Cheesy pita chips fun to make, fun to eat

KIDS IN THE KITCHEN

February 03, 1993|By Beth Hillson | Beth Hillson,Contributing Writer

Can you ever have too many snacks?

Not if those nibbles are healthy and have some nutritional value and you aren't pigging-out too close to meal-time. But, of course, the snacks have to taste good or nobody will eat them. These crunchy-cheesy pita chips fill all the requirements, and tummies too. They are easy to make, great tasting and they're even good for you. They are also ideal for the times you need to bring a snack for school or a party, and any time you want something to crunch at home. Try making a batch next time the adults in your family have a grown-up party -- they'll be impressed and so will their friends.

Kids 11 and over can make these chips without help, but should check with an adult before using the oven or sharp knives. Children of all ages can toss together the ingredients and spread them on the cookie sheet.

A word of caution for all young chefs:

Ask an adult for help cutting the pita breads. Remember to use oven mitts or pot holders to remove hot pans from the oven. Set pans back from the edge of counter-tops so no one will be tempted to grab a chip before they're cool.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 12-14 minutes.

Do Ahead: Crunchy-cheesy pita chips can be made ahead and stored for up to five days in an airtight plastic container or a well-sealed plastic bag.

Equipment: cutting board, sharp knife, large mixing bowl, medium bowl, set of measuring cups, set of measuring spoons, kitchen fork, cookie sheet.

Crunchy-cheesy pita chips Makes 4 cups

3 pita breads

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon coarse salt (or regular salt)

1 can of vegetable spray (such as Pam) to grease the cookie sheet.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Carefully cut through the center of each pita bread to make two circles just like you would cut an English muffin. Stack the six circles on top of each other and cut in half to make 12 half-circles. Cut these in half (the long way) to make strips, then cut strips into squares. Place in mixing bowl and add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Use fingers or a fork to stir the pita squares until they are coated with oil. (If you use your fingers, have a couple of paper towels handy to wipe them after you've finished.)

In the other bowl, mix the cheese, garlic powder and salt. Add to the pita squares and mix until they are all coated with cheese. (Don't worry if all the cheese doesn't stick to the pita chips.) Spray the cookie sheet with the vegetable spray and spread the pita chips over the entire surface so they are in a single layer. Bake 12 to 14 minutes, or until chips are light brown on the edges, shaking the pan once or twice while the chips are baking. Let cool before serving.

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