The Greta (Sugar Cookie Squares) on a table in a Studio
Dixie D. Vereen for The Washington Post
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The Greta (Sugar Cookie Squares)

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.

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

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


measuring cup
Servings: 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 tablespoons to 4 tablespoons decorative sprinkles or sparkling sugar of your choice (may substitute a combination of 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon)


  1. Step 1

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

  2. Step 2

    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.

  3. Step 3

    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.

  4. Step 4

    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.

  5. Step 5

    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.

  6. Step 6

    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.)

  7. Step 7

    Cool completely in the pan before cutting into squares.

  8. Step 8

    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.)

Nutritional Facts

Per square

  • Calories


  • Carbohydrates

    29 g

  • Cholesterol

    35 mg

  • Fat

    13 g

  • Protein

    2 g

  • Saturated Fat

    6 g

  • Sodium

    110 mg

  • Sugar

    17 g

This analysis is an estimate based on available ingredients and this preparation. It should not substitute for a dietitian’s or nutritionist’s advice.

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

Tested by Joe Yonan