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Turn the oven on to 350 degrees. Put the butter in the oven in a stainless steel or glass bowl as it’s preheating until about one third to one half of the butter is melted. Do not melt more than half of the butter. Turn the oven off. Let the butter come back to room temperature for at least 30 minutes – it doesn’t have to harden completely but it should be a soft solid.
Add the sugar and vanilla. Cream with electric mixers until well mixed and lightly fluffy. Add the eggs and beat until incorporated..
Measure in the flour, baking soda, and salt. You can do this in a separate bowl, but I usually just dump it all into the mixing bowl. Slowly mix with the electric mixer on low speed, scraping the sides, until all the flour is incorporated. If the dough sticks to the sides of the bowl and looks wet, add one tablespoon of extra flour at a time until the dough feels dry and sticks together in one large ball. Too much flour will make the cookie stiff, so stop adding flour right when the dough starts to take on that dry look and feel. Stir in the chocolate chips with a wooden spoon.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Roll 1/4 cup dough into high, round balls with chocolate chips at the top. Place on a baking sheet a few inches apart and bake for about 9 minutes. You want to take them out when they are puffy and just a tiny bit brown on the tops and edges. Let stand for a few minutes – they will lose a little of their puffiness but they should stay thick and hold together well.