This is from Regan Daley's In The Sweet Kitchen and it's a good, junky, basic recipe.
1 cup unsalted butter,at room temperature
1 cup tightly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups plus 2 tbsp all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
16 oz chocolate chips, or a similar weight of good quality chocolate bar - bittersweet or semisweet - cut into chunks
1. Preheat your oven to 350F. Cream your butter and sugar until well creamed. I have a stand mixer, and if you're lucky enough to have one yourself, put on the paddle attachment and cream away for a few minutes. This is an essential step; the purpose of creaming the butter and sugar is to incorporate air, which gives you a lighter cookie. If you're doing this by hand with a wooden spoon, take the time to do it properly. The sugar should nearly be absorbed into the butter; it'll still feel grainy, but it should be homogenous.
2. Add eggs, one at a time, making sure the first egg is fully incorporated before adding the second one. Also a very important step in cookie making and baking, because you need to give the yolk time to absorb the fat of the butter. You'll get a curdled effect that you have to fix later otherwise.
3. Add the vanilla, salt, and baking soda until well combined, if using a mixer. Otherwise, sift the flour, salt and soda together, and mix until just combined. If using a mixer, still fold in the flour by hand, so it doesn't get overworked. Fold in the chocolate chips last.
4. Decide how big you want your cookies, and shape your chosen size into a knob on a greased cookie sheet, or better yet, invest in some parchment paper and line your cookie sheets with it (it's reusable; don't chuck it). With a wet hand, press the dough down a bit to flatten slightly. Make sure you have an inch or two between the cookies to allow for expansion. Bake for 12 - 15 minutes, less if you want a chewier cookie, more if you want a crisper one.
Notes to the readership:
- For one thing, I never use the whole amount of flour; usually the 3 cups is adequate
- the 16oz of chocolate is way too much for this recipe, in my experience. I've never been able to squeeze all the chocolate in. I know what you're thinking: you can't have too much chocolate! Well, yes you can. The dough will only hold a certain amount of chocolate chips/chunks before it becomes saturated and cannot take any more. Experiment. I've found just over a cup to be sufficient. I don't want to be forcing excess chocolate chips into my dough - it's ridiculous, and they just wind up falling out anyways.