Sugar Cookie Bars

As many of you know, my darling son does not dorm at scollege. It was his choice. He has been heard saying – though of course not to me, lest he need to give up any of that ANGST – he likes his home, his parents and his mother’s cooking and care, so why would he sleep in a dorm 10 miles away.

He does, however, work at a performing arts camp from June 1st to August 31st as music staff (Tommy is a musician – bass trombone in case anyone out there needs a music teacher or musician for some reason!) and bunk counselor. Doesn’t pay exorbitantly well. The weather is spotty until mid-July. The work is hard. The food is terrible. My husband and I go up on visiting weekends and if that food is their best foot forward for the parents – MYOHMYOHMY what are they feeding my baby!?

That being said, he has a wonderful time. He loves his campers. He teaches music lessons. He plays some fantastic music. And, being it’s a performing arts camp, he has played in the pit orchestras of some amazing shows. The first amateur production of Hairspray anywhere. West Side Story using Leonard Bernstein’s original manuscript.

He always comes back from camp having lost at least 10 pounds and a list of dinners he wants as soon as humanly possible. Now, at 6’1″ and 130 pounds soaking wet, that’s a skinny boy every day, it is a scary skinny kid in August.

So, when he calls and says – PLEEEEEASE, Mommy (I am Mommy when he wants something), send cookies. I hear that voice asking me for cookies and I see this little boy to the left. I know, I know, he’s 21 and doesn’t look that way, but don’t we all see them as sweet little children? I picture him wasting away to nothing. To the right, that’s what he looks like now. Cute, ain’t he?

What is a mother to do? Bake! That’s what a mother does! Bake and mail. Bake and mail. Bake and mail. But these have to be cookies that travel well. These have to be cookies with no chocolate – with the exception of a few chips here and there. Did I mention MY son hates chocolate?  There can be no nuts whatsoever in the cookies – the camp has a strict no nut policy.

AND – AND – there are cookies for Tommy, and Tommy’s 2 best friends, and a little bribe for the mailroom folks. They are supposed to open every package and take out items that are verboten. It’s amazing what a bribe of sugar and flour will do!

I asked my Facebook buddies for suggestions and got some really good ones that will be making their way to camp this summer, but I suddenly started seeing these sugar cookie bars everywhere. They looked amazing and the recipe bakes on a half sheet pan so it makes a LOT of cookies. I traced the cookies back to Anissa’s Kitchen. Thank you!

Usually they are frosted, but frosting would not work for these. I thought it would be a terrible mess in the mail. I personally love sugar cookies with sanding sugar on top. Sanding sugar would be perfect for mailing. Sanding sugar it is!

You use a half sheet pan. Cookies/bars are as large or small as you choose to make them!  These are REALLY good and very easy to make.

  • 1 C butter; room temp.
  • 2 C sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 t vanilla
  • 5 C flour
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 t baking soda


Preheat oven to 375.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, salt and baking soda.

In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping down sides of bowl and mixing after each egg. Add vanilla and mix. Add in flour mixture and mix just until combined.

Spread on a greased 13×8 baking sheet (a half sheet pan).

If you are using sanding sugar, sprinkle top of cookie

Bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 min, until light golden brown or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool completely and cut.

6 Responses

  1. Before you even said it I was thinking, why would he give up your cooking for dorm food!

  2. The camp your son works at sounds wonderful. How nice of him to give up his summer like that! And those cookies look awesome. I’m always looking for baked goods that travel well, too.

    • It is a great camp. Lots of talented kids! As a music performance major, it lets him play all day, every day and a chance to be away from home for a while.

  3. These look like such a sweet treat to send! Thanks for sharing!

  4. You read my mind! I’ve been craving sugar cookies, but couldn’t work up the motivation to roll logs, refrigerate, and slice the dough. Somehow dumping the batter onto a baking sheet seems much more psychologically manageable!

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