The Greta (Sugar Cookie Squares)
MAKES ABOUT 2 DOZEN 2-INCH SQUARES
I was raised on these sugar cookie squares. My fondest memories of them involve receiving disposable 9 × 13-inch pans of them once a week (that’s 3.43 cookies a day) when I was away at college (and I didn’t have a kitchen of my own to bake in). What a mom!
Even after I opened Milk Bar, my mom still sent me these sugar cookie squares, direct to the bakery. They became so legendary we called them “Greta cookies” or “the Greta,” because you can’t call a sugar cookie a sugar cookie in a bakery; it’s just too confusing. Also, the difference between a sugar cookie and a Greta sugar cookie square is huge.
Their flavor is simple, but just as you think you’re about to be underwhelmed, wham! You’re hooked. Thanks, Greta.
1⁄2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1⁄2 cup grapeseed or other neutral oil
11⁄2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄2 cup whole milk
THE CINNAMON SUGAR
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1. Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 × 13-inch baking pan.
2. Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream on high until homogenous, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, oil, and vanilla and mix until just combined, about 1 minute.
3. Add the flour, salt, and baking soda, mixing until just combined, about
30 seconds. Mix in the milk until just combined, about 30 seconds.
4. Spread the dough in an even layer in the prepared pan. Mix together the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and sprinkle evenly over the cookie dough.
5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes for a slightly underbaked cookie (which is how I like it), or for another 3 to 5 minutes if you’re a firm cookie fan. Cool completely in the pan before cutting into squares. For storage instructions, see page 47.
Not a cinnamon sugar fan? Substitute any classic, radioactive, or themed sprinkle in its place to top the cookie slab just before baking.