SWEET TREATS: WEDDING COOKIE TABLE
First it's "I Do" and then a kiss...but it's the Wedding Cookie Table you won't want to miss!
Even in the fanciest of venues, the traditional cookie table topped with dozens of homemade cookies are a tradition at wedding receptions in the western Pennsylvania and Ohio areas. Family and friends display their baking skills to present a magnificent array of delectable treats for wedding guests to sample and fill a bag to take home. The cookie baker in me was so ready for this challenge - and Almond Shortbread with Summer Fruits was the perfect little sweet treat to share!
For the Bridal Shower, each guest was asked to bring a recipe card for the cookies they would bring to the wedding reception. Isn't that such a sweet idea?
SWEET TREATS: ALMOND SHORTBREAD with SUMMER FRUIT JAMS
I made a selection of the bride's favorite Almond Shortbread with Summer Fruits, a little something for everyone and so colorful! Fresh peaches, refreshing key lime, juicy blackberry, strawberry lemonade, fresh lemon curd, tangy raspberry key lime, watermelon, and raspberry peach champagne jam are all so summery and delicious for this special day!
These are so easy to make ahead of time - I prepared the cookie trays and wrapped in plastic wrap ahead of time. At the last minute, I added some fresh ivy and babies breath for a garnish and we whisked them to the reception hall.
On a sunny and hot summer day, these were so pretty and colorful. And always a crowd favorite! Fresh Lemon Curd and Key Lime are always a delicious surprise with shortbread cookies, but so perfect for summer parties. Everyone loves the summer fruit jams and preserves in these traditional almond shortbread cookies - but I had one extra special surprise!
As a Stonewall Kitchen Ambassador, I was thrilled to share the Stonewall Kitchen Watermelon Jelly filling on this special day. Refreshing and sweet, with ripe watermelon taste that is to die for! So unexpected and such a pop of summer-pink color! This is one of those rare jams & jellies that you just can't create at home!
There were lots of heart-shaped sugar cookies, traditional oatmeal & raisin cookies, chocolate chip cookies, a smorgasbord of brownies, and even a selection of cheesecake bites. All baked with love to share with this special couple on their special day! This sure is a sweet tradition worth keeping!
The sweetest way to end the sweetest day!
1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2/3 cup (134g) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups + 2 Tbsp (264g) all-purpose flour (sifted & spooned – not scooped!)
Favorite Summer Fruit Preserves & Jams: (You’ll need 1 cup for this recipe)
Raspberry Peach Champagne Jam
Raspberry & Key Lime Jam
Rhubarb Raspberry Jam
Strawberry Rhubarb Jam
Peach & Amaretto Jam
Fresh Lemon Curd
Fresh Key Lime Curd
1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tablespoon cream or half & half
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon light corn syrup
HOW I MAKE THESE:
1. Beat the butter on high speed with a handheld or stand mixer until creamy, about 1 minute. Switch mixer to medium speed and add the sugar, vanilla and almond extracts, scraping down the sides and the bottom of the bowl as needed. Turn the mixer off and add half of the flour; turn the mixer on low and slowly beat just until combined. Add remaining flour and again mix slowly just until a very soft dough is formed. Press the dough down into bowl, tightly cover with plastic wrap to chill overnight.
2. The next day, remove the cookie dough from the refrigerator an hour before you intend to start baking.
3. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper (parchment paper seems to work better than silicone mats for these shortbread cookies).
4. Roll the cookie dough into 1-inch balls, making sure they're nice and smooth. Make an indentation with your thumb into each ball. The dough may crack slightly when you press your thumb into it, but you can pinch the dough back together gently. Fill each impression with a scant 1/2 teaspoon of jam. Place prepared cookies in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or freeze for 10 minutes – this step is MANDATORY!
5. Bake the shortbread thumbprint cookies for 12 to 14 minutes, or until very lightly browned on the edges. The cookies will puff up and spread slightly. Do not overbake!
6. Remove from oven and immediately spoon an additional ½ teaspoon of Sugar Plum jam into each cookie, smoothing it around to fill the indentation evenly. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet. Cool to room temperature before glazing.
7. To make the glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar, cream/half & half, vanilla and almond extract and corn syrup until smooth. Add more liquid to thin out or add more powdered sugar to thicken to your desired consistency. Carefully drizzle over cooled cookies and allow glaze to set (you can refrigerate to speed this process up).
8. Store cookies covered at room temperature for 3 days or in the refrigerator for 5 days. Baked cookies can be frozen up to 30 days – thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
YIELD: Makes 36 cookies
Originally posted December 2010, revised and reposted July 2019.
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