Salt and Stone: Want perfect chocolate chip cookies? Read this

Sometimes there’s not much to say about a recipe other than “I promise you’ll love them.” These chocolate chip cookies are my go-to recipe. I make them so my kids can have one in their school lunches. But I also make them when friends are coming over or as a hostess gift.

I accidentally held on to a friend’s dish for almost a year. It was one of those ridiculous situations where the dish moved from my counter to the mud room and finally to my car, with every intention of dropping it off. But after a few weeks of missing each other or forgetting, the dish came back into the house and hid in a cupboard, where I promptly forgot about it for at least a couple of months.

Finally, the day arrived. Our family was invited to her house. The dish could go home! But not empty. When you keep someone’s dish for a year, you must fill it with something delicious. I’m pretty sure there’s a rule about it.

I made a batch of these chocolate chip cookies and packed her dish until it overflowed with perfect, chocolaty, decadent cookies. They are dense and soft with lightly crisp edges. I like to use dark chocolate chips, but you could use whatever kind of chocolate you like. What sets these cookies apart is the couple of hours spent in the refrigerator before baking. I highly recommend you refrigerate the dough for at least an hour, but several (think 2-6 hours) is even better.

My friend and her family loved the cookies. They begged for the recipe and didn’t even seem to mind too much that I kept their dish for a ridiculous amount of time. Moral of the story: When you return something after a long-term borrow, make sure you include chocolate chip cookies with the return.

• Andrea McCoy writes the column Kitchen Captivated for Yakima Magazine and at The Salt and Stone, a home cooking blog. The Salt and Stone is a nod not just to the essence of cooking, but also to the Yakima Valley. Read more at www.thesaltandstone.com.

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, firmly packed

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

14-ounces bittersweet chocolate chips (about 2.5 cups)

Flaky sea salt

Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar and butter together until light. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Using a spatula, scrape to the bottom of the bowl to make sure everything is well combined. In another bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Pour the flour mixture over the butter mixture and mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips with a wooden spoon.

If you have the time, put the dough in the fridge for a couple of hours. Simply cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave in the fridge for 2 to 6 hours. When you’re ready to bake, pull the dough out and let it soften on the counter while your oven heats up. The resulting cookie will be dense and soft with perfectly crispy edges.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

Using a spoon, scoop the dough into balls and place on the cookie sheet in rows about 2 inches apart. Sprinkle generously with coarse flaky sea salt and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. The cookies should turn a light golden brown. Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool completely.

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