There’s a very special wedding tradition in Pittsburgh and it’s also a delicious one. Having a cookie table at a wedding reception is something that I have always known. I wanted to share this fun tradition with you and maybe you might want to consider if you’re planning your big day!
Although I have long enjoyed wedding cookies and had many at my own, I am not an expert. So to find more information about the tradition I contacted a cookie expert. Linda, from Linda’s Cookie Jar, bakes tens of thousands of cookies a year for weddings and the holidays. I asked her to share what she knows about the tradition. I hope you enjoy our little chat!
Lindsay: What is the Pittsburgh cookie table tradition?
Linda: Usually at weddings there is a wedding cake dessert and typical hors d’oeuvres served. However, in Pittsburgh, receptions usually start out with cookies as the appetizer or main dessert, along with a cake, no matter what the venue is. You won’t go to many Pittsburgh weddings without seeing a large cookie table as a standard in the reception hall.
Lindsay: How did the tradition originate?
Linda: I have no idea where the tradition originated, but southwestern Pennsylvania is full of Italian, Polish, and Slovak bakers, and I know my family was full of them. It might have been because it was a cheaper option back then. I remember always seeing cookie tables at weddings when I was a little girl, and my parents also remember having cookie tables at their weddings. As far as I remember it has always been the tradition.
Lindsay: Are there any must have cookies at weddings?
Linda: The absolute must have cookies are lady-locks and nut rolls. The other main cookie that is always requested from me are caramel cups. But lady locks are the number one must-have.
Lindsay: What does Linda’s Cookie Jar focus on? When did you start baking?
Linda: My business focuses on cookies for all occasions. I do everything from small company meetings, to large weddings, holiday gatherings, graduation parties, etc. I’ve been baking since I was a little girl, but my business only started back in 1999. It started out when I would just make small trays of cookies for family parties, but after the positive response and word of mouth I started to get requests and it just grew from there. All cookies are made from scratch using only premium ingredients, and they are available for order at all times throughout the year. It’s something I enjoy doing, and the best part is seeing the reactions on my customer’s faces.
Lindsay: How many cookies do you make during a wedding season?
Linda: Last Christmas season I baked 17,000 cookies, a little over 1400 dozen. And that was just for Christmas, done in 3 1/2 weeks. Needless to say the holiday season is my busiest time of year! For a typical wedding season I usually do around 700 dozen, but it varies every year. The one thing about my baking, is that I never do just a typical chocolate chip or oatmeal cookie. My cookies are very unique, and usually more complicated than that. My big sellers include baklava, nut rolls, russian torte, which is a layered cookie of nut filling, apricot and egg whites, and caramel cups…which are flaky cups filled with caramel and topped with a home-made whipped cream icing.
If you live in Pittsburgh and are interested in ordering cookies from Linda, her contact information follows: