Quarantine Eats: Apple Roses

2 red/pink apples
4 tablespoons sugar (divided)

For the pastry:
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour for the counter
1 sheet of puff pastry (half of a 17.25-ounce package)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

1 - Thaw the puff pastry at room temperature for 30 minutes. When thawed, refrigerate until ready to use. Spray a 6-cup muffin tin with non-stick spray. Set aside.
2 - Cut the apples in half, remove the core and slices into very thin slices. Leave the peel on - it will give the roses a beautiful red color. Place the sliced apples in a microwave-safe, medium-size bowl and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of sugar. Gently shake the bowl to distribute the sugar.
3 - Microwave the apples on high power for 90 seconds. Then remove from microwave and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Transfer the apples to a strainer that’s been set over a bowl. Gently shake the strainer, then allow apples to drain for 10 minutes while preparing the puff pastry. Reserve the juice in the bowl.
4 - Remove the puff pastry from the refrigerator and place it on a lightly floured work surface. Using a rolling pin roll the dough into a rectangular shape, about 12 x 9-inch (30 x 22 cm). Cut the dough in 6 strips, each about 2 x 9-inch (5 x 22 cm).
5 - Combine 2 tablespoons of the sugar and the cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle each strip of dough with a generous teaspoon of the cinnamon sugar mixture.
6 - Arrange the apple slices on the top edge of one of the strips of dough, overlapping one another. (I used 8-9 slices per strip of dough. Make sure the top (skin side) of the apple slices sticks over the top edge of the strip.
7 - Fold up the bottom part of the dough so the edges meet. Starting at one end, roll up the pastry like a snail then seal the edge at the end by pressing the dough together with your fingers. Place the “rose” into one of the cups of the prepared muffin tin. Repeat with the other 5 strips.
8 - Place the muffin tin in the refrigerator while you preheat the oven to 375˚F.
9 - Once the oven is preheated, bake the apple roses for 40 minutes until light golden brown. Remove from the oven and brush the tops with the syrup mixture (see directions below). Return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes, until golden. (Cover the top lightly with foil after 25-30 minutes of baking if the apples are getting too brown.)
10. While the apples are baking, prepare the syrup by adding the maple syrup to the reserved apple juice in the bowl. Place the bowl in the microwave for 90 seconds then remove and set aside.