Almond Horn Linzer Pignoli
Meringues Ricotta Cookie Scumetti
Bowtie Italian Wedding Cookie Pizzelle

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, is in 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.

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

Pignoli: pinenuts from Spain, almond paste - every Italian bakery's most popular request

Linzer: shortbread, raspberry, chocolate

Almond Horn: California almonds, almond paste, bittersweet chocolate - isn't the name funny?

Italian Wedding Cookie: butter, walnuts, powdered sugar

Scumetti: orange peel, almonds, cashews - we were told these fragrant cookies are known as "brutti ma buoni" or "ugly but good"

Pizzelle: anise seeds & anise oil - cooked in a waffle iron, then trimmed with scissors, monograms would be the coolest on these — check with your baker!

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

Bowtie: pie pastry, apricot filling, powdered sugar - handsome!

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