There is one exception. The king of all apples: The Honeycrisp Apple. Don't cook this guy. Don't cut him up and make him into apple chips. I mean, you can.. But don't! If you've never had a honeycrisp, you're in for a real treat when you find one in season (look around in October/November for the best ones). They're huge, about as crisp as you can imagine, ridiculously juicy, and sweet sweet sweet! So, get some of those while you're out. Look for sales - their only drawback is they're typically upwards of $4 per pound. Yikes!
But, I digress. Apples are soooo versatile. You can bake with applesauce in place of butter. You can make pies, crumbles, crisps, bars, dehydrated apples, freeze dried apples, apple chips, candied apples, apple fruit leather.... I'm like the Bubba Gump of apples here, people.
Let's take a trip down Apple Chip Alley...
CINNAMON APPLE CHIPS
INGREDIENTS & GADGETS
Apples, however many you'd like (I used 2 for this batch)
Cinnamon, ground (to taste)
optional: sweetener of choice
1 very sharp knife or mandolin slicer
First, decide how you want your apple chips to look. If you want them to be round and have the pretty little "star" in the center, then you'll slice them whole. If you want to core them first, that's fine too - you'll end up with apple ring-shaped chips. Or, you can cut your apple in half vertically and remove the seeds with a melon baller or spoon, and then slice into chips.
Now, preheat your oven to 200 degrees F.
Take your apples, after you've decided what you're doing with the core, and slice them as thin as you can. I use a mandolin slicer for this.
Just kidding (no I'm not ... but you'll never see my dance).
This would be the time to sprinkle your sweetener as well, if you're using one (sugar, Splenda, etc.). Truthfully, I never use anything other than cinnamon. If you use apples that are already sweet, you don't need to sweeten them up any more. If you use, say, Granny Smiths? Well, you might be in for tart apple chips then. Maybe add some sweetener. Unless you like 'em tart!
Leave the apples in the oven for one hour. After an hour, they'll look a little curly around the edges, but they won't be finished cooking yet.
Depending on how thin your slices are, your chips may be done after the second hour. Chances are they'll be close, but not QUITE there. That's OKAY. Just leave them in there and check on them every 20 minutes or so. You don't really want them to brown, but you do want them to dry out and start to crisp. They'll finish crisping when you take them out of the oven and let them cool.
Alternatively, you don't have to let them get all crunchified. Maybe you like apple leather. Or apple rings. Or dried-but-not-crunchy apples. Dried Apple NotChips, if you will. If that's the case, start checking them just before the two hours are up and you'll have a little chew left.
When they're finished cooking (whether still chewy or crunchy), they'll appear to be quite dried out and a little shriveled up. Success!!