Oh how we love this time of year when muggy days are replaced with those that are pleasantly crisp. When the leaves begin to change from dull greens to vibrant reds and oranges. And when we can finally start cooking and baking with fall ingredients again.

Pumpkin, butternut squash, cranberries, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and brown sugar are some of our favorite fall ingredients. But let’s not forget apples.

In 1976 the apple became the state fruit of New York, and today there are over 700 commercial apple growers here. So whether you head to a farmers market, produce stand, grocery store or an orchard you’re bound to find a variety you like.

While apples are good just the way they are, there’s also so much you can do with them. Sliced apples are great with hummus, cheddar cheese or peanut butter. Raw diced apples are good in salad, cooked ones work well with cabbage. And of course you can even make baked apple chips. (This is time consuming so do it when you know you’ll be home for a while!)

Baked Apple Chips

Yield: 2-4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 1/2-3 hours

3 apples (whichever variety you like!)
2 T ground cinnamon
1 t ground ginger
1 1/2 t ground cloves
1 1/2 t ground nutmeg

Preheat your oven to 200° and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Wash, core and slice the apples. You will want to slice very thin. Place slices in a single layer on the baking sheet (or two baking sheets if you need more room).

Mix together spices and lightly sprinkle over the apple slices, leaving about half the spice mix remaining. Bake for 1 1/2 hours then remove from oven. Flip over the slices and season the other sides, using the remaining spice mix. Resume baking for about an hour. If you want them a bit crispier you can bake slightly longer. Once done, leave them in the oven as it cools (and they will continue to get crispy).

Remove, and dig in! If you have any leftovers, simply place in an airtight container. They will last for about a week but you will most likely eat them all long before then.