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'Yellowhammer' named Alabama's state cookie

Learn how to make your own batch of Mary Claire Cook's winning filled cookies.
Credit: Alabama Governor's Office
Governor Kay Ivey signed HB421 designating the State of Alabama official cookie June 2, 2023 in Montgomery, Ala. Montgomery student Mary Claire Cook submitted the recipe for the cookie. (Governor’s Office /Hal Yeager)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — With the stroke of her pen on Friday, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey deemed the Alabama Yellowhammer the state cookie. The recipe, devised by Montgomery 4th grader Mary Claire Cook, took top honors among a big batch of submissions.

Cook's recipe calls for butter and brown sugar, oats and pecans - and includes a filling of peanut butter and honey to make the Yellowhammer extra tasty and just a tad decadent.

Trinity Presbyterian School baked up the idea of naming a state cookie and encouraged its students to submit recipes. Meanwhile, government students from the senior class presented their idea to Rep. Reed Ingram, who sponsored the bill to make the Yellowhammer the official state cookie.

It rose like a well-baked treat through the Alabama Legislature before being delivered to the governor's desk.

It's recommended that you source Alabama-made ingredients wherever possible, particularly the nuts and honey, to get the full Alabama cuisine experience.

Ready to bake up a batch of Yellowhammers to celebrate? Mary Claire's recipe is as follows:

For the cookies

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 24 pecan halves

For the filling

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted butter


  1. In a bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  2. In a separate bowl, using a hand or stand mixer, beat together butter, brown sugar, vanilla, and eggs. Add flour mixture and stir well.
  3. Add oats and continue beating until well mixed.
  4. Cover and refrigerate dough for two hours.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  6. Form dough into 48 1-1/2 inch balls and flatten. Arrange on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Place a pecan half on 24 of the cookies, which will become the top of the finished treat.
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until set.
  8. Make the filling: Mix peanut butter, honey, butter and powdered sugar and beat to combine, about three minutes.
  9. Spread filling between two cookies, topping with the pecan-topped halves and sandwich together.

Yield: 24 sandwich cookies

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