Everyone has the best chocolate chip cookie recipe. Just try googling it and you'll see thousands of "best" chocolate chip cookie recipes out there. I, myself, posted a recipe on this blog a while ago which is absolutely fantastic. The truth is they are all fantastic. When butter, sugar, brown sugar, and chocolate chips come together, great things happen no matter what recipe you use. Maybe there is no best recipe. Maybe they're all equally sublime, but coming from someone who has made lots of chocolate chip cookies, this is the recipe I reach for when I need the best chocolate chip cookies.
When people today are so overwhelmed with choices, getting the "best" of something has become very important. We want to eat at the best restaurant, get the best deal, and have the best time. Need to buy a new hairdryer? You're probably searching the internet for the "best" one and coming across loads of reviews from people who claim to have found the "best." Everything from cars to toothpaste has to be the best or the best we can afford. The trouble with the "best" is, where do you go from there? What if you find a brand of toothpaste that is better than the "best" you used to use? Suddenly the "best" isn't good enough anymore. Maybe it's time to ask ourselves what we're really looking for.
The "best" has become an umbrella term that really doesn't have any specificity at all. Maybe we should let go of the idea of having the "best" of something, and be satisfied with good. Or look for other qualities that actually mean something. Why not eat at a gourmet restaurant, have a fun time, or use an efficient hair dyer? They don't have to be the best. Maybe we can appreciate something without comparing it to some, either real or imagined, ideal.
Whether these cookies are the "best" or not is up to you. For me, they are superbly delicious and come out chewy every time. It is similar to the recipe I used to use, but the amounts are easier to remember, so now I barely have to look at the recipe anymore. This recipe was actually given to me by my brother who saw a recipe called "Mary's Chocolate Chip Cookies" on the back of a bag of flour and cut it out for me. I put it in my recipe book and there it waited amongst the many other chocolate chip cookie recipes I've collected before I finally discovered its superior deliciousness. Not only is this recipe aptly named, I love the comfortable feeling of having a reliable chocolate chip cookie recipe that delivers every time. Maybe eventually I'll try other chocolate chip recipes or maybe this will be my one and only for the rest of my life--either way, these are darn good cookies and Mary's Chocolate Chip Cookies belong in everyone's recipe book.
Mary's Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour (I used a mixture of whole wheat pastry flour and all-purpose flour.)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 24oz. package chocolate chips (I find this to be way too many, so I use a 12oz. package.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking soda and salt. Stir in flour mixture to the egg/butter/sugar mixture in three additions. Dough will be stiff. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet. (I use a cookie scoop for evenly-sized cookies and line the cookie sheet with parchment paper.) Bake for 10-12 minutes until just set. (The original recipe said to bake 12-15 minutes, but I find that to be too long.) Leave on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a cookie rack to cool completely.
Mary's notes: This recipe works equally well baking at 375 degree Fahrenheit for 8-11 minutes. I've done it both ways and they always come out terrific. If making 100% whole wheat chocolate chip cookies, you may want to cut back on the flour--start with 3 1/2 cups and add more if necessary.