The Wedding Cookie Tower

My sister's wedding cookie "cake"

A few months back I mentioned a type of cantucci (“biscotti” here in the U.S.) that I crafted for my sister’s wedding cookie cake. This being my first time actually constructing the cookie tower, I had no idea what quantity or shapes of cookies to expect from all of her family and friends. Just in case, I began preparing four types of cookies several nights prior to the wedding.

Cardamom-pistachio cookie dough

I made a no-nuts version of these salty chocolate wonders, the aforementioned oatmeal-raisin chai biscotti, four types of little meringues (cinnamon-hazelnut, almond, vanilla, and walnut), and a new rice shortbread cardamom cookie with a pistachio border. Why these four cookies?

Cardamom-pistachio rice flour shortbreads

Salty chocolate shortbreads

If any of you out there are zealous enough to ever try your hand at a wedding cookie cake, I will explain my choices. I made the little chocolate shortbread-type cookies and the cardamom pistachio rice flour shortbreads because the dough is rolled up into logs that wait in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook them up. Sounds good for a gal pressed for time, but who craves fresh, fragrant, crispy cookies, right?

Dad's anise biscotti

Mom's sugar hearts

Emily's dog spritz cookies

As for the biscottini and meringues, they provided dramatically different texture and structure than what I expected everyone else to make. The light meringues could sit atop anything without weighing the other cookies down and the biscotti could be stacked in myriad ways to develop layers.

Finally, I made four enormous batches of my tiny cookies mainly because I had no idea that I would end up with twenty-two batches of cookies lovingly baked by my sister’s friends and family.

The morning of the wedding started very early with the usual bridesmaid stuff (hair, primping, etc.) and then my husband and I got to work while my mother-in-law offered us indispensable babysitting.

First layer almost done, beginning the second layer

I thought it would take about two or two and a half hours of “gluing” together cookies with a thick powdered sugar-and-water frosting that I piped. Not even close.

Bottom level with seven types of cookies

Second level

Four and a half hours, six levels, many extra hands sticking cookies on here and there, and a complicated six person moving job from the kitchen to the display table 15 feet away outside, it was done.

The third level, with the oatmeal-raisin chai biscotti (with white chocolate)

Fourth level

Each level was different, dictated in part by the shape and weight of the cookies and in part by their color appeal. I give a lot of credit to my husband, who helped engineer every single layer with me.

Levels five and six (Maggie's chocolate coconut macaroons & Jessie's first ever macarons)

Unbelievably, we still had quite a lot of remaining cookies that the hairdresser and photographer happily helped us consume.

Ringbearers and flower girl

The wedding was gorgeous with orange, yellow, and green flower arrangements and blues and oranges for the wedding party. My bride-sister was stunning (not hard for her to do since she is pretty easy on the eyes anyways) and so happy.

Oranges, yellows, and greens

The bride's dress--lovely retro lace

Nana and her granddaughter selecting their favorite cookies

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11 Responses to The Wedding Cookie Tower

  1. Ellie says:

    Wow. When you Google “labor of love” under Images, a picture of that wedding cookie cake should pop up. What an amazing, delicious tribute to your sister, AM. Well-done!

  2. Roe says:

    All the hard work really paid off. Looks amazing AM. I didn’t get a chance to tell you that day, but you did a fantastic job. <3 <3

  3. Lori says:

    So so sooooo beautiful! What a great idea. Thank you for sharing that. The wedding looks beautiful,too. I’m sure you all had a wonderful time!

  4. Jenny G. says:

    I can’t express how special the cookie cake was at our wedding! It was overwhelming to see all those batches of cookies and the love put into them by our family and friends. You and Mr. Cuoca Ciccia went above and beyond to create a more beautiful confectionary tower than I could have ever imagined. It truly was a labor of love! Mille grazie.

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  8. JoAnn Schreiber says:

    i am planning a wedding and would love to find someone who can create a cookie cake for me.

    Whom would you recommend in San Francisco or the Bay Area? Thank you

    • cuocaciccia says:

      I do not have a clue. Is there anyone creative in your family who could at least assemble the tower? As long as you have a couple of good baker friends/family, you really just need someone who can spend the time putting it together. Good luck and let me know how it goes!

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