Serve them alongside spicy root vegetable chips for a sweet and savory combo to have at a party.
You will find yourself making these chips every single week while apples are in season. In addition to our peanut butter and jelly balls, they are ideal for prepping your snacks on weekday morning. They’re so simple to make, while being lighter and more portable than fresh fruit.
Do you do snack prep in addition to your meal prep or homemade snack packs each week? Tell us about your favorite ways to feature apples in your plans in the comments below, and give this recipe a five-star rating if you loved it!
Looking for more gluten free snack treats for a sweet tooth? Here are some of our favorites:
- Naturally Flavored Strawberry Gelatin
- Mango and Strawberry Fruit Rolls
- Raw Brownies with Chocolate Avocado Frosting
Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published January 12, 2009. Last updated: August 26, 2023 at 17:43 pm. With additional writing and editing by Meghan Yager and Allison Sidhu.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Shanna Mallon
Shanna Mallon is a freelance writer who holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her work has been featured in a variety of media outlets, including The Kitchn, Better Homes & Gardens, Taste of Home, Houzz.com, Foodista, Entrepreneur, and Ragan PR. In 2014, she co-authored The Einkorn Cookbook with her husband, Tim. Today, you can find her digging into food topics and celebrating the everyday grace of eating on her blog, Go Eat Your Bread with Joy. Shanna lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with Tim and their two small kids.