If you’ve ever been to a wedding in the Western Pennsylvania or Youngstown, Ohio area, chances are you experienced a wedding cookie table. Platters of lady locks, buckeyes, peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies, and other wonderful specialties can typically be found adorning a long, decorated banquet table.

I was raised in a Greek family and it was common to see plates of baklava, kourambiethes, kataifi,and paximathia at all of our weddings. Sometimes, these cookies were in the middle of every table. We loved to sample each one, savoring the delicious family recipes that had been passed down through generations.

Traditional Greek Cookies

Baklava: This rich, sweet pastry made of layers of filo dough filled with chopped nuts is sweetened and dampened with syrup or honey, although the numerous variants call for pistachios, almonds or other nuts.

  • Kourambiethes: This tasty cookie, pictured above, is heavy on almond flavoring and usually includes a shot of whiskey in the dough. It can be often be found in a crescent shape, heavily dusted with powdered sugar.
  • Kataifi: A special pastry dough in the form of thin thread-like strands, makes this cookie appear to look like shredded wheat. Kataïfi is assembled by placing filling at one end and then rolling up the dough. Like many Greek dessert recipes, a simple syrup is poured over after baking.
  • Paximathia: This hard cookie is often called Greek biscotti. It is baked in loaves, sliced when warm, and baked again briefly. The result is a buttery, delicious cookie that is perfect for dunking.

As a wedding coordinator, I have been witness to many fabulous cookie tables. Large and small, ethnic or traditional, they are always the hit at every wedding. Guests will line up to fill their small plates with wonderful cookies. Convenient containers are provided and guests are encouraged to carry home plenty of cookies to remind them of the joyous occasion.

Modern cookie tables are often blended in color with the theme color of the wedding. Speciality heart shaped cookies, frosted in pink, can be found mingled with others. Thumbprints are also a great cookie that can be filled with icing that matches the wedding color.

Typically, relatives of the bride and groom will collaborate and decide who is baking which cookie. It is a wonderful family affair! Each aunt, grandmother, and cousin will get in on the act, baking whatever is their specialty.

Everyone loves a cookie. The next time you are at a Pennsylvania wedding, be sure and check out the devoted work of dedicated family members. They lovingly baked for the bride, groom and their treasured guests.

Fun Fact!

The Pittsburgh Wedding Cookie Table is a Facebook page that has over 14,000 members. These cookie enthusiasts share recipes, ask questions, and even challenged the Hershey company over the removal of tips on their kisses! This community takes cookies seriously and loves to connect and share amazing pictures and videos of wedding cookie tables.

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Joanne Jamis Cain is a special event and wedding coordinator and lives in Clinton, PA. She shares her life with her husband of 37 years, and a golden retriever, many chickens, and several beehives. She adores her two adult children and two grandchildren. Visit Joanne's blog at KatherinesDaughter.com.