First, soften a cup of butter. Because somebody said on a cooking show once that using melted butter instead of softened butter makes for harder cookies, avoid melting the butter in the microwave. Instead put two sticks of butter in a large bowl and set aside until it’s softened. This step should only take a couple of hours.
Two days later cover up the butter and put it back in the fridge when you realize you don’t have any eggs … or time to make cookies.
Buy the eggs, and also some vanilla, since you can’t remember if you have any (you do). Return home to discover someone has raided the stash of chocolate chips. Don’t scold anyone. It was probably you. You can scold them for eating the marshmallows you bought to make rice crispy treats, because you KNOW you didn’t filch the marshmallows. Yuck.
On your next daily trip to the grocery store, buy freeze-dried camp food, a bike pump, shampoo, then hit your forehead with your palm when you’re driving home because you forgot the chocolate chips.
When you finally have all the ingredients in one place, preheat the oven to 375. Screw what the cooking show said: melt the butter in the microwave. Mix it with sugar, eggs and vanilla.
Take a break from the cookie making-activities to load the dishwasher and make coffee. You want to be able to enjoy baking in a clean kitchen, and having a cup of coffee with your warm cookies.
Read the paper with your coffee. Holler at the kids to grab their laundry. Holler at them for trying to sneak chocolate chips out of the bag on the counter. Remember you were in the middle of making cookies and get back to it.
Ignore the part of the recipe that says to sift the flour and baking soda and salt in another bowl and set aside. Who wants to wash another gigantic bowl that won’t fit in the dishwasher just for sifting together the dry ingredients? Just pour the flour, etc. on top of the egg, butter and sugar mixture. Use a fork to mix it together as best you can, before mixing the dry and wet ingredients together so nobody later gets a mouthful of baking soda in their cookie.
Mix the dry and wet ingredients and pour in whatever chocolate chips you have left. Spoon little lumps on a cookie sheet and bake.
This first batch will burn. Be glad you didn’t put all the cookies in at once. You need this reminder to set the timer. Remove the next batch of cookies in ten to twelve minutes.
The smell of chocolate chip cookies on a Sunday morning will serve to wake your teenager. It is closing in on noon, after all. Use the leverage of a warm chocolate chip cookie for brunch to have him strip the sheets off his bed and gather his laundry.
Spend a moment basking in the glow of your kids’ gratitude. They’re so freaking happy to have cookies for breakfast they might just wash the cookie sheets you left stacked by the sink. Either that or your loving husband will. Whatever. You need to sit down with a cookie and a cup of coffee. Baking’s exhausting.