Position oven racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven, and preheat to 375 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Beat the butter and both sugars with an electric mixer on medium-high speed in a second large bowl until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the eggs to the butter mixture, one at time, beating after each addition to incorporate; beat in the vanilla. Reduce the speed to medium, add the flour mixture, and beat until just incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Scoop 12 heaping tablespoons of dough onto each prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Roll each into a ball with slightly wet hands. Bake until the cookies are golden but still soft in the center, 12 to 15 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway through. Let the cookies cool for a few minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer them to a rack to cool completely.
When the baking sheets have cooled completely, scoop the remaining dough onto 1 sheet and bake. Store the cookies in a tightly sealed container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
For cakey cookies: Replace the light brown sugar and granulated sugar with 1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar. Bake at 375 degrees F until golden and tender, 12 to 15 minutes.
For crispy-cakey cookies: Bake the cookies at 425 degrees F until golden and crunchy on the outside, 8 to 10 minutes.
For chewy cookies: Use 1 cup light brown sugar and 1/4 cup corn syrup and omit the granulated sugar. Bake at 375 degrees F until golden and crunchy on the outside, and chewy on the inside, 10 to 12 minutes.
For super-chewy cookies: Substitute cake flour for all-purpose flour. Bake at 375 degrees F until golden with caramelized edges, 12 to 15 minutes.
For extra-crispy cookies: Bake the cookies at 300 degrees F until flat and crunchy, 24 to 28 minutes.
When measuring flour, we spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off excess. (Scooping directly from the bag compacts the flour, resulting in dry baked goods.)
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