The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies, made with love
1 stick (1/2 cup) salted butter
½ cup brown sugar, packed
¼ cup white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla (I’ve been using homemade Tahitian vanilla bean extract, which I’ll post the recipe for soon)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (5.5 ounces) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
6 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips
Sea salt, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. While the oven is preheating, melt your butter by putting it in a (metal) mixing bowl in the oven. Let the butter brown slightly (this takes about five minutes in my oven, and if you want to skip this step, you can melt the butter in a microwave instead, which won’t give you that elusive brown butter flavor, or in a saucepan, which will create extra dishes.)
Add brown sugar and white sugar to melted butter, and stir with a wooden spoon until the sugars are thoroughly soused and the butter is incorporated (this may not be totally homogeneous mixture – the sugar won’t soak up all of the melted butter). Add the egg and vanilla, and mix until you can’t see any more streaks of egg yolk.
Add flour, soda and salt, and mix until all the ingredients are incorporated. Add chocolate chips (and if you want, ½ cup toasted chopped walnuts or pecans), and stir until they’re fairly evenly distributed throughout the batter. Stick the bowl in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes, or until it’s firm enough to scoop (you can leave the dough in the fridge overnight, too).
On a large cookie sheet lined with parchment or a silpat, form the cookie dough into balls about 2 inches in diameter, or about the size of a large walnut. Leave enough space for the cookies to expand (I can fit 12 cookies on a half sheet pan). If they’ve chilled less, they’ll expand more . Sprinkle each ball of dough with just the merest sprinkle of sea salt (I use Maldon salt).
Bake for 9 minutes (10-11 if you’ve added nuts) at 350 degrees. The cookies should be browned, but may still be soft in the middle. Let them cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheets, then transfer to a rack. Store in a big cookie jar, where your kids can find an after school snack, your husband can take three after dinner, and you can nibble one before bedtime.