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