Everyone needs a classic and easy chocolate chip cookie recipe up their sleeve, and this no-fuss version is as simple as the recipe on the back of the chocolate chip bag. Keep some of the unbaked cookie dough in the freezer to bake off whenever the mood strikes.
Game plan: The dough freezes well—just scoop rounded tablespoons onto a baking sheet, dip your finger in water, and gently press the dough into 1/2-inch-thick disks. Freeze until firm and transfer to a resealable plastic freezer bag for up to 1 month. Bake straight from the freezer without thawing.
1Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange 2 racks to divide the oven into thirds. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
2Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl until aerated and combined; set aside.
3Place the butter and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until lightened in color and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle with a rubber spatula. Add the egg and vanilla, return the mixer to medium speed, and beat until incorporated, about 1 minute more.
4Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture until just combined. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle with the rubber spatula. Return the mixer to low speed, add the chocolate chips, and mix until just combined.
5Drop the cookie dough by rounded tablespoons about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets (about 12 per sheet). Place the remaining dough in the refrigerator.
6Place both sheets in the oven and bake for 7 minutes. Rotate the sheets front to back and top to bottom and continue baking until the bottoms and edges of the cookies are golden brown but the tops are still soft, about 6 to 7 minutes more.
7Place the baking sheets on wire racks and let cool for 5 minutes. Using a flat spatula, transfer the cookies to the wire racks to cool completely. Let the baking sheets cool completely and repeat with the remaining dough (you can reuse the parchments). Store the cookies at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days.