Monday, January 16, 2012

It's Cookie Time! Wendy of "Wendy See Wendy Do" Breaks Down the Pittsburg Table

Today I have a special treat for you, dear readers. I mean that literally and figuratively because at the end of this post you will be rewarded with delicious cookies. Today I asked my favorite food blogger, Wendy of Wendy See Wendy Do (who also happens to be planning her own wedding) to guest post. A while back, Wendy mentioned that she wanted to do something really different at her wedding and it might take the form of lots of cookies. Unique wedding detail + cookies = happy blog readers. Wendy, take it away!

I am so thrilled to be making my second appearance on Follow the Wife! (My first was a few month ago in Meet Wendy and Joe and their Chicago Wedding.) You can imagine how tickled I was when Libby asked me to write a guest post! As a soon-to-be Mrs. I love checking out all of the awesome inspiration, advice and real weddings here on Follow the Wife!! What a great place to get new and fresh ideas when I am feeling like my Pinterest board is looking a little stale! So let’s talk weddings, shall we? I am getting married this summer in Chicago and have realized one learns about a lot of things when you are planning a wedding. I am talking stuff you never even knew existed... like rental tax, wedding insurance, chair covers and Pittsburgh Tables. Have you ever heard of a Pittsburgh Table? I hadn’t and I am from Pennsylvania! Long story short... it is a wedding cookie table on steroids! I first heard about the phenomenon from my caterer during my initial tasting. She told me how one of her brides (from Pennsylvania) had this thing called a Pittsburgh Table at her wedding and it was an enormous hit. I had to investigate. What I found was a wonderfully unique wedding tradition that I now plan to have as part of my own wedding this upcoming July!

Pittsburgh Table {via} 

New York Times writer Ron Lieber says no one really knows where the cookie tradition started but for as long as folks have been getting hitched in Pittsburgh there have been cookie tables. Here is how the Pittsburgh Table works: Western Pennsylvania mothers, daughters, family and friends spend weeks, sometimes months, churning out trays and trays of lady fingers, buckeyes, chocolate chip cookies and any other recipe imaginable. These cookies are then neatly set out on a table during the wedding reception for guests to enjoy. Easy as pie, right? Wrong!!

Fun Cookie Jar Idea for Pittsburgh Table {via} 

Pittsburgh Wedding Planning says brides wanting a Pittsburgh Table at their reception should plan on baking 5 to 10 cookies per guest. So (based on 5 cookies per guest) if you are expecting 150 guests you need to plan to bake at least 750 cookies or 63 dozen. 63 DOZEN COOKIES!!! That's a lot of cookies!! To lighten the load you will need to enlist family and friends to help bake. Ask your favorite aunt to bake up a couple batches of her signature cookies and then put them in the mail. You could even invite a bunch of ladies over for a day of baking, romantic comedies and cocktails! How much fun would that be??

Guests enjoying the spread {via} Ross Mantle - New York Times

 Personalize Your Pittsburgh Table! 

- Include recipe cards with the cookies so guests can make their favorites at home.
- Set out craft bags for guests to take a little extra cookies with them as a favor.
- Have the caterer put carafes of ice cold milk and chocolate milk for a "Milk & Cookies Bar."

To me.... the Pittsburgh Table represents what a wedding is all about: family and traditions. Generations of cookie recipes from two families coming together all spread out on a table for your guests to savor. Talk about something special! Whether you are from Pittsburgh or not! Well no cookie related post would be complete without a scrumptious recipe to ogle over, right? One of my fiance Joe's favorite cookies is the Snickerdoodle. So when we were making our list of cookies we would want for our own Pittsburgh Table Joe said this recipe had to make the cut!

Chocolate Chip Snickerdoodles
Slightly adapted from Food & Wine

- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 1 stick of butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon

    - Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
    -In a large bowl, sift together flour with baking soda, baking powder and salt.  In another large bowl, beat butter and 1 cup of sugar until creamy with an electric hand mixer.  Add melted chocolate and egg to butter mixture and beat until smooth.  Slowly add in dry ingredients being sure to scrape down the side of the bowl.  Add the chocolate morsels and beat until mixed in.
    - In a shallow bowl, mix together remaining 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon.  Using a tablespoon measure out 1-inch balls of dough and roll into cinnamon sugar.  Place dough balls on baking sheets lined with parchment paper at least 3 inches apart.  Flatten balls into 2-inch rounds.  Bake for 12-14 minutes then transfer to a rack to cool completely.  Enjoy!

    Thanks, Wendy! I absolutely love your Pittsburgh Table idea and can not wait to see all the wonderful cookies you have at your wedding.

    Readers, do you love this idea as much as I do? Would you try this at your wedding?

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