Home / Cuisine / Guide to Traditional Southern Cookies

Guide to Traditional Southern Cookies

The main ingredient in any truly “traditional” Southern cookie is love. Southern cooks have always been meticulous about putting in the best of all things in their mouth watering cookies.

Three of the best “traditional Southern” cookies is the “Old Fashioned” Oatmeal, Traditional Peanut Butter, and “Old Fashioned Molasses Cookies. With a few simple steps and ingredients, these cookies will melt in your mouth.

As with most cookies, you prepare the dry ingredients separately from the wet. For the 3 cookies we are talking about, you can use the same basic dry or wet ingredients and methods for preparing.

Take the flour, baking soda, and salt and whisk it together. Now,your butter and sugar are beat together until fluffy. Now you can take the individual recipes and add as instructed to complete any or all of these wonderful sweet Southern treats.


Old-fashioned oatmeal cookies are made with shortening, brown sugar, buttermilk, and spices.

1 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk or regular milk
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, stir before measuring
1 teaspoon baking soda (decrease to 1/2 teaspoon if you use regular milk)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 cups quick cooking rolled oats
3/4 to 1 cup raisins

In a mixing bowl, cream together the shortening and brown sugar until light. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the buttermilk.

Into another bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices.
Stir the sifted mixture into the creamed mixture until blended. Stir in oats and raisins. With a tablespoon, drop onto greased baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake in a preheated 400 oven for about 10 minutes, or until lightly browned.
Makes 4 to 5 dozen oatmeal cookies.

Wonderfully chewy and full of flavor

4 tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temp.
cup granulated sugar
cup light brown sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 large egg
1 cups all-purpose flour
tsp salt
1 tbsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 F.


Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside.

Beat together butter, sugars, and peanut butter in the bowl of a standing mixer for 2 minutes at medium speed. Scrape the sides of the bowl and beat in the egg.

Mix in the dry ingredients until the dough starts to come together.

Shape the dough into 1-inch balls, roll them in sugar and place them 2 inches apart on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Mark the tops with a fork, crisscrossing and pressing down slightly.

Bake for 9-10 minutes until edges start to brown. Cool 5 minutes on sheet before transferring to cooling rack.


A wonderfully easy molasses cookie recipe, made with cinammon and ginger.

1 cup shortening
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 egg
1 cup molasses
1/3 cup boiling water
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
dash salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
4 cups flour, as needed (enough to make a smooth dough to roll out)

Cream shortening with sugar. Beat in egg, molasses, and boiling water. Stir in 1 cup flour, soda, and salt. Add spices and remaining 4 cups of flour, or as needed to make a stiff dough. Mix well, shape into a ball or loaf and wrap in waxed paper.
Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. Next day, roll out on floured surface and cut with cookie cutters. Place on greased and floured baking sheets.
Bake molasses cookies at 375 for 10 to 12 minutes.

These 3 recipes are among the top in favorites from the South. They are easy to make and wonderful to eat or give as gifts. They are comfort foods and made from readily available ingredients. Each one is a separate and delightful flavorful snack. Test your ability to master these “Favorite Southern Cookie” delights.