Wednesday, October 3, 2012
It’s officially Autumn/Fall according to the calendar. Somehow, the temperature in L.A. refuses to reflect that. I can’t believe we’re still having high 90s F temperatures as we step into October! My AC and my electric bill need serious help. HELP!
Although the temperature is still summer-like in L.A., I’m already in the mood for Fall. At least, my palates say so. I’m sure most of you who are reading this post already wearing some nice sweaters when going out, maybe having the softest blanket as you roll yourself up while watching your favorite TV series on the couch (one of my favorite things to do to relax before I have kids), or even a mug of hot apple cider in your hands to get the chill off. Yeah? Please just say yes because I can totally imagine myself doing just that in Fall and Winter! The key word here is imagine! Or should I just say I wish I can do just that!
Before it’s cool enough for me to enjoy a cup of hot apple cider, fortunately, I have these Spiced Up Apple Chips! They taste just like a cup of hot apple cider, in the form of chips without all the heat. I can still taste the warmth from the spices on them. Another great thing is that they are baked in the oven at 200F degree, which won’t warm up my kitchen that much. Thank goodness!
In these Spiced Up Apple Chips, I coated them with the spiced-up sugar before baking them. While they were in the oven, I can smell the cinnamon and cardamom sugar caramelizing. My whole house smelled amazing and probably was the sweetest and warmest smell that Fall can get. Forget about the scented candles, all you need are Spiced Up Apple Chips in the oven and it’s all natural.
In case if you’re not familiar with cardamom, here’s how they look (see picture below). Those on the left are in whole pods and the one on the right are ground up ones. Cardamom is a popular spice in Indian cuisines, both in desserts and in beverages. It has a strong and unique taste, very aromatic and fragrance. It’s slightly spicy, comparable to fresh ginger, and has a hint of lemony freshness. It go so well with the warmth of the cinnamon.
Want to follow me to the kitchen to make these Spiced Up Apple Chips? Let’s go.
1) Place the sugar, cinnamon, and ground cardamom in a shallow dish. Stir until it’s well combined.
2) Slice the apples as thin as you can, about 1/8-inch. Noticed in the picture I have a Gala apple and a Granny Smith? I like it better with the Gala, the green apple is a bit too tart for my liking. They still taste great, but I love the Gala better.
3) Remove the core with a small cookie cutter, cute right? And it’s so easy. Unless you have the apple corer, use it before slicing the apple. Gently pat the apple slices with a paper towel so they are dried up. Somehow, I missed a picture of that. I must be too excited for the next step!
4) Drench the apple slices in the spiced sugar, shake of excess and place them on the silpat/parchment paper lined sheet pan in a single layer. And bake them away.
These Spiced Up Apple Chips are crispy and crunchy. The perfect snack for Fall and Winter. I love the warmth and sweetness from the cinnamon and the little hint of spiciness from the cardamom. The caramelized sugar adds an additional crunch to these chips. These are totally ADDICTIVE! Did I say addictive? Okay, you’re officially warned!
Time for another confession? You bet. Yes, you guess it right, I used to dislike cinnamon, a lot, when I was young. It’s another ingredient that I grow to love and enjoy now. I think the taste and fragrant of cinnamon reminds me of happy times with my good friends. Friends I grew old with and shared many sweet memories. Cinnamon reminds me of times when we were carefree, had some crazy fun time at the Theme Parks and enjoyed some cinnamon churros; Times we walked at the shopping mall until we couldn't walk anymore and sat down to share a cinnamon bun and a cup of coffee; Times when we didn't have to worry that the cinnamon bun will go straight to our behinds! Those were the good old days. That’s when I realized, I really love and enjoy cinnamon, after all.
But if you don’t like cinnamon, it’s okay too. Noticed from the picture above that I have two different types of chips? Those on the right are “naked” ones without the spiced coating. For those, I simply sliced up the apples and baked them off. And for the record, those plain chips are for my hubby. Yeah, he’s still at the “growing” stage to enjoy cinnamon.
I encourage you to try the spiced up version though. The caramelized sugar just added a different type of crunch that you can’t get from the plain ones. They are simply crisp, light, and packed with lost of spices and flavors.
Now, it’s time to get into the kitchen and make your own batch of Spiced Up Apple Chips. I know you’re going to love them.
Spiced Up Apple Chips: (Printable Recipe)
1/3 cup vanilla sugar (or use regular sugar if you don’t have it)
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
4 small Gala Apples
Preheat oven to 200F degree.
Place the sugar, cinnamon, and cardamom in a shallow dish. Stir until it’s well combined. Slice the apples as thin as you can, about 1/8-inch. Remove the core with a small cookie cutter. If you have an apple corer, remove the core before slicing.
Gently pat dry the apple slices with a paper towel. Drench the apple slices in the spiced sugar, shake of excess and place them on the silpat/parchment paper lined sheet pan in a single layer.
Bake for one hour, flip the apple chips up side down to dry the over side. Return to the oven and bake for another one hour. I left the apple chips in the oven overnight with the oven off. The chips were all crisped up when they were cooled.
**The bake time depends on the thickness of your apple slices. Make sure to cut them as thin as you can or use a mandolin if you have one. If your chips are not totally dry, bake them 20 to 30 minutes more at 200F degree until they crisps up.