What’s a cookie table? Here’s your answer:

The cookie table came out of the 1930s, when Pittsburgh was taking an economic beating from the one-two punch of the collapse of the coal industry and the crippling Great Depression….

Cakes, especially during the Depression, were luxuries that required expensive ingredients—eggs, butter, sugar, and flour. Instead, families began to modify these ingredients to use a more rationed, yet creative way. By forgoing the customary wedding cake due to financial burdens, Pittsburgh immigrant families were inadvertently starting a new tradition.