When he was small, my youngest son had a habit of filling his pockets with treasures he encountered in his daily adventures. I didn't always understand the value he saw in his chosen objects -- really, how many rocks and sticks could one boy keep? In his eyes, though, each one was beautiful and important. Life is just like that on a larger scale, isn't it? We gather up the precious bits of our experiences and save them all to learn from and enjoy later. Perhaps you'll find a little something here that you'd like to keep in your own pockets. Thanks for visiting.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Apple cinnamon chips (gluten-free, vegan)

Despite the fact that it brings an end to summer holidays, September is one of my favourite months of the year.  It has a welcome, pleasant crispness to it:  in the cool evening breeze, in the leaves that turn brightly coloured and then crunchy after falling to the ground, in the cheerful red apples that are available in abundance during this season.  Once I accept that summer has passed, I find myself truly enjoying the subtle changes in temperature, in landscape, and in what we eat this time of year, as we move towards more homey and comforting foods with warm, fragrant spices.

Yesterday morning I headed out in a downpour to Martin's Family Fruit Farm to buy some freshly picked apples, one of our family's favourite early fall fruits.  While I was there, I was reminded of their apple chips, a yummy, crispy little snack made only from apples and sold there in packages.  I decided, once I arrived home with two large baskets of apples, to try my hand at making apple chips myself.  It was very easy to do (I used just apples and a little cinnamon as ingredients), and everyone here has been enjoying them very much!

Apple Cinnamon Chips  

6 apples (I used a mixture of Ginger Gold and MacIntosh, but I think any variety of apple will work)
ground cinnamon, to taste

Preheat oven to 225 F, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  Wash and dry apples.  If you have an apple corer or are good with a small, sharp knife, remove the cores from the apples.  (If not, don't worry -- you can do what I did and easily remove the centre from each slice of apple afterwards.) 

Turn an apple onto its side and slice its top off.  Keeping the apple on its side, cut it into uniformly thin slices until you get to the end of the apple.  Repeat this process with the remaining apples.

If you haven't yet cored the apples, cut out the centre of each slice using very small cookie cutter.  (I used a flower shape, for fun!)

Place the apple slices in a single layer on the prepared baking sheets, and sprinkle them with a little ground cinnamon.  Pop them in the oven and bake them for three hours.  (After an hour and a half, flip the apple slices over and sprinkle cinnamon on the second side before baking them for the remaining time.)

Remove pans from the oven and let the apple chips cool before serving.  (They will get a little crispier as they cool.)

I still really love the simple pleasure of biting into a crunchy, delicious fresh apple this time of year, but turning apple slices into chips results in something a little different and fun.  Baking the apples really intensifies their flavour, and the cinnamon adds a nice bit of spice.  Also, if you make these, your house will smell delicious for hours.  :)  Enjoy!

If you haven't already voted for Pocketfuls today in the Top 25 Canadian Moms blogger contest, I'd love it if you'd pop over to Circle of Moms to vote now!  (Click here.)  Thanks so much for your support!

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