The South's Best Bakeries: Cookies
- Fluff Bake Bar
- Paris-trained Rebecca Masson, who recently competed on Bravo's Top Chef Just Desserts, is the queen of the sugar fix. Find her creations at Revival Market, or order online.
- Why we're sweet on it: Rebecca updates retro desserts for modern palates.
- Order this: Fluffernutters and Concord grape macarons—together, they're the ultimate PB&J combo. Mail order available; fluffbakebar.com, revivalmarket.com
- Merridee's Breadbasket
The quaintness of this wood-beamed bakery, housed in a 1901 building, epitomizes Franklin, a town that prizes its history. Original owner Merridee McCray's recipes still circulate among the panoply of cookies and pies.
- Why we're sweet on it: The cookies, in flavors like chocolate chip and molasses, honor old-timey goodness without descending into hokum.
- Order this: Tea cakes, an old-fashioned variation on a sugar cookie. Hold with two hands, childlike, and nibble slowly. merridees.com
- Muddy's Bake Shop
- Bright colors, mismatched plates, and funky furniture lend a kitschy, carefree vibe to Muddy's, an attitude amplified by the good-humored staff.
- Why we're sweet on it: Kat Gordon has a playful knack for making childhood favorites into sophisticated seductions.
- Order this: Double chocolate-sea salt cookies. muddysbakeshop.com
- Sticky Fingers
- Doron Petersan amazed viewers when she won the Food Network's Cupcake Wars last year with vegan dazzlers containing no dairy or eggs.
- Why we're sweet on it: Doron's vegan approach doesn't sacrifice richness.
- Order this: The Cowvin, two oatmeal cookies sandwiching a creamy vanilla filling. Mail order available; stickyfingersbakery.com
- Vaccaro's ItalianPastry Shop
- This darling of Baltimore's Little Italy has satisfied the city's dessert cravings since 1956.
- Why we're sweet on it: Traditional Italian-American bakeries are an endangered species. Attention to authenticity keeps lines out the door.
- Order this: Amaretti with pine nuts or almonds. Mail order available; vaccarospastry.com