Serve this big soft chocolate chip cookies warm or allow to cool completely. The twin secrets to these "mall style" cookies are the melted butter and the extra egg yolk.
Place a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 325° F. Temperature is critical so use an oven thermometer to verify the correct oven temperature and adjust as necessary.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan and set aside to cool until it's lukewarm. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt. Do not sift.
Place both sugars in a medium mixing bowl. Pour melted butter into sugar and mix until completely blended. Add egg, yolk, and vanilla extract. Mix until blended. Add flour mixture and mix until blended. Add chocolate chips. Mix just until chips are evenly distributed.
Line 11 x 17 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Using a scant 1/4 cup of cookie dough, roll a ball in the palms of your hands. Grab the ball with the fingertips of both hands and pull the dough into two pieces resembling half moons. Rotate the halves so the two jagged/flat sides point toward the ceiling and push the two halves together. You'll now have a cookie with a jagged top surface - it should look like little tree stumps.
Place the cookies onto the cookie sheets, about 6 per sheet. Put cookies in oven and bake for 15 minutes.
Start checking if the cookies are done after about 13 minutes and every two minutes thereafter. They are done when they are turning light golden brown and the edges are starting to get dry and firm while the centers are still soft.
Cool cookies completely on their cookie sheets.
Don't use waxed paper. It's too flammable.
Store completely cooled cookies in airtight containers, separating layers of cookies with waxed paper.
The dough will keep refrigerated for 2 days and frozen for about 30 days. Be sure to wrap it closely with plastic wrap and place it in an airtight container. Thaw frozen dough overnight in the refrigerator.
Baked cookies will keep in the freezer for a few weeks. Wrap individually in plastic wrap. Thaw 15 minutes at room temperature for a quick cookie fix.
You don't need to shape them like trees stumps with a ragged surface, any other cookie shape would work just fine.
The dark brown sugar makes darker colored cookies. The light brown or golden brown sugar makes lighter colored cookies. I prefer the dark ones because of the little extra flavor the molasses adds.
For a nice variation, use light brown sugar instead of dark, substitute white chocolate chips, and add 2 or 3 tsp. grated orange peel, from one large orange, to the batter. These are called white chip, orange dream cookies.