Shrinky Dinks (French Fridays with Dorie: Long & Slow Apples).

Being a child of the 70's (gosh, that sounds like forever ago...) seems to have aligned me perfectly to be a victim of fall for the Shrinky Dink craze of the late 70's/ early 80's.

I hope that I am not the only one with Shrinky Dink's in their past. (And yes, Silly Putty was a "thing" back then too...)

My impressionable young self was both amazed and delighted by the whole concept.

What's not to love? Such a simple concept. Cut out and decorate a somewhat decent sized piece of plastic. Pop it into the oven and out comes a miniature version, in almost perfect proportions.

Yeah, I thought my Shrinky Dinks and I were just too cool for school. I was such a nerd child.

So, how does a post for long & slow baked apples turn into an oratory on my mispent Shrinky Dink filled youth?

I asked myself the same question.

Blog post in progress - have Post It, will write...

At which point I started to think about how I think. (Nerd-dom never left my side, did it?) Perhaps the analytical nature of my "day job" has cemented the wiring in my brain to operate that way. Yes, the idea of drawing out a blogging process flow chart has crossed my mind on more than one occasion. Total nerd.

When I sit down to write a post, it usually happens one of two ways: 1) I have a story related to the item I am blogging about or 2) I start letting my mind wander and free-associate a concept.

It will probably come as a surprise to no one that the mind-wandering technique usually "wins".
Shrinky Dinks. Thinking. Apples.

They all tie-in. Right?

The whole apple assembly process was no big deal - peel and slice the apples thinly. Layer the apples with spiced sugar and butter in a set of ramekins. Fill the ramekins up.

Cover (with tin foil - I skipped the plastic wrap). Weigh down. Bake slow. Uncover.

What the heck happened to my apples?

That's where the Shrinky Dink line of thinking comes in. My once full ramekins now only have a 1" apple layer scrunched into the bottom of the cup. Seriously. Just. Like. Shrinky Dinks.

Now, I have baked enough apple pies that I should have been a little more clued in to what was going to happen here. "Should have" being the operative phrase.

Oh well, time to improvise - I wisely decided to make enough whipped cream to fill in the void and pretended I planned it that way. (Okay, so I didn't pretend I planned it that way; I freaked. I just don't have the kind of élan to pull that off...).

In spite of it's diminuitve state, it was one tasty little morsel. Those apples were as smooth as butter (no doubt aided by the copious amounts of butter and sugar layered in between).

Yep, if one has to eat Shrinky Dinks, this is certainly the way to do it...

Peace out, my friends.

This post participates in French Fridays with Dorie. The recipe for Dorie Greenspan's Long and Slow Apples can be found here on the LA Times website.


  1. Cher, my apples shrank just like yours, so I can only assume that is how they are meant to be! I had forgotten about shrinky dinks until now, but yes, we had them too. Another favourite trick was to put an empty crisps packet in the oven and it acted just like a shrinky dink, although a little wrinklier and more brittle than hard. This was delish. Have a good weekend.

  2. Even though they shrank, I suppose they still would have be sweet and melt in mouth :D

    Choc Chip Uru

  3. LOL I love that you piled on the cream to compensate for the incredible shrinking apples! I wonder if the apples in the LA Times recipe really were cooked for 2 hours - they look to be in much better shape than mine were. Hmmm. Happy Friday Cher! (and yes, LOVED Shrinky Dinks!)

  4. Indeed, I only have 1 inch of apples at the end. It shranked a lot, but I loved the apples better with the cream than on it's own, so I will love your cup with lots of cream.

  5. I only packed my apples to the top of my ramekins and ate the leftover apple slices. Now I see how some made big towers of I had shrinky dinks, too!!! LOL. They were wonderful, though :)

  6. Very smart of you not to use the plastic. It is a bit sad that the apples melt away. I had planned to unmold mine and envisioned a lovely, short apple tower that would hold a daub of whipped cream...even without my plastic issues, I don't think that unmolding this dessert would have been a great idea. Enjoyed your fun post.

  7. Lol!!!
    I remember those shrinky dinks-can't believe your amazing shrinking apples shrunk so much...but I'm sure the tiny amount left at the bottom was oh so delicious;-)

  8. My apples shrunk by about half…but they were wonderful!
    I remember shrinky dinks, Cher…I used to do them with my kids when they were very little…we made them into Christmas ornaments.
    Have a great weekend!

  9. I don´t know what shrinky dinks are, but I certainly watched the apples decrease by half. This was a great dessert, and now you have an excuse to make it again! Have a great weekend Cher!

  10. Okay, Cher, this is where reading the recipe clearly and not feeling you can ever go rogue wins out. First, I found the "Dorie's "rules" very confusing but, with help, finally figured them out. Then, it was obvious she expected us to put one apple's worth of slices into each ramekin. I had big Fugi apples. I swear each apple transposed into 100 very thin slices. I crammed and jammed those babies into each ramekin - one apple per ramekin - then weighted the hell out of them and out came a 1 1/2" high apple dessert from the oven. Which looked expecially good with a glob of whipped cream on top. I am going to leave this dessert to the big boys! Yes, I know shrinky dinks but can we get back to the pink furby. They are still $59.99. I am wondering if I should give one to Emma and Clara for Valentine's Day? Is it something they could share? Would it be a cool thing for me to know to give them? Personally, I'd rather spend $59.99 on a Furby that a Spaetzle Maker, I think.

  11. I remember Shrinky Dinks. They were one of my favorites. I'm glad you enjoyed the apples - they look delicious.

  12. I *totally* remember shrinky dinks. I'm constantly finding them at the bottom of long-stored boxes in the attic and basement. :) It was a favorite toy, right up there with my Barbie camper.

  13. Since I made the 20-hour apples, I didn't see any shrinkage, but it's interesting to see how they shrunk in the individual ramekins.

  14. You always have a unique perspective - and you always make me smile! Glad you enjoyed these!

  15. I LOVED Shrinky Dinks. In fact, today, I came across a Martha Stewart pet tag craft that uses printable shrinky dink paper. Check this out: You can relieve childhood!

    Anyway, I was shocked by the apple shrinkage as well. Still tasted pretty good (though I used too much orange zest). Nicely done, Cher! Have a great weekend.

  16. I have no idea what shrinky dinks are but I think I shrinky dinked my apples too!
    It was surprise peeling off the foil!
    But I guess on the up side there was more room for cream :)

  17. My younger sister was obsessed with shrinky dinks:) Talk about feeling old. But you are absolutely right about the shrinking apples. I think this is one recipe where Dorie gives us too much credit for figuring things out on our own!

  18. What kind of spaetzle maker did you get? Have you tried it yet? I think I need one too! More spaetzle and fewer dirty dishes would be nice! I tried every gadget with a hole in it:)

  19. Shrinky Dinks are still alive and kicking! My friend's daughter just got some for her birthday! I wonder if the type of apple affected the shrinkage (bwhahahaha) because mine shrunk a little but were still somewhat substantial. Since the taste is really the thing, I think this was still a winner for you though. They were yummy!

  20. bahaha :) the same thing happened to me and I felt SO defeated once I saw them and realized what had happened... LOL !! :)

  21. Next time I'll pile them much higher, a la the Little French Bakery's post, but I still think the 'Shrinky Dink' version is pretty. The whipped cream must have been lovely with this.

  22. Very cute shrinky dinks! I was so surprised at how much shrinkage there was as well. I am sure no one had a clue that they weren't supposed to be like that. And I love your polka dot ramekins, Cher.

  23. Too funny- I thought you were referring to them as shrinky dinks because the plastic melted (like mine did) !! But yes, the apples wasted away too. I definitely some version of crust to be involved with these the next time :)Thanks also for the well wishes about the flu- I am still playing catch up but glad I at least did not give the virus to Nana and my Dad. Hope you enjoyed your holiday season with Runner Girl home from school. My older son is now back at BU- hubby dropped him off since trip was too much for me. I told him to stay healthy and stay there :) Be well !

  24. Shrinky Dinks, Fun Flowers, wood burning kits. Remember playing with your friends (in our basement - unattended) with this stuff? Guess experimenting with burning rubber and chemicals made a good bakers! It was a weird week, but kind of fun to see what we all came up with, right? I'm glad they were only apples! Take care!

  25. Your ramekins are so fun! I love that you used large amounts of creme to compensate for the shrinkage. Certainly nothing wrong with that!

  26. Cher, sorry, I am running a bit late with comments from last week but we were sooo busy with the kids...but I definitely wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed this post - it never ceases to amaze me how much apples can shrink when baked and the "whipped cream solution" was wonderful, yes, whipped cream fixes a lot of things. We really enjoyed this dessert and one of the kids declared this to be a new favorite - I guess, I will be making this again soon.


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