Thank you for your time. In my version of Safari, cookies are supposed to be seen and managed in preferences as you stated and under the privacy tab. However, nothing shows up under this tab. It is completely blank. Upon opening my question and your response, I see there are others that have had the same issue although I looked for solutions to this problem before posting. Anyway, there were two suggestions that I found that might be helpful in those discussions. We'll see how it goes.
I'm left to wonder if we are riding on the same train. There is a seperate program known as Safari cookies for Mac . It is freeware (donations requested) and when downloaded will appear as both an application and should be in your preferences too. Mine sits on the extreme right of safari preferences, is quite seperate and has nothing to do with the privacy option.
Maybe I've done something unique to achieve this ... but have a look anyway.
Hope this helps.
Uninstall SIMBL as follows.
Select Go ▹ Go to Folder… from the Finder menu bar, then enter the following text in the box that opens:
A folder will open. From that folder, delete the items listed below (some may be absent.) You may be prompted for your administrator login password.
Log out and log back in.
Make sure you never reinstall SIMBL. It’s likely to come bundled with another third-party system modfication that depends on it. If you want trouble-free computing, avoid software that makes miraculous changes to other software, especially built-in applications. The only real exception to that rule is Safari extensions, which are mostly safe, and are easy to get rid of when they don’t work. SIMBL and its dependents are not Safari extensions.