I tried everything. I used half shortening, half butter. That helped, but to me sacrificed some of the delicious yummy flavor that comes from using butter. I tried keeping everything ICE cold. Like my bowl, my pan, everything. That also kind of helped, but wasn't foolproof. I tested my baking soda. I used vanilla pudding. I used baking powder and baking soda. I used only baking powder. Then I spent some time researching and testing, and I discovered THE SECRET.
Melt the butter. Completely melt it. Don't soften it, completely melt it. I know it's very unorthodox, but it works. Every time. Leaving you with a cookie that looks a little more like this:
Thick, chewy and delicious. If you like them a little crispy cook them just a little longer. I kind of modify the Nestle Tollhouse recipe. But I have followed the recipe exactly, and even that is fine, as long as I melt the butter.
1.5 sticks of butter - melted
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. white sugar
1.5 tsp vanilla
2 c. flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
about 3/4 of the regular size bag of chocolate chips (I always prefer semisweet)
Then I bake at 350 until it starts to smell perfect. I seriously rely on my nose more than a timer. I think it's about 6 or 7 minutes. Let them finish cooking out of the oven in the pan. Perfection. Every time.