The first stop on my coffee cart treat quest (second stop, Raspberry Mazurkas, page 108) is the elusive Pink Cookie. Uncle Seth’s Pink Cookies are palm- size cookies scented with cardamom and topped with a pink- tinted cream cheese and almond frosting. Here, I’ve made them into a pat- in- the pan cookie bar with a layer of perfectly pink cream cheese frosting scented with a bit of almond extract.

Cookie Bars

  • 1¾ cups (225g) all- purpose flour

    WNK-Snacking Bakes Book Cover Snacking Bakes Yasameen Arefi-Afshar
  • ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar

  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom

  • ½ teaspoon baking powder

  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt

  • 12 tablespoons (170g) unsalted butter, melted

  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 tablespoons (29g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 2 ounces (57g) cream cheese, at room temperature

  • 1¼ cups (125g) powdered sugar

  • ½ teaspoon almond extract

  • Pinch of salt

  • A drop or two of pink food coloring (optional)


1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350ºF. Line an 8 × 8- inch baking pan with foil that hangs over two of the sides and lightly coat it with cooking spray or melted butter.

2. MAKE THE BARS: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, cardamom, baking powder, and salt until smooth. Add the melted butter, almond extract, and vanilla and stir with a spatula until just combined.

3. Transfer the dough to the prepared pan and press it into an even layer with your hands or a flat- bottomed measuring cup.

4. Bake until very light golden brown just at the edges, but still pale in the center, 20 to 22 minutes. Let the cookie bars cool in the pan on a rack. (While the bars are cooling, remove the butter and cream cheese for the frosting from the refrigerator and let them come to room temperature.)

5. MEANWHILE, MAKE THE FROSTING: In a large bowl, use a whisk (or an electric mixer if you have one) to beat the softened butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add the powdered sugar, almond extract, and salt and mix slowly until the sugar is incorporated. Once the sugar is incorporated, increase the speed and beat or whisk until smooth and fluffy. This will take a bit of muscle if you are mixing by hand, but it is doable. If desired, add food coloring and whisk it in.

6. Once cool, use the foil to lift the cookie bars out of the pan and remove the foil from the bars. Spread the frosting over the cooled bar and slice. Store in the fridge for about 4 days.

“Snacking Bakes” Copyright © 2023 by Yasameen Arefi-Afshar. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Crown Publishing  Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, New York.”

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