If favors aren't edible, they're a waste. Seriously. Although I'm sure you only invited 300 of your absolutely CLOSEST, BESTEST friends, I'm also sure that 99% of them (ok, all of them except your mother and grandmother) do NOT want a to decorate their house with memorabilia from your wedding. If you're lucky, they'll frame a picture of themselves with the bride, but they'll probably look drunk because, let's face it, they DO care about the open bar. Which is why I opted for the best wedding favor, the kind that is homemade, edible yumminess.
My mom has been canning apple butter for years and she gets 100% of the credit for our delicious favors. She has kindly agreed to share her recipe! Everyone say THANK YOU Amy! And check out her blog where she hosts tons of giveaways.
Caramel Spice Apple Butter (Adapted from the Ball Blue Book)
Yield: 9-12 Half-pint jars
8 – 9 lbs Apples, cored & quartered (to yield about 12 cups apple pulp)
4 cups Sugar, divided
1 cup water or apple juice
2 teaspoons Cinnamon, ground
½ teaspoon Ginger, ground
½ teaspoon Cloves, ground
½ teaspoon Nutmeg, preferably freshly ground
2 Tablespoons Lemon juice
In a large saucepot or Dutch oven, combine apples and add the water or apple juice. Bring to a boil then reduce heat. Cover and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until apples are softened. Press through a food mill or sieve. Return pulp to saucepot; set aside.
In a large skillet or saucepan, heat 2 cups sugar over medium high heat until sugar begins to melt, shaking skillet occasionally to heat sugar evenly; reduce heat. Cook and stir over medium heat until sugar is melted and turns a rich, golden brown. Be VERY careful, as the caramelized sugar is extremely hot. Keep a bowl of ice water handy in case you get burned.
Carefully pour caramelized sugar into apple mixture in kettle (mixture will spatter!) The caramelized sugar will harden like candy, but will eventually melt. Stir in the remaining sugar and spices. Bring to a boil then reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, stirring often, until thick enough to round up on a spoon. Stir in lemon juice. Ladle into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Process in boiling water bath 10 minutes for half-pints and 15 minutes for pints.
Amy recommends tasting your apple butter and adjusting the spices as desired.
We printed the labels on top using images from our invitations (suitcase) and another family member, Tammy, did all the calligraphy. Thank you Tammy!