How to Make Cookie Favors for a Wedding of Any Size

In the past few years I have made desserts for multiple weddings. It all started my senior year of high school when I agreed to make a three-tiered wedding cake for someone I didn’t know. After making that one tiered cake, transporting it 30-minutes away, assembling it on site, and leaving it on it’s own, I vowed never to make a tiered wedding cake again. It was so stressful and there was so much pressure to make sure nothing went wrong.

Josh and Alyssa Wedding Cookie Bar

I have learned a lot in the years since that large stressful cake, and more recently have made packaged cookie favors for my own wedding, a bride and groom’s cutting cake for my cousin’s wedding, and a plethora of cookies for a cookie bar at another cousin’s wedding. Each time there is still pressure to make sure this dessert is perfect for the bride and groom’s special day, but these projects have been much more doable than that dreaded three-tiered cake. Each project comes with it’s own challenges, but I have learned to have confidence in what I can do well, and what I should stay away from (hello, cupcake frosting). While you may not be asked to make a wedding cake on a regular basis, I’m here to tell you that if you can measure ingredients, you CAN make wedding cookie favors for a wedding of any size!

This past spring I made 750 cookies for a wedding reception cookie bar. There were five types of cookies and twelve dozen of each type. I’m reliving the journey here so you can accomplish this cookie milestone too. Wedding cookies for everyone! For reference, I made flourless peanut butter cookies, double chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies (similar to these), snickerdoodles (similar to these, but with fewer spices), and chewy ginger cookies (similar to these).

How to Make Hundreds of Cookies for a Wedding Reception Cookie Bar | www.passthecookies.com

Six months out: Talk to the bride and groom about their cookie preferences, expected attendance, and number of cookie types. Come armed with suggestions of a variety of your favorite cookies. Get excited about all of the delicious cookie possibilities. Practice the cookie types that you haven’t made before or aren’t as comfortable making.

How to Make Hundreds of Cookies for a Wedding Reception Cookie Bar | www.passthecookies.com

Five months out: Put all ingredient amounts for each cookie recipe in one spreadsheet and calculate the total amounts of ingredients you will need to get. Perfect baking times and determine order in which you will make the cookie dough batches. I recommend baking one type at a time so you don’t get confused and mess up a batch of dough. This also cuts down on cleaning time since you don’t have to wash the bowl and beater between two batches of the same type of cookie dough. Create your cookie dough-making schedule based on your availability. Purchase a medium cookie scoop (1 ½ tablespoon) and a small cookie scoop (2 teaspoons). These will be your best friends.

How to Make Hundreds of Cookies for a Wedding Reception Cookie Bar | www.passthecookies.com

How to Make Hundreds of Cookies for a Wedding Reception Cookie Bar | www.passthecookies.com

Four months out: Commence cookie dough making. Avoid stares at Costco as you haul 13 pounds of butter, 7 pounds of sugar, 5 pounds of brown sugar, and the 25-pound bag of flour that you thought no one in their right mind could possibly go through. You will need it all. Clear your freezer to make space for gallon-sized bags filled with dozens of frozen cookie dough balls.
Three months out: Make enough of one type of cookie dough to have 150 (or however many you need based on your headcount) dough balls. Maybe make a bit extra dough for snack.

Talk to the bride and groom about how the cookies are being served and who will be providing the serve ware, displays, and favor bags.

How to Make Hundreds of Cookies for a Wedding Reception Cookie Bar | www.passthecookies.com

Two months out: Make cookie dough for two more types of cookies, ensuring that you have 150 dough balls of each type. Play tetris with bags of cookie dough balls in the freezer.

One month out: Make the last two types of cookie dough and scoop 150 cookie dough balls out of each. At this point, you may need to revive your college mini freezer to fit all of the cookie dough. Determine which cookies will last longest without getting stale after they are baked.

Wedding Cookies-4

One week out: Have a minor panic attack because you have to bake 750 cookies in a short enough time span so that they all stay fresh. Also, you have to bake 750 cookies. I feel that should be reiterated. Have a coffee date with friends who give you a much-needed pep talk and start baking, starting with the cookie dough that will last the longest without getting stale, and working toward the most temperamental. I made my most fickle cookies on the day of the rehearsal dinner so they would be as fresh as possible without having to stress on the actual wedding day. Contemplate buying stock in parchment paper. Thank your oven mitt and baking sheets for serving you well and marvel at the newfound space in your freezer.

Place the cooled cookies in plastic containers or metal tins and clearly label them.

How to Make Hundreds of Cookies for a Wedding Reception Cookie Bar | www.passthecookies.com

Day of: Drop of the cookies at the reception with the reception-site event planner. If it is your responsibility, set out the cookie favors on the cookie bar. Otherwise, make sure the event coordinator understands the labels and has your phone number. Enjoy the wedding and feel a sense of relief and joy as people chew on cookies on the dance floor and stock up on more to take home. At the end of the night pack up the leftover cookies in the reusable containers you brought them in.

Day after: Bring leftover cookies and lots of plastic bags to post-wedding family breakfast and distribute cookies among all visitors for their trips home.

Top photo is of all the cookie bar at my cousin’s wedding by Anna Holcombe Photography.

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Comments

  1. I made about 1200 cookies for my grandson’s wedding. I baked the cookies about a week ahead and froze them. Took them out of the freezer the day of the wedding and they were like fresh baked. Took a lot of the pressure off and that way I was able to help with last minute details and enjoy the rehearsal dinner and the wedding day.

  2. Just came across your post and enjoyed reading it very much. I have to bake the cookies for a Wedding Sweet and Savory Bar the end of June, 2019, for 200 guests. Between the bride, her mother and myself, we choose 8 different kinds of cookies. The hardest part was coming up with the amount of cookies needed because they are supposed to be for snacking on during the wedding dance, as well as for taking home as favors. Because there are all kinds of other candies and snacks, it is hard to know how many cookies will be needed. I would sooner have too many than not enough.
    What I did rather than start making dough balls right away and freezing them, a week ago I doubled each recipe and pre-measured all the dry ingredients and add-ins, putting them into individual plastic bags i.e. I sifted the flour, baking powder, and/or baking soda, salt, spices (if included in the recipe) and put that in a separate bag. Sugars were bagged separately; as was the rolled oats, coconut, chocolate chips, M & M’s, etc. All the bags for a double batch of cookies were put into a larger bag to make a “kit”. Each “kit” was labelled. I then repeated this 4 times. Each double recipe yields 50 cookies, therefore, 200 cookies of each kind. I placed in Rubbermaid containers and stored in a cool place. Next week I will start by mixing one double batch of dough at a time, adding the remaining ingredients such as butter, eggs, any extracts, etc. Dough will be shaped into the correct size balls, then placed on parchment-lined cookie sheets to freeze. Once balls are frozen, they will be placed into heavy plastic freezer bags and will remain frozen until closer to wedding date when they will be baked off.

    • Wow, it sounds like you have the process well under control! This is a great idea for the large and long process – thanks for sharing!

    • I hope you (Valerie) will post/comment on how it went for you. I’ll be doing about the same number of cookies for a late August wedding for my son and his bride. I’m planning to make the dough balls early in the month and freeze, and then bake closer to the day. I am going to have to freeze the final baked cookie as well, but I’m thinking if its less than a few days in the freezer they should be fine. They requested Monster Cookies (mini variety), Chocolate Chip and a Peppermint Chocolate Chip cookie. I’m including Snickerdoodles and one other still undecided. I’ve purchased some 2 gallon and 1 gallon Anchor jars from Target and plan to use them with cookie bags etc. for the table. The added challenge is that I will have to travel a couple of hours and keep them “fresh” overnight. I’m also curious how you are setting up your serving table. This is all new to me so I’ve been so thankful for those that are sharing.

    • Hi Mohanuoa, I would suggest making a few batches every night. You can scoop them into dough balls and freeze them until you are ready to bake them all (usually a day or two before the wedding). I hope it goes well!

  3. The wedding is in the books, and I wanted to say thank you to Hope for starting this page and to the other posters for their ideas and comments. Invaluable!!

    My process was for 1500 cookies on August 31st. I started making cookie balls early in August and put them in freezer bags and the bags in Tupperware. The cookie balls were placed in a manual defrost freezer since I find auto defrost freezers are hard on cookies. The bride and groom requested 6 different kinds of cookies and we added a big jar of Oreos. I made mini monsters, chocolate chip, peppermint chocolate chip, ginger molasses, sugar and snickerdoodle. I used the medium sized cookie scoop for all cookies. The week before the wedding, I started baking the cookies. I would bake 10 to 12 pans a day. That way I wasn’t baking all day long. It took over 20 hours to bake them one pan at a time. Once baked, they went back in the freezer. The reception venue had a big walk in freezer. The morning of the wedding, I went to the venue and removed the cookies from the freezer and put them out on cake plates, cookie jars and some on trays. My biggest worry was defrosting the cookies without making them “wimpy”. I let them thaw a bit, then covered again until the reception.

    I can’t believe it, but I did not take photo of the cookie bar table. I’m hoping the wedding photographer took a few. I made cards with the recipes (guest could take a photo of the recipe) and large name cards for the cookies. It was definitely a success, and I feel this little group was a major reason why I pulled it off. Thank You.

    • Hooray! So glad it was a success, Deb! It can be stressful to make so many cookies and have them be perfect for guests, so I’m excited that this has been a place for everyone to share ideas and methods and help each other.

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