Recipes from the South:
Grandmother’s Stickies

When I was a girl growing up in the South, we lived in the country until I was 7 years old. The view out my front window was my grandparent’s house across the road. Their yard was decorated with looming oaks, Granddaddy’s car shed, Granddaddy’s plowed field, and the dense woods that wrapped us snug as a blanket. Pines, cedars, honey suckle, poison ivy and Dogwood dominated the musty smelling woodland.

Living in the country, my only playmates were my bossy older sister, and the invisible friends my imaginations captured. We ran, we made up games. We made mud pies, we snatched old frocks, hats, and high heel shoes from Mother’s closet and laughed with one another for the way we looked. Sometimes I battled with our cat: me dressing her in my dolly clothes, her leaving scratches on my arms.

Life was simpler then, at least for us. Eating out meant meandering across the lonely road to share a hearty meal with Grandmother and Granddaddy. On warm summer days we might even take our spread and eat out under the tall sprawling oak at the rock (a big granite picnic table Granddaddy had special made before I was born). There was no greater pleasure than all the family gathered around the rock.

Memories from time spent across the road permeate my soul. Some of which I am most fond are those precious times spent in Grandmother’s kitchen. The dear woman lived most of her time there. As she worked, she shared her lifetime of stories with whatever soul was by her side. 

Early in the morning Grandmother would rise to make a delicious belly-filling breakfast. The meal usually consisted of: grits, gravy, sausage, eggs, and biscuits. After breakfast she’d (we’d) put the left-over food away, wash the dishes, wipe the counter tops. When clean-up was done, it was time to start cooking for the noon meal. It was often something like, black eyed peas, green string beans, meat, sliced tomatoes, creamed corn, and bread, often that was homemade bread. After the noon meal she (we) cleaned the kitchen. Sometimes she might have time to sew, or tend to her flower garden, do some laundry, which she hung on the line. Grandmother never had a dryer or a dishwasher in her house, and thus her time was never idle. Soon it was time for her to go back into her kitchen, pull out her pots and pans, and begin preparing either leftovers or something from the freezer for supper.

You’d walk into Grandmother’s house, take a deep breath…ahhhh. Pound cake. Enticing sweets. Fresh baked pie. Yum. Pie. Coconut custard, blackberry, apple or peach—there was always some kind of pie waiting in the dining room to be devoured. Grandmother’s cooking was otherworldy and her sweets simply delicious! But every bit as scrumptious as her homemade pies were her delectable stickies. Flakey crust, melted butter, burnt bubbly sugar… Oh goodness, don’t even imagine the calories. These babies were loaded with them!

Stickies were popular in the South, especially during the depression when money was tight. A simple dessert to make, stickies are inexpensive, quick to make, and wondrously delicious. On the internet there are various sticky recipes, but I’ve been unable to find anything like Grandmother’s recipe, so I will be sharing it with you today. I hope you find the time to make the delightful treat and share with someone special.

Stickies are made from the same dough as crust, as a matter fact, Grandmother used the extra dough from her pie crust to make her stickies

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Grandmother’s Stickies


2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup shortening
5-6 tbs cold water
1 tsp (or more) sugar

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Combine flour and salt, stirring together.
  • Cut in shortening.
  • Slowly add 3 tbs water into mixture, and add 1 tsp at a time until the mixture barely holds together, but not letting dough become gooey.
  • Gently shape dough into ball. (Note: Be careful not to overwork your dough, or it will become tough)
  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Divide in 4 to 6 portions.
  • With rolling pin, roll each portion out as you would to make a pie crust.
  • Generously, cover each rolled out dough piece with small pieces of butter.
  • Sprinkle a tsp or more of sugar on each portion of dough.
  • Fold one side of the dough over the center, and then repeat on the opposite edge.
  • Pinch the ends closed and place in greased baking pan.
  • Top with small chunks of butter and sprinkle with sugar.
  • Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly golden.
  • Let cool and then eat. Go make some more. Cool. Eat. Repeat…You’ll be hooked!

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