Makes 4 dozen cookies
1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
4 ounces/ 1 stick butter
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½ cup sugar
½ cup light brown sugar, packed
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, cut in 1-inch pieces (or use coins)
1. Sift together flour and baking soda and set aside. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter until lemony yellow, about two minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl and paddle. Add sugar, brown sugar and salt. Continue creaming mixture on medium speed until it is smooth and lump free, about one minute. Stop mixer and scrape down bowl and paddle.
2. Add egg and vanilla and beat on low speed for 15 seconds, or until fully incorporated. Don’t overbeat. Scrape down bowl and paddle.
3. On low speed, add sifted flour mixture. Beat slowly until all of the flour is incorporated. Scrape down bowl. Mix in chocolate chunks.
4. Heat oven to 350 degrees with a rack positioned in the lower third of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment. If baking right away, spoon heaping teaspoons of dough two inches apart onto sheets. If not baking right away, plop small spoonfuls of dough onto the middle of a sheet of parchment or wax paper, creating a log about 1½ inches wide and 12 inches long. Fold parchment over, creating a sausage. Chill for at least one hour, preferably overnight. Using a serrated knife, slice into 1/3-inch-thick rounds and place two inches apart, in staggered rows, on parchment-lined baking sheets and proceed. (Dough will keep, tightly wrapped, in refrigerator for one week, or in freezer for one month. Thaw frozen dough at room temperature for 30 minutes before slicing.)
5. Bake 12 to 15 minutes, until lightly browned, rotating sheets from top to bottom and from front to back halfway through baking. Remove from heat and slide parchment off baking sheet and onto a work surface. Allow cookies to cool for at least five minutes before serving, or for at least 20 minutes before storing in an airtight container. They will keep for up to three days at room temperature.
Note: For even more chocolaty cookies, add another 1 to 2 ounces of chocolate. If you want flat, crispy cookies, tap baking sheets down on the back of the oven door when you go to turn them halfway through baking. This will cause the rising cookies to fall.
Adapted by Martha Rose Shulman of The New York Times from “Desserts by the Yard” by Sherry Yard.