Scary good cookies from the South Carolina Low Country

By Amy Sherman

This South Carolina bakery is named for one of the Low Country’s best-known ghosts—a benevolent spirit known as the Grey Man of Pawleys Island—and there’s no doubt that the creations coming out of this Charleston kitchen will soon be haunting your dreams, in the sweetest of ways. Katherine Frankstone has been baking cookies since she was a mere five year old (with a raging sweet tooth), learning the craft at the knee of her dear old dad. Many a legendary batch later, she has risen to become the cookie queen of Grey Ghost Bakery.

These cookies are basically what you’d be baking if you had the time—and mad baking skills. You’d never use preservatives or anything artificial, and neither does Grey Ghost Bakery. Instead, these crave-able cookies are made from scratch, using fresh, all-natural premium ingredients—think unbleached and unbromated flour, European-style butter, pure cane sugar, cane syrup, whole eggs, pure vanilla extract, cocoa, crystallized ginger, molasses, and premium nuts and spices.

Frankstone starts with secret family recipes that have been perfected over generations—can’t-stop-eating-them classics like cinnamon pecan, molasses spice, and chocolate espresso. But her cookie creativity doesn’t stop there. She also makes almond toffee, chocolate pecan, and chocolate chip, not to mention bright, tangy cranberry orange cookies, and a lemon cookie that has been just about universally praised. Chewy cookie fans will adore her chocolate cayenne cookies, and peanut butter lovers will want to try both the peanut butter cookies, which blend roasted peanuts with a hint of salt, and the peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, which are cranked up with the addition of rich nuggets of bittersweet chocolate.

Legend has it that the Grey Man is a ghostly do-gooder, warning Low Country residents to flee whenever a hurricane is approaching. But perhaps he just wants to keep all the cookies for himself.
Word on the Street

  • Grey Ghost’s cookie gift boxes made the Today Show’s list of best holiday gifts.
  • Food & Wine magazine raved about their holiday cookies—particularly the chocolate espresso and molasses spice flavors.
  • Grey Ghost Bakery was elected as a Martha Stewart American Made Award finalist in 2015.

The Way the Cookie Crumbles

As with their perennial partner in crime—spilled milk—there’s no use crying over cookie crumbs. In fact, they can come in pretty handy. Here are a few great ideas for how to use them:

  • Fold into ice cream or sprinkle them on sundaes for a crunchy finishing touch.
  • Use your favorite cookie’s crumbs in place of Graham cracker crumbs to make a pie crust.
  • Add some texture by blending them into your milkshake.
  • Layer them with custard, whipped cream, and fruit to make a trifle.
  • Combine them with sugar, butter, and cream to make cookie butter.