Claire's Chocolate Chip, Fool Proof, and Better Than They Look (Really) Cookies

Our latest Chow Bella showdown: a traditional holiday cookie exchange. From now through Christmas, we present Chow Bella's 12 Days of Christmas Cookies. Today, we bring you Claire's Chocolate Chip, Better Than They Look (Really) Cookies.

I am not a baker -- a tough fact I thought I could hide until I moved into a 1940s house with a 1940s oven (that even came with a very useless cool instructional chart on the inside of the oven door). 
Truth is, I can wear an apron, but I'm not very good at following instructions. If you say a cup, a teaspoon, or "softened," I'm going to fudge a little. Plus, I will never have all the shit a good cookie, cake, or bar requires to look like it does in the professional photos or taste like it does when a true friend who can bake, bakes. 

It was with great pride that I managed to pull three-dozen of these cookies from the oven -- not burned, not dry -- and keep my eyebrows in the process. (After a few close encounters and a dark ring on my ceiling, I now have someone else light the oven for me.) 
And while they still don't resemble magazine cookies -- suck it Matthew Mead -- I'll share the recipe that I stole from my cookie-guru sister for the Chocolate Chip, Fool Proof, and Better Than They Look (Really) Cookies.
1 cup butter, softened 
1 1/2 cups white sugar 
2 eggs 
2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
2 cups all-purpose flour 
2/3 cup cocoa powder 
3/4 teaspoon baking soda 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (clearly an estimate with a gas stove with a fading dial)
2.  In large bowl, beat butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla -- and don't let them tell you that you have to have a mixer. 
3. Mix flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; stir into the butter mixture. 
4. Toss in chocolate chips. Eat a couple, too. 
5. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. 
6. Let cool. 

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Claire Lawton
Contact: Claire Lawton