Dessert is my favourite thing to make. I have a large sweet tooth and if I indulge in treats, I try to make them myself instead of buying them from a store. Not only is it more satisfying to eat something that I’ve created myself, but it also allows me to manage the ingredients that go into the recipe. Many dessert recipes can be easily adjusted without much of a flavour or texture difference. Sugar can be cut down or substituted for; fats can be adjusted for more calorie-wise options; and flour can be more nutritionally sound by incorporating whole wheat options instead of white flour. Dietary restrictions for anyone who is lactose intolerant or has Celiac’s disease can be accommodated for if it’s made at home.

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When surrounded by runners, it’s easy to find those who are on each end of the sweet tooth spectrum: the ones who indulge in their sweet tooth throughout training as they know they’re burning more than they consume, or the runners who are stringent about their diets and don’t dare satisfy those sugar cravings. I tend to be in the middle, but try to curb my cravings for healthier treat options. With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it means I’m going to have a table full of deliciously decadent pies and desserts. Having a family of only seven consistent dinner attendees, there’s almost one full dessert per person. I’ve made a variety of treats in my day and the ones that work out the best use ingredients that are sweet on their own, and in season.

These pretty little flowers are incredibly easy to make, but will have your guests think you’ve spent hours slaving away. Thins strips of apple, with a sprinkling of sugar and spice, all wrapped in a thin layer of pastry… it’s hard to go wrong!

Apple rose pastries 

INGREDIENTS:
– 1 large, or 2 small apples of choice
– 1 sheet of puff pastry (thawed)
– Juice from ½ lemon
– 3 tbsp flour for dusting the counter
– Apple butter or any fruit preserves
– cinnamon and ground cloves to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Slice your apple in half and then carefully cut the core out. You want to keep the half of the apple intact.
  2. Then, slice your half apple pieces into thin strips of apple, either with a knife of a mandolin slicer.
  3. Place those apple slices in a microwavable bowl of water with juice of half a lemon. This will help prevent the apples from browning. Microwave the apples for three to four minutes to soften. Then, drain the water out of the bowl.
  4. Roll out your thawed puff pastry sheet slightly on a floured surface. Cut into six even strips.
  5. Spread a thin layer of apple butter, or fruit preserves onto each strip.
  6. Start on one end and place the apple strips onto the puff pastry sheet. The apple slices will stack on top of each other as you work your way down. You want a little of the apple popping off the pastry strip. Leave a little empty pastry at the end of the strip.
  7. Sprinkle with a little cinnamon and ground cloves to taste. Nutmeg would also be a good choice.
  8. Fold over the bottom half of the pastry on top of the apple slices.
  9. Start at one side and start rolling. When you get to the end, take the little bit of extra puff pastry and rub/press it into other pastry to create a slight seal.
  10. Place them into a muffin pan cup sprayed with a little bit of non-stick spray. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes.
  11. Remove from pan and let cool on rack. Lightly sprinkle icing sugar once cooled, and serve.

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