WHAT IS A COOKIE TABLE?

The name really says it all – a table full of cookies! But to the Western Pennsylvania region, it’s so much more! Traditionally, friends and family of the bride and groom, with the mother of the bride taking the reigns, prepare these cookies. Quite regularly, hundreds of dozens of cookies end up on display during the big day, and a variety of ethnic cookies make an appearance. Some popular cookies include pizzelles, nut cups, lady locks, fruit horns, biscotti and Italian wedding cookies – an anise-infused drop cookie with a simple, sugar glaze! To locals, the Wedding Cookie Table is such a strong tradition that the day just wouldn’t seem complete without it. Think of it as the cherry on top of a sundae!

WHERE DID THE COOKIE TABLE ORIGINATE?

Rooted deep in the history of Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Eastern Ohio lies the beloved cookie table. To the folks in these parts of the country, a wedding without a Cookie Table is like having a wedding without the Bride and Groom – pointless! The Wedding Cookie Table has strong ethnic and religious ties, linked mainly to European immigrants of Catholic descent – particularly present in industrial areas that housed Italians, Greeks, and other Europeans.

Although the beginning of the Cookie Table is debatable, it is believed that this sweet sensation has been around since the Great Depression. It has been implied that the Cookie Table grew in popularity during this time because it offset the cost of purchasing a wedding cake, due in large part to the family and friends who baked for the wedding.

WHAT MAKES THE COOKIE TABLE SO SPECIAL

Aside from keeping the tradition alive, the Wedding Cookie Table gives family and loved ones the opportunity to show their love and adoration for the newlyweds through working with their hands. The baker carefully selects each cookie and takes great pride in his or her confections. Keeping the bride and groom in mind, often times the baker aims to elicit a warm and happy memory – most likely from childhood. For example, the bride may have grown up baking pizzelles with her Polish Nana in her cozy kitchen, or the groom may have been known to swoop in and “test taste” his aunts famous sugar cookies. Either way, each person is baking with love and pride for their loved one, and those feelings manifest into a variety of sweet, sweet treats!

Wedding Cookie Tables in the Press

 

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