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The Greta (Sugar Cookie Squares)

The Greta (Sugar Cookie Squares) 24.000

Dixie D. Vereen for The Washington Post

Holiday Cookies 2015 Nov 29, 2015

These buttery squares taste like a cross between a cookie and a cake, with tender centers and chewy edges. Milk Bar owner Christina Tosi named them after her mother, Greta, who still sends her trays of them regularly.

Make Ahead: The baked cookies can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 1 month.

24 two-inch squares

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 24 two-inch squares

  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup grapeseed, canola or other neutral oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons decorative sprinkles or sparkling sugar of your choice (may substitute a combination of 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Use some butter to generously grease a 9-by-13-inch deep-sided baking pan. (See VARIATION, below.)

Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer or handheld electric mixer; beat on high speed for about 3 minutes, until fluffy and homogenous. Stop to scrape down the bowl.

Add the eggs, oil and vanilla extract; beat on medium-low speed for about 1 minute or until just combined. Stop to scrape down the bowl.

Add the flour, salt and baking soda, beat on medium-low speed until just combined, for about 30 seconds, then add the milk and beat for about 30 seconds, to form a soft dough.

Spread the dough evenly in the pan, making sure it gets into the corners. Scatter the decorative sprinkles on top with a generous hand, using even more if you want particularly colorful cookies, or sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

Bake (middle rack) for 20 to 25 minutes, until the cookie slab has puffed, lightly browned and become firm to the touch. (This will result in a slightly underbaked-in-the-center cookie. If you prefer it firmer, bake for another 3 to 5 minutes.)

Cool completely in the pan before cutting into squares.

VARIATION: The baked cookie slab is heavy and quite moist at the center, so if you'd rather not cut these squares while they're in the pan, first line the pan with a parchment paper that's long enough to hang over the short sides. (Grease the pan as well.)

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "Milk Bar Life," by Christina Tosi (Clarkson Potter, 2015).

Tested by Joe Yonan.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per square: 240

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 13g 20%

Saturated Fat: 6g 30%

Cholesterol: 35mg 12%

Sodium: 110mg 5%

Total Carbohydrates: 29g 10%

Dietary Fiber: 0g 0%

Sugar: 17g

Protein: 2g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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