This sweet little favor of homemade apple butter is sure to please your wedding guests. Each batch makes 18 small jars.
Preparing the apples
You will need: 6 lbs of cooking apples (about 18-20 depending on size) / 8 cups apple juice / zest and juice of a lemon / 1 cup sugar / 1/4 cup packed brown sugar / 1 1/2 tablespoons molasses / 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon / 3/4 teaspoons ground cloves / 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice.
Wash, stem, quarter and core all of the apples leaving the skin intact. Place apples in a heavy pot with apple juice. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook, covered, until soft (about an hour).
Cooking the apples
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Press apples through a food mill or medium strainer. Puree if desired in a food processor. Add remaining ingredients, stir to combine, and pour mixture back into the pot. Bring mixture to a boil. Pour 3/4 of the mixture into a roasting pan. Place in the oven, uncovered, and bake until mixture sets up on the back of a spoon (about 8 hours).
Baking the apple butter
As the apple butter thickens (after about 4 hours) begin adding the reserved mixture to the pan in fourths and combining after every hour until finished.
Making the favors
You will need: 18 small sealing jars with clasp lid / freezer bag / scissors / wooden sample spoons / office date stamp / ampersand stamp / stamp pad / cardstock / hole punch / string or twine. Clean and dry small sealing jars (found at most craft stores).
Add cooled apple butter to a freezer bag and cut off the tip. Pipe apple butter into each jar to about 1/2 inch from the top.
Stamping the spoons
Stamp the top of each sample spoon with an ampersand stamp. Stamp the date of the wedding in the center of the handle of the spoon.
Use a word processing application to create tags approximately 1 3/4 inches wide and 3 inches long.
Creating the tags
Cut the tags out with scissors or a paper cutter and punch a hole in the top center of each tag with a hole punch. Stamp each tag with a heart stamp slightly off center.
The finishing touches
Insert the spoons into the hinge of the clasp and tie the tag to the hinge with a piece of string or twine.