Mint Chip Brownie Ice Cream “Cake”

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My daughter just turned 9! This birthday celebration-worthy dessert was super sweet and decadent – my daughter called it “amazing”! 😉 Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Brownie Layer – adapted from Handle the Heat

  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (*next time I think I’ll use bittersweet chocolate*)
  • 1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup (94 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Directions –

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8-inch or a 13×9-inch baking pan with parchment paper. (*I didn’t do this, but it makes for easier pan removal and slicing later on*)

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Melt the chocolate and butter over a double boiler. Stir to combine and take off the heat and set aside to cool slightly.

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the eggs and sugar on medium-high speed until light and thick, about 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla extract. Stir in the cooled chocolate mixture with a rubber spatula. Add the flour and salt, folding gently until combined.

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Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake until a tester comes out with moist crumbs still attached, 35 to 40 for the 8×8 pan, or 20-25 minutes for the 13×9 pan. Do not overbake. Let cool to room temperature. Once cooled, place it in the freezer for at least 4 hours or overnight in preparation for the ice cream layer.

For the Mint Chip “Cake” – adapted from Glorious Treats

Ice Cream Layer- 

  • 1 carton (1.5 quarts) Mint Chip Ice Cream

Chocolate Layer-

  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Whipped Cream Layer-

    • 1- 8oz tub of Whipped Topping (*I used Truwhip*)

Garnish/Toppings-

  • Chopped Andes Mints, and/or mini chocolate chips

Directions –

Ice Cream Layer

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Allow a carton of ice cream to sit out at room temperature about 20 minutes, until soft enough to spread over the cooled brownies. Once the ice cream has been evenly spread, place the entire pan in the freezer to allow the ice cream to re-freeze.

Chocolate Layer

WP_20150410_008 1Heat the cream in the microwave for 1-2 minutes until hot (watch it so it does not boil). Add chocolate chips to the hot cream and set aside (undisturbed) about 3 minutes to allow the chocolate to melt. After 3 minutes, stir the chocolate until the cream and chocolate are fully combined. Set aside and allow to cool to about room temperature. Once cool, pour the chocolate over the ice cream layer, and spread evenly. Return pan to freezer.

Whipped Cream Layer

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Spread the whipped topping over the chocolate layer, then garnish with toppings of your choice. Return pan to freezer and FREEZE AT LEAST 3 HOURS before serving. The entire dessert can be made ahead, and kept in the freezer (covered) up to 3 days in advance.

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The “I want Chocolate Cake” Cake

My son turned 12! Good grief, where did the time go? PicMonkey Collage
The “I Want Chocolate Cake” Cake – adapted from Smitten Kitchen 

Cake

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg 1 large egg yolk
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup Dutch cocoa powder
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon table or fine sea salt

Frosting

  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • melted and cooled
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • Pinch of fine sea salt (optional)
  • 1 tablespoons cream or whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions –

Make the cake: Heat oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of an 8-inch square cake pan with parchment paper, and either butter the parchment and exposed sides of the pan, or spray the interior with a nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, use a hand or stand mixer to beat the butter and sugars until fluffy; scrape down bowl. Add the egg, yolk and vanilla and beat until combined, then the buttermilk and mix again. Scrape the bowl down well and don’t worry if the batter looks uneven. Place your flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a sifter (I find this step necessary because my cocoa is very lumpy) and shake it over the batter bowl. Stir on low until just combined; scrape down bowl a final time. Scoop batter into prepared pan and smooth flat.

Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes in cake pan on cooling rack, then flip out onto rack or serving plate to completely finish cooling before frosting.

Make the frosting: Place frosting ingredients in a food processor and run machine to to mix. Scrape down bowl then process for another 1 to 2 minutes, until smooth and somewhat fluffed. Scoop the frosting onto the cooled chocolate cake and swirl it around. Cake keeps at room temperature for a day or two, or in the fridge up to a week,.

One Bowl Chocolate Cake with Dark Chocolate Mascarpone Frosting

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I decided this holiday season to start some new traditions for my family. Before Christmas, the kids and I attempted to make a gingerbread house from scratch…next year we’ll work out all the kinks and I’ll post those results 😉 We never do anything for the New Year, so I decided it would be fun foods for dinner (the kid’s choice) and a cake to celebrate and make a “wish” on (actually, we’re going to announce what goals we’d like to meet for the New Year).

Verdict: Yum! The cake itself is fairly lean, but the three sticks of butter and cup of mascarpone cheese more than makes up for that! 😉 This cake is a new favorite and I love that it makes a double layer 8-inch, cute, little cake 😉 Oh, and the frosting! It’s fluffy, rich, but not too sweet. It makes a huge batch (about 4 cups) so I used about half and froze the rest. Oh, and I piped “2014”  with melted white chocolate with some coconut oil mixed in to make it thin it out and make it smooth. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

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One-Bowl Chocolate Cake – adapted from Martha Stewart

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached cake flour (150 grams) or AP flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup water + 3/4 tsp espresso powder (*espresso optional*)
  • 3 tablespoons safflower oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions –

Preheat oven to 3o0 degrees. Butter two 8-inch round cake pans (2 inches deep); grease and line each cake pan with parchment paper. Sift cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of a mixer. Beat on low speed until just combined. Raise speed to medium, and add eggs, buttermilk, water/espresso powder, oil, and vanilla. Beat until smooth, about 3 minutes.

Divide batter between pans (my portions weighed 1 pound 2 ounces). Bake until set and a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean, about 40 – 45 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes. Turn out from pans. Transfer, face-up, to wire racks. Let cool completely. Wrap and freeze layers if desired.

 

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Dark Chocolate Mascarpone Frosting – adapted from Not So Humble Pie
*frosts a 8-inch two or three layer cake 

  • 1 pound semisweet chocolate, finelly chopped
  • 6 tablespoons dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 6 tablespoons boiling water
  • 3 sticks (1 1/2 cups or 339g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup mascarpone cheese (or in a pinch, cream cheese)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • pinch salt

Directions –

Combine the boiling water and dutch processed cocoa. Mix well to remove any lumps and then set aside to cool.

Melt the chocolate over a double-boiler and then set aside to cool. Allow the melted chocolate to come to room temperature before using (otherwise it will melt your butter and that’s bad), this should take 25-30 minutes.

Once the chocolate is cool, beat the butter and powdered sugar in your stand mixer with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy (roughly 4 minutes).  While it is mixing, combine the mascarpone cheese with the cocoa powder slurry.

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Once the butter is light and fluffy, add the cooled melted chocolate to the butter and beat until uniform, scraping down the sides as needed.  Then add the mascarpone cocoa mixer and beat until well combined.  The frosting should be ready to use, however if it seems too soft you can place it in the refrigerator for 10 minutes and it will firm up.

Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Quick Post: The kids love it and I thought the flavor was just okay; but once I tried a piece straight from the fridge it was so much better…weird, but I’m okay with that 😉 Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Pumpkin Bars – adapted from Deliciously Yum

  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups pumpkin
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups flour (250 grams)
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Frosting –
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Directions –
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a stand mixer, beat 4 eggs. Add oil, sugar, and pumpkin and mix together.
Next, mix in baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and flour. Make sure all ingredients are well combined and no lumps remain.
Pour into ungreased 11″ x 17″ jelly roll pan and bake for 30-35 minutes. Let the bars cool completely.

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Meanwhile, blend together the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Spread frosting evenly over the bars and put into fridge for 30 minutes.

Snicker’s Cake

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When it comes to making a cake (especially the three layer, super involved kind), I need a good excuse to make one. My husband on the other hand would have liked me to make this because it was a Monday – no real reason and no company to help us eat it. I know better! The last thing we need is a giant cake all to ourselves,  not to mention how selfish that would be 😉

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I have used this particular chocolate cake recipe many times before, so I knew it would be really good. Also, for quality control sake, I had to taste the fluff and salted caramel I made – so I knew those were also really good. This is definitely not a cake I would have wanted to make in one day because of all the components; also, it’s much easier to work with when the cake layers have been frozen. On Friday, I made the salted caramel and the chocolate cake – let the cake cool completely, wrapped them up individually in plastic and then placed them in the freezer. I made the fluff on Sunday, stored it in a glass container and let it sit on my counter. Monday I made the nougat and I decided to reduce the amount of peanuts added; but other than that modification, I made it as directed. Also, I totally forgot to add the salted caramel to the top of the nougat filling – boo! I figured no one would care especially once i poured ganache and more caramel sauce over the top 😉

Verdict: This cake tastes as good as it looks – maybe even better. All the guests at our Labor Day party really enjoyed it and we only have about 1/4 of it left! 🙂  I’m glad that all that work I put into it paid off, and I’m sure I will get requests for it in the future 🙂 Thanks for reading, enjoy!

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Snickers Cake – adapted from Punky Purls via Brown Eyed Baker

For the Cake:

  • 2½ cups AP flour (312 grams)
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1  teaspoons salt
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups hot water
  • 1 1/2 tsp espresso powder
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil (*I used grapeseed oil)
  • 4½ teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Nougat Filling:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup evaporated milk
  • 1½ cups marshmallow fluff
  • ¼ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups salted peanuts, roughly chopped

For the Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup salted caramel sauce
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

For the Milk Chocolate Ganache:

  • 8 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped
  • 4 ounces (½ cup) heavy cream

For the Assembly & Garnish:

Directions –

1. Make the Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease three 8-inch round cake pans, line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper, grease the parchment, then flour the insides of the pans, tapping out excess; set aside.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer (or large mixing bowl if you’re using a hand mixer), sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla.

3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix for 2 minutes on medium speed. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix for an additional 20 seconds (the batter will be very thin).

4. Divide the batter evenly among prepared pans. Bake for 20 minutes and rotate the pans in the oven. Continue to bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cakes comes out almost clean (with a few moist crumbs), about 12 more minutes. Cool the cakes (in the pans) on wire racks for 20 minutes, then carefully turn them out onto cooling racks to cool completely.

5. Make the Nougat Filling: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the sugar and evaporated milk, stirring until dissolved, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from heat and add the marshmallow fluff, peanut butter, and vanilla extract, stirring until completely smooth. Fold in the peanuts. Let the nougat mixture cool to room temperature before using it in the cake. You can do this leaving it at room temperature or you can pop it into the refrigerator to speed up the process. Be sure to give a stir occasionally as it cools.

6. Make the Frosting: Beat together the butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed for 5 minutes (I like to use the whisk attachment for my KitchenAid stand mixer, but it’s not necessary). Pour in the salted caramel and beat until combined. Reduce the speed to medium-low and slowly add the powdered sugar, a little at a time, until it has all been incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat for an additional two to three minutes, until light and fluffy.

7. Assemble the Cake: If your cakes baked up uneven or have domed on top, level off the tops. Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Cover with half of the nougat filling and then spread a couple spoonfuls of the salted caramel sauce over top to evenly cover the nougat filling. Top with a second cake layer and cover with the remaining nougat filling and top with caramel sauce. Place the final cake layer on top face-down. Frost the cake with the salted caramel frosting, finishing it as smoothly as possible. Refrigerate the cake for at least 1 hour, until the frosting is set.

8. Make the Chocolate Ganache: While the cake chills, make the chocolate ganache. Place the chocolate in a medium bowl; set aside. Place the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat and warm until it just comes to a boil. Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate and let sit for 2 minutes. Begin whisking the mixture in the center, gradually working your way outward until the ganache is completely smooth. Set aside to cool, whisking occasionally, until it has thickened slightly, yet still a pourable consistency.

9. Garnish the Cake: Transfer the ganache to a 2-cup measuring cup. Slowly pour the chocolate ganache into the center of the cake, letting it push itself outward and flow over the sides of the cake. Refrigerate the cake for at least 30 minutes, giving the ganache a chance to set up. To finish garnishing, drizzle some additional salted caramel sauce over the top and side of the cake, and top with chopped peanuts. Keep the cake refrigerated, removing it from the refrigerator about 20 minutes prior to serving.

Tried and True Family Favorites

I have nothing new to share…sorry! But these are some of the meals we enjoyed during these past couple of weeks. All the pictures have links to previous posts, thanks for stopping by!

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It was my son’s 10th birthday over a week ago and he requested this cake. It really is perfect 🙂

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Fish tacos with homemade tortillas and pico de gallo. This is my second time making them and the DH can’t get enough.

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The kids love these pretzel dogs almost as much as I do! 😉

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Buffalo chicken sandwiches! I have been making these for years and they’re a big hit every time!

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Sky high buttermilk biscuits and sausage gravy are my husband’s favorite for breakfast.

Buttermilk Blueberry Breakfast Cake

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I made this one at least 7 months ago but haven’t gotten around to posting it; but I remember it because it is a fantastic treat for breakfast. I avoided posting because the pictures (and I took several) didn’t turn out well at all! (Click the link for a more appetizing shot). I sent my camera out a few weeks ago for repairs and it can’t come back soon enough. I’m sure I’ll make this one again soon and take a better picture. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Buttermilk-Blueberry Breakfast Cake – adapted from Alexandra Cooks

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 tsp. lemon zest or more — zest from 1 large lemon
  • 3/4 cup sugar (use vanilla sugar if you have it)
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • ½ cup buttermilk

1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Cream butter with lemon zest and sugar until light and fluffy.

2. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Meanwhile, toss the blueberries with ¼ cup of flour, then whisk together the remaining flour, baking powder and salt.

3. Add the flour mixture to the batter a little at a time, alternating with the buttermilk. Fold in the blueberries.

4. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan (or something similar) with butter or coat with non-stick spray. Spread batter into pan. Sprinkle batter with remaining tablespoon of sugar. Bake for 35 minutes. Check with a toothpick for doneness. If necessary, return pan to oven for a couple of more minutes. (Note: Baking for as long as 10 minutes more might be necessary.) Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.

Blueberry Cakelets

Quick Post: I was on a hunt for more recipes that use self-rising flour. I recently purchased a bag for these two ingredient biscuits (they’re my absolute fave!) But I only made them that one time back in October, so the remainder of the flour sat in the pantry until it finally expired…I hate wasting food. This was pretty tasty and not too sweet. I bet that it would be even better with some fresh whipped cream. I like how quickly I was able to throw this together and next time I would love to try this recipe with strawberries. That might go over well with my family as they don’t seem to like blueberries that much…oh well! Thanks for reading, enjoy!
Individual Blueberry Cakes – adapted from Top With Cinnamon
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 1/3 cup + 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup whipping cream
  • 2/3 cup self-raising flour

Optional:

  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • zest of one lemon

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Put the blueberries in a bowl, with 1/2 cup of water, the 1/3 cup of sugar (and cinnamon, lemon zest and lemon juice if you want them). Stir until the blueberries are coated with the mixture. Divide between 4 or 5 medium ramekins.

In a separate bowl, whisk together 2 tbsp of sugar, the egg and cream together. Add the flour and stir until just combined, don’t over mix it! Pour the mixture into the  ramekins and sprinkle the remaining 1 tbsp of sugar on top of the batter (or you could sprinkle cinnamon-sugar mixture onto the batter here…I highly recommend it!). Place the ramekins on a baking tray (to stop juice dripping everywhere in the oven).

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until well risen and golden brown.

Strawberry Cake

I love strawberries and some of my favorite baked goods use them. I have shared just a few of my favorite ways to enjoy strawberries here, but this is a new one. It’s simple and perfect for any occasion – like today is Thursday…I needed cake! This smells amazing while baking, and the vanilla sugar makes a difference! The finished cake is beautifully light, fruity and floral (thanks to the vanilla sugar). The raw sugar sprinkled on top before baking, became caramelized and crunchy. I like the strawberries arranged on top, it’s simple but elegant and girly! It’s a perfect spring time treat and great for sharing if you’re feeling generous 😉 I’m sure I will make this many more times this strawberry season.

I also have a unique way of hulling strawberries to show you. I saw this technique on Good Eats, where AB uses a large star tip for cutting and extracting the hulls of strawberries. AB is not a fan of “unitaskers” and a strawberry huller is just that. I thought it was pretty clever, and thankfully I had one that worked perfectly. ( ‘scuse the camera phone pictures).

Carefully twist the leaves off the top of your strawberries.

Gently twist the star tip into the center of the stem end of the strawberry, making sure to go as deep into the berry as the tip will allow.

Gently pull out the tip and your strawberry will have a nice hole in the center where the hull used to be. See? So easy – now make this!  Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Strawberry Cake – adapted from Martha Stewart

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pie plate
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar (*I used vanilla sugar)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 2 tablespoons raw or sanding sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 10-inch pie plate. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together into a medium bowl.

Put butter and 1 cup sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-low; mix in egg, milk, and vanilla.

Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in flour mixture. Transfer batter to buttered pie plate. Arrange strawberries on top of batter, cut sides down and as close together as possible. Sprinkle raw/sanding sugar over berries.

Bake cake 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Bake until cake is golden brown and firm to the touch, about 1 hour. Let cool in pie plate on a wire rack. Cut into wedges. Cake can be stored at room temperature, loosely covered, up to 2 days.

Triple.Chocolate.Cookie.CAKE.

My husband wont believe this when he sees it. I picked the most decadent cookie recipe I could find without his input! 😉 Yesterday, I cleaned up my pantries – big time! So, now it’s all pretty and organized; and I made sure that he got a peek before it became a mess again. He noticed that I had lots of chocolate chips that needed to be used up…so today I gave in to the peer pressure! It didn’t help that Publix had a decent sale on ice cream, either 😉 Milk and cookies is great, but cookies and ice cream? Forget about it!

This is obviously a great idea for a party or an excuse to have the neighbors over to help you eat it. We enjoy having friends over and food is always involved. I love that I’m comfortable with it, because years ago I had anxiety over the very idea of “entertaining” guests. I felt a lot of pressure while cleaning, and cooking – I wanted to impress everyone. I’m over that now, thankfully and I have become much more confident in my cooking and baking.  I know it’s good, my family agrees and all my friends do – all those people wouldn’t lie to me 😉

This was so good, and anytime I showed someone the picture on my phone – they swoon! 😉 It was perfect with the vanilla ice cream on top and if you’re feeling extra dangerous, you can add our favorite homemade hot fudge sauce over top! Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Triple Chocolate Cookie Cake – adapted from Food Network

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2/3 cup white chocolate chips

Special equipment – 12 to 14 inch round baking dish

Directions –

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars. Add the eggs, beating well after the addition of each.

In a bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt and mix with a whisk. Add to the butter mixture, mixing to incorporate, and add the vanilla extract. Fold in the chocolate chips. Spread across the bottom of the prepared pan and bake until the edges are golden and the cookie is set but the center is still slightly soft, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.