It's high wedding season. Was there wedding cake on your plate last weekend? Gourmet's contribution to wedding season is a nod to the newly popular tradition of a cookie buffet at a wedding. Have you ever seen a cookie table at a wedding, and did it even replace the wedding cake?
I saw my own family in this article, which talks about the wonder of a well-decked, family-baked table of sweets. All the grandmothers, great-aunts, and relations bring their best baking expertise to the treats laid out at many weddings in Ohio and Pennsylvania, with classic treats like pizzelles, mini cream horns, Czech nut pastries, and jam-filled cookies holding pride of place. The author was dubious about the tastefulness of such a tradition ("like a card table laden with Snickerdoodles trying to upstage the fancier wedding cake" she says) until she saw the sheer splendor of a cookie buffet.
I personally had a cookie table at my own wedding (you can see all the details here) but it wasn't as a replacement for the wedding cake. I felt like it gave some of my family a chance to participate in the hospitality of the day, and it also gave people something sweet to nibble on immediately after dinner. The wedding cake is usually a more formal dessert, served near the end of a reception, and sometimes — let's face it — it isn't even very good. Those little caramel bars, peppermint-chocolate slices, pizzelles, and pecan tassies were much more popular than my own cake, even though it was admittedly homemade.
So I don't see cookies actually replacing a wedding cake; the cake is a centerpiece and a focal point for some of the tradition of a reception. But I do love the idea of a cookie table or dessert buffet where your guests can graze and "fill in the corners" right after dinner. This is becoming a tradition in my family; we did it again for my brother's wedding.
What about you? Have you been seeing cookie buffets at weddings? Do you think it will eventually replace the wedding cake?
• Read the article: Cookies--The New Cake by Becky Aikman at Gourmet.com
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(Image: Stephanie Foley/Gourmet)