Grandma Joyce has been catering small weddings for friends and family for almost 30 years, which astounds guests when they step into the kitchen to compliment the food and realize that the master “chef” is our 70+-year-old grandma. Here’s a fun example of how she puts her creativity to work to make every wedding special–if a bride can dream up an idea, Joyce can usually make it a reality. This bride requested a “cookie bar,” meaning, a dessert bar with an assortment of cookies. You could duplicate this idea with standby staples like peanut butter cookies and a jar full of chocolate chip cookies, or try your hand at a few specialty bar cookies and fancier sandwich cookies. We’ll add in recipes for a few of these in future blog posts, but you can also watch for Grandma Joyce’s upcoming cookbook.
This bride had included a lot of rustic elements in her decor, including lots of reclaimed wood. The buffet table tied in this theme with some old-fashioned iron baskets, a vintage molasses cookie recipe, and a barnwood box to give the display some height.
Borrowing from another bride’s inspired “cookie bar” idea, Joyce added three flavors of milk. If you duplicate this idea, make sure you have plenty of chocolate milk on hand. Guests at this wedding chose chocolate or strawberry milk almost two to one over regular milk. We also added some “lactose free” milk in a separate pitcher. We recommend adding a supply of ice water as well. Decanters were propped up on a stand to give easier access, and once the party started, we added a small plate underneath each spout to catch drips.
Smaller “milk bottles” with a cute striped-paper straw completed the look.
Grandma Joyce’s Pro Tip/Trade Secret: You can purchase fun little mini milk bottles online, but we opted for the “budget” solution of purchasing Starbucks® Bottled Frappuccino® at our friendly neighborhood Cotsco warehouse, then finding a coffee-lover willing to empty the bottles Turns out, that the nursing staff on the night shift at the local hospital were happy to oblige. Labels were removed and then the bottles were sanitized.
Cookies tend to be “neutral” in color, so we kept the serving ware neutral as well and let striped paper straws, fruit, and a few strategically-placed, brightly-colored cookies serve as the “accent” pieces.
As you are arranging your display, go for a combination of different geometric designs and shapes. Square cookies stack nicely in nice, neat rows, while round cookies are more fun to pile in a jumble in a decorative dish (see below). Find the recipe for “Yummy Bars” here.
You’ll also love Grandma Joyce’s delicious recipe for white chocolate macadamia nut cookies.