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Decorating & DIY

The Cookie Table, Explained

At a recent wedding, the bride urged us to “check out the cookie table, a Pittsburgh tradition!” pointing to a table piled with hundreds of cookies. Interest piqued, the investigating began. Its origin, though disputed, stems from Italian and Eastern European immigrants who desired to bring a bit of their culture to American weddings (and avoid the cost of an elaborate cake!). Just before the wedding, the bride and groom’s relatives bake hundreds, even thousands, of cookies in all different varieties, where they’re displayed on a table at the reception, aptly named The Cookie Table. We searched some of Philly’s best bakeries (Isgro Pasticceria, Termini Brothers, and Belle Cakery) for their most reception-worthy cookies.

The Cookie Table, Explained - Almond Horn

Almond Horn: California almonds, almond paste, & bittersweet chocolate

The Cookie Table, Explained - Linzer

Linzer: shortbread, raspberry, & chocolate

The Cookie Table, Explained - Pignoli

Pignoli: pinenuts from Spain & almond paste; every Italian bakery’s most popular request

The Cookie Table, Explained - Meringues

Meringues: cassis, honey cardamom, sour cherry saffron & lemon poppyseed – the cassis meringues were juicy, almost tart, and had our mouths watering at the thought of them afterward

The Cookie Table, Explained - Ricotta Cookie

Ricotta Cookie: pillow-soft, chocolate drizzle, & lemon; award-winning for their melt-in-your-mouth quality

The Cookie Table, Explained - Scumetti

Scumetti: orange peel, almonds, & cashews; we were told these fragrant bites are known as “brutti ma buoni” or “ugly but good” wedding cookie

The Cookie Table, Explained - Bowtie

Bowtie: pie pastry, apricot filling, & powdered sugar—handsome!

The Cookie Table, Explained - Italian Wedding Cookie

Italian Wedding Cookie: butter, walnuts, & powdered sugar

The Cookie Table, Explained - Pizzelle

Pizzelle: anise seeds & anise oil; cooked in a waffle iron, then trimmed with scissors, we think these would be perfect to monogram—check with your baker!

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