Yield: about 45 2 1/2-inch cookies

Cook’s notes: These cookies are based on a recipe from Cook’s Illustrated magazine for soft chocolate chip cookies. They really do stay soft and chewy, so long as you don’t overbake them, and be sure to use bleached flour, which makes more tender baked goods. To vary the cookies, substitute bittersweet or milk chocolate chips (you may use as much as 2 cups), or add a cup of nuts, raisins or shredded coconut; leave out the espresso powder for regular chocolate chip cookies. For speed and consistency, I use cookie scoops (they look like a miniature ice-cream scoop); for these cookies, I use one that measures 1 inch across the open side and is about 3/4 inch deep. You may scoop the dough onto a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet and freeze the scoops until hard, then store them in a plastic freezer bag until you’re ready to bake. No need to thaw the scoops first, but you’ll need to add about 5 minutes to the baking time.

2 cups bleached all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon coarse (kosher) salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 cup brown sugar (I use light brown, but dark brown works fine)
1/2 cup granulated (white) sugar
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 tablespoons (4 1/2 teaspoons) instant espresso powder (such as Ferrara brand)
1 1/3 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In a medium bowl, thoroughly whisk together flour, salt and baking soda; set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together (or beat on low speed) butter, brown sugar, white sugar, egg, egg yolk, vanilla and espresso powder. Fold or gently beat in flour mixture just until combined. Stir in chips. (At this point, dough could be refrigerated in an airtight container up to two days.)
Scoop dough in heaping tablespoons onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, about 1 inch apart. Bake cookies, reversing cookie sheets’ positions midway through, until cookies are light golden brown and outer edges start to harden, yet centers remain soft and puffy, about 15 to 18 minutes (start checking at 13 minutes). Cool cookies on cookie sheets. Store in an airtight container. (Baked cookies also freeze well in an airtight container.)

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