Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Cookie Table Contest Winners and Runners Up: A Taste of Pittsburgh

Cookie tables are wonderful things in and of themselves, but more and more couples choose to go above and beyond.

Cookie Table Contest Winner

Kristen Mavrich  &  Nathan Bohn
December 29, 2018 

Photos by Brad Riggio photography

Because Kristen Mavrich and Nathan Bohn’s wedding was so close to Christmas, they wanted to offer more than just cookies — they wanted a dessert room.
After dinner, they flipped an entire room at Bella Sera to offer selections from six bakeries: Potomac Bakery, Prantl’s, Signature Desserts, Oakmont Bakery, Bella Christie & Lil’ Z’s Sweet Boutique and Bethel Bakery.  

They enlisted Cyprowski Candy Co. to coordinate the treats, which included burnt almond torte, Irish cream-filled lady locks, miniature fruit tarts, cannoli, raspberry almond cupcakes and nut rolls. 


Cyprowski also included cake pops, chocolate-covered strawberries, chocolate raspberry mousse cups, chocolate-covered marshmallows, cotton candy, confetti and licorice in the multi-tiered display on pink tablecloths. There were also plenty of boxes for guests to take treats home with a sticker that read: “A Sweet Ending to a New Beginning.”

“We were so happy with how everything came together, and our guests were certainly delighted,” Kristen wrote in an email. “We are still receiving compliments about how delicious all of the selections were.


Runners Up

Maria Pisano and Michael Snyder

Photo by Ben Filio

Having grown up in Pittsburgh, Maria Pisano knew her cookie table needed to be the highlight of her wedding.

“I grew up my entire life going to weddings and looking at other people’s cookie tables and really dreaming about mine. My cookie table had to be on point,” she says.

Her Oct. 13 wedding gave way to a masquerade theme to pay homage to her and her husband Michael Snyder’s love for Halloween. Feathers and masks were incorporated into the decorations and were the shape of some custom-baked cookies made by her cousin.

Maria, who comes from an Italian family, had a long list of guests who wanted to contribute to the Pittsburgh tradition, so she created an account on Lucky Potlucks, a website designed to help organize potlucks by determining which guest will be in charge of bringing which treat. From there, aunts, grandmothers and cousins signed up to bring pistachio thumbprints, Italian knots, peanut butter blossoms and peach bums. And, “No Italian wedding cookie table would be complete without Jordan almonds,” says Maria.

Completing the table were lady locks and cannolis from Priory Fine Pastries on the North Side, adding up to a grand total of between 3,000 and 5,000 treats.

Sean LaVelle and Caitlin Ionadi

Photo by Madeline Jane Photography

Caitlin Ionadi and Sean LaVelle’s May 26 wedding featured a cookie table with 80 dozen homemade sweets, all made by friends and family. 

Caitlin wanted the cookie table to have the same aesthetic as the rest of the wedding, so the colors had to play off of each other. This meant having some cookies offer pink and blush hues to them on two giant tables on each side of the dance floor, including Caitlin’s favorite: strawberry white chocolate chip cookies.

“My concern was that I wouldn’t have any cookies [during the wedding], so we gave my grandmother the job to get [my husband and me] each a bag of cookies,” Caitlin says with a laugh. “She took it very seriously!”

Robert Crall and Victoria Novak

Photo by Lori Ostroski

When Robert Crall married Victoria Novak on April 27, the two knew they wanted a huge cookie table. But with the help of Robert’s family and in-laws, they were able to fill an entire room.

Off to the side of the reception at Stratigos Banquet Center in North Huntingdon, a smaller room with a huge table in the center held the desserts. Stratigos helped arrange the cookies and other sweets around centerpieces.

“Nobody knew where the cookies were until after dinner when they opened the door,” Robert says with a laugh. “It was like there were angels singing. It was like Willy Wonka if he was a baker.”

The room included six different types of biscotti, pizzelles, peanut butter blossoms, thumbprints, ladylocks, traditional chocolate chip and 150 pies, made by Victoria’s mother, Belinda. To get them there, Robert’s mother used large pizza boxes stacked in his truck, which took “three or four dedicated trips” to the venue.

“Being from south of Pittsburgh, obviously you have to have a cookie table at your wedding,” Caitlin Crall, Robert’s sister, says. “That’s usually the first words that come out of someone’s mouth.”

Shawn Kelly and Ashley Brown

Photo by The Good Photo Co.

Although Shawn Kelly and his wife Ashley Brown had a smaller wedding at Succop Nature Park in Butler County on Sept. 7, the cookie table was anything but. Their friends and families came together to make between eight and 10 dozen of each type of cookie, including chocolate chip, chocolate peanut butter, mint chocolate chip, buckeyes, thumbprints, pizzelles and a selection of others.

Shawn’s love for candy also inspired his mother Elizabeth to leave out dishes of the small sweets throughout the cookies. His sister-in-law contributed a peg board with dozens of donuts.

“I’d like to thank all that helped, but really my mom and my gram made it special,” Shawn says. “My gram’s baking is the best, and my mom learned pretty well from her. Everyone put a lot of time and effort into the table.”

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit Module Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

Back to School: 20 Famous Pittsburghers' Yearbook Photos

Can you put names to the faces of these notable Pittsburgh graduates?

Pirates’ Epitaph: July 2019 – The Bucs Stopped Here

Clint Hurdle’s team was respectable, and in a contending position at the All-Star break. Then the bottom fell out, and the Pirates have looked like Little Leaguers ever since. All that remains now is to see how far they can actually sink.

The 400-Word Review: American Factory

This impressive documentary, produced in part by Barack and Michelle Obama, is loaded with insight and perspective.

The 400-Word Review: The Peanut Butter Falcon

"The Peanut Butter Falcon," an indie comedy with great performances, thinks a bit more of itself than it earns.

The 400-Word Review: Ready or Not

Don't mistake this for another half-hearted teen scream. "Ready or Not" is an enjoyable horror satire.

Don't Let Headlines Keep You Away from the South Side

The weekend volcano went off on East Carson on Saturday night. That doesn't mean the neighborhood has a fundamental problem.

Steelers Challenge: Making the Most of Big Ben’s Final Years

The Steelers couldn’t find a franchise quarterback between Terry Bradshaw and Ben Roethlisberger. Now, with Roethlisberger as the sole remaining link to the team’s Super Bowl success, the time for another championship run is now — or it might not be for a while.

Restaurant Review: Alta Via

With its first new restaurant in 15 years, the big Burrito Restaurant Group proves it still has it.

The Amazing and Important Things Being Taught Off Campus

For Pittsburgh’s universities, some of the most dynamic research and learning take place beyond campus borders.

A Helping Hand: School Supplies as Easy as ABC

The Education Partnership helps teachers get what they need without breaking the bank.

Coworking Gets Down to Business in Pittsburgh

Sharing a workspace becomes more than just a place to plug in a laptop for entrepreneurs seeking an environment where they interact and help others.

Find Out How to Play Hockey at the Bottom of a Pool

Penguins skate on the ice; stingrays swim below it. See what happens when they toss the puck in the pool.

A Unique Honor for the King of Dukes

Duquesne basketball legend Chuck Cooper broke the NBA’s color line in 1950; next year, he’s getting a posthumous, one-of-a-kind honor at his former campus.

Our 50 Years: Myron Cope on Sports

In the earliest years of Pittsburgh Magazine, we didn’t quite know how to cover sports — so we just let Myron Cope say whatever he wanted.

Pigeon Bagels Opens In Squirrel Hill

Gab Taube opened a standalone location for her popular bagel business in July and we're very happy about it.