This recipe gets you from zero to chewy chocolate chip cookies in less than 30 minutes with normal ingredients. They are soft in the middle, perfectly crisp on the edge, and have an ultra chewy center. There is a secret that is going to change your life; you are never going to look at warm cookies the same way again!
In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat the butter until fluffy, remembering to scrape the sides. If you have a stand mixer, start with cold butter and just beat and scrape the sides until it's creamy. If you are using an electric mixer, let your butter soften on the counter for at least a few minutes. (Or live dangerously and put it in the microwave for one minute on power level ONE. I do this all the time. Who remembers to soften butter?? Not this girl.)
Once your butter is creamy, add the brown sugar and white sugar. Beat well until fluffy, at least 1 minute. Scrape the sides halfway through.
Add the vanilla and one egg. Beat well. Add the next egg. Beat, scraping the sides.
Add the flour but don't mix it in yet. (Make sure you spoon it into the measuring cup and level it off!)
Use a small spoon to stir the baking soda and salt into the flour.
Turn the mixer on low and beat until there are still a couple streaks of white flour. You want to stop mixing as soon as the flour is mostly incorporated.
Add the chocolate chips and mix until just barely combined. Don't over mix or you will get tough cookies!
Use your hands, an ice cream scoop, or a medium cookie scoop to shape cookie dough. See photo. I made mine about the size of a golf ball. I put 12 on one baking sheet, make there there is about 2 inches of space between each one. (Don't pay attention to the photo of the raw cookie dough so close together up there; I was prepping them to go in the freezer. That is the size you want to shape the cookies though.)
Bake at 350 for about 9 minutes. Depending on your oven and how big you shaped your cookies, you might need to bake for as long as 11 minutes, but you want to take the cookies out of the oven when they are VERY pale on top and have just barely started browning on the edges. See photos.
Immediately after you take them out of the oven (seriously, don't wait) use two spoons to gently push each cookie together. I just used two regular spoons, the kind you eat cereal with. Push the cookie together so that it comes up a bit in the middle, that's how you're going to get a soft, thick center. If you wait even just a minute after taking them out of the oven, the brown edges will start to crisp up, and you won't be able to shape the cookies. Work your spoons all the way around the edges so that your cookie is a nice circle shape. Work quickly to shape all the cookies before they crisp on the edges.
Press more chocolate chips into the top of each cookie, if you want. (Who doesn't want that??)
Let the cookies cool on the pan for several minutes. They will continue cooking on the hot pan, even after you take them out of the oven.
Remove to a cooling rack after the cookies have set. Dip in milk and let all your cookie dreams come true!
You can make this dough ahead of time and freeze for later. Shape the dough into balls, seal in a ziplock, and freeze for up to 3 months. No need to thaw before baking; put them frozen into a preheated oven and add 2-3 minutes to the bake time. Once the dough has been chilled or frozen, there is not as much need to use spoons to smoosh them together, although you can if you want.