3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (20 ounces)
This is the traditional cookie of my people.1
Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.
Mix butter, sugar, and brown sugar in another, larger bowl and blend them until they're creamed. I use a hand-mixer, my trusty SunBeam that's lasted over two decades now. I also have a firm plastic spatula that I use to occasionally press it all back together.
Blend in the eggs, and then blend in the vanilla.
Fold the dry ingredients into the wet bowl, about a third at a time, and blend them together, I use the mixer for this as well.
Knead in the chocolate chips by hand, or with a spatula. Roll dough into balls, and either bake them or freeze them for baking later.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place them onto an ungreased cookie sheet, leaving room for them to expand. Press them down with the palm of your hand to make rounds, and then bake them until they're done, about 8 to 10 minutes, longer if you want them really crispy. Using a spatula, put them onto plates to cool.
Roll into balls and put onto cookie sheet, so that they're not touching. Freeze for a couple of hours, until they're frozen through. Take off cookie sheet and put into ziplock freezer bags or some sort of tupperware container, and return them to the freezer. I used to make serving-size bags of 4 to 6, so I could just grab a bag out of the freezer, but nowadays I just fill one bag or container full, which is both more flexible and has less bag waste.
When you want to bake them, start the oven preheating to 375°F and take out as many cookies as you want to make. Place them on a cookie sheet to thaw, leaving enough room for them to expand during baking. When they're thawed and the oven is preheated, squish them down with your palm into rounds and bake them until they're done, about 8 to 10 minutes, longer if you want them crispy.
Of course, I usually bake some immediately, and just freeze the rest.
After adding the chocolate chips, if you chill them in the fridge for about a half hour, the rolling into balls goes much better.
After mixing, and while rolling them into balls, your hands can get really sticky. Sometimes it's worth the time to wash and dry your hands after you knead in the chocolate chips, or in the middle of the rolling, it makes the remainder of the rolling go a bit faster and easier. I've also tried using food-grade vinyl gloves, but that didn't really work well at all.
You can use an ice cream scoop on the cookies, it works pretty well.
I've used 2, 3, and 4 cups of chocolate chips. With four cups, the cookies barely hold together, but they're very tasty and chocolatey. They're still really tasty with just two cups, that's about the minimum to be a real chocolate chip cookie in my book. I usually weigh out 20 ounces, which is really close to 3 cups.
I used to use Ghirardelli® semi-sweet chocolate chips, they're quite good. Nowdays, I usually use Kirkland-brand (Costco) chips, my current favorite chocolate chips. I've tried cheaper chips, and it makes a definite difference in the cookies!
Some people, being raving lunatics, would ruin this recipe by putting in one cup of walnuts in the "add the chocolate chips" stage.
I recently ran across a file from 1998 in my home directory that had a minimalist version of this recipe (just the ingredient list), so I've been baking them at least that long.
Adapted from the recipe on a package of Ghirardelli® chocolate chips, as is the custom of my people. ↩