~1.5-2 cups flour
Soften the butter (or melt it if you are in a hurry) and cream with the sugar. One great variation on this is to brown the butter (see here for that process). If you brown it, just cool it and then add the sugar and mix thoroughly. Then beat in the egg and vanilla extract. Add the salt and baking soda, then add about a cup of flour and mix well. Then add the chocolate chips and then add 0.5 to 1 cup more flour. It should make a soft dough but it should come together, so if it’s not, add more flour until it does. Regarding the add-ins, if you want to use any of them, add graham cracker crumbs (perhaps 2 full sheets crumbled up) with the flour, add a pinch of nutmeg or cinnamon when you add the baking soda, and add liberal amounts of chocolate anytime in the flour process. Make to sure to taste it to ensure its quality. As with all my doughs, I like to put it in the fridge for at least an hour, or overnight. Another great thing about this dough is that after it’s easy to work with, you can form small balls of it, put them in a plastic bag, and just freeze them (will last for months). Take them out whenever you want a cookie or two, put them on a baking sheet, and bam – instant gratification.
When you are ready to bake, prepare baking sheets with parchment paper or a light greasing. Preheat the oven to 350 F / 180 C, make smaller than golf sized balls of the dough, and pop the cookies in for about 5 minutes. If you using sea salt, check on them at this point and take the sheet out – by then they will hae spread, and then take a tiny pinch of sea salt and sprinkle over each one. Put back in for about another 5 minutes – again, it is totally up to you in terms of preference, but I like my cookies slightly underdone so when they are starting to brown around the ages I take them out and then let them firm up a bit more by letting them sit on the sheet for another 5 minutes. If they are underdone you can always put them back in. If you are not using the sea salt (although I highly recommend it for a salty sweet taste sensation), just put them in for 10 minutes but check them around 8.