The chocolate chip cookie is the American chef’s duty and honor. There are many variations, all of which are briefly amusing, quickly tiresome. Stick with a streamlined approach, heavily chipped. Commit this recipe to memory; it will serve as sturdy companion through disappointment, great and small.
Melt 1 cup butter. Other recipes expect you to drum your nails on the countertop while butter attains room temperature. Don’t bother. Melting butter is blasphemous, but better. Remove from heat. Stir in 1 ½ cups brown sugar. Standard practice calls for a mix of white and brown. Standard practice yields unyielding cookies. Unadulterated brown sugar makes cookies more pliant and empathetic.
Crack in 2 large eggs. Stir vigorously, so as to avoid a batter speckled with poached egg. Stir in, in order: 1 teaspoon vanilla (2 if you’re in need of encouragement), 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 2 ¼ cups flour. and. Drop in at least 12 ounces chocolate chips. Feel free to chop your own, but realize you’ll end up with big chunks and small shards, not discrete chips.
Use a small ice-cream scoop to shape balls of dough about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Line them up, shoulder to shoulder, on a baking sheet and freeze. Sequester dough balls in a zip-top bag in the freezer.
In troubled times, remove the requisite number, no more. Arrange them on parchment-lined pan and slip it into a 325-degree oven. This surprises the frozen dough balls, allowing them no time to flatten out and go crispy. In about 14 minutes they’ll firm into thick, chewy reassurance.