First up, ingredients - this recipe uses really simple ingredients most of which you will probably already have even if you're only an occasional baker...
YOU WILL NEED:
350g plain flour
220g dark brown soft sugar
110g butter (soft, cubed)
100g plain chocolate
50g golden granulated sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2tsp vanilla essence/extract
1/4 tsp salt
RECIPE: (makes 15 large cookies)
1. Mix together the sugars, vanilla and butter. I start with a wooden spoon until the butter is starting to cream with the sugar then use an electric whisk on its lowest setting to finish
2. Add the egg and continue to combine with the electric whisk. The batter make look like its curdling but don't worry, it will all come together
3. In a separate bowl mix the flour, baking powder and salt. Add this two tablespoons at a time to your batter and continue whisking. When all of the ingredients are mixed you will be left with a slightly wet dough
4. I prefer to break up a chocolate bar rather than using ready made chips. I use plain chocolate for this recipe as I think its slight bitterness works well with the sweet base but you can use whichever you prefer. I first break the chocolate up into a sandwich bag, wrap it in a tea towel then give it a few hits with a rolling pin. For any pieces that are still too big I just carefully chop them with a sharp knife
5. Add the chocolate to the batter, mixing with a wooden spoon until all the pieces are evenly distributed
6. Line a baking sheet or tray with baking parchment (foil will work as well) and place tablespoon size blobs 2" apart on to the sheet - I use a plastic tablespoon measure as my scoop and find that a standard baking tray will take 6 cookie blobs
7. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 190c for 10-12 minutes until they are golden. The cookies will spread out and flatten by themselves. If your cookies do bond together while cooking don't worry, simply run a knife though to separate them as soon as they come out of the oven
8. Leave the cookies on the tray for a few minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool. These can be eaten warm or cold and stored in an airtight container
If you are only adding one 'flavour' ingredient (eg chocolate, hazelnuts, raisins) then this base recipe is a great one to use. The dough would also work really well for cookie dough ice cream (must try that soon)!
EDIT: Cupcakes & Cashmere recommends sprinkling chocolate chip cookies with ground sea salt (do this when they're fresh from the oven)...not to everyones taste but I think it's delicious.