My Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

My Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

A cookie-loving friend once shared a recipe that was said to be for Mrs. Fields® famous chocolate chip cookies. I was never able to find it in any Mrs. Fields® cookbook, but I've adapted the recipe over the years to make what I consider perfect chocolate chip cookies, soft and chewy with crispy edges. This makes a huge batch of dough and the recipe is not easily halved, as it calls for three eggs. Bake a dozen or two cookies and freeze the remaining balls of dough for the weeks to come.

3 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
½ cup granulated white sugar
1 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs
6 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 pkg. (10 oz.) Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Chocolate Chips
1 pkg. (11.5 oz.) Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Chips
2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts, optional

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.* Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a heavy-duty stand mixer, cream together the sugars, softened butter and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and mix well to combine.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, salt and baking powder. Add to the creamed butter and mix just until all of the flour is incorporated and there are no dry spots. Add the chocolate chips and nuts (if using) and mix briefly to distribute.

Drop by tablespoons or a small cookie scoop two inches apart onto the parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes, just until the edges begin to brown. Remove pan from oven and allow cookies to cool for one minute, then transfer to a wire rack.

Makes 10 to 12 dozen cookies, depending on size and whether or not you add nuts.

*If you have a convection oven, preheat it to 350 degrees and bake cookies for 8 minutes. For frozen dough balls, increase baking time to 10 minutes.

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