This is my go-to recipe. I had no idea where my cookbooks were so I guesstimated everything. Nailed it. They turn out great and you can personalize them however you want.
1/2 c. butter (1 stick)
1/4 c. shortening, if you've got it otherwise skip it (I dump in a glob on a mixing spoon)
2/3 c. brown sugar (or use all white)
2/3 c. white sugar (or use all brown)
1 t. vanilla (or use other flavorings like rum or pineapple or whatever you want to try. Some day I will figure out how to make root beer flavored cookies)
1 t. baking soda/baking powder (either one or use half and half)
1 t. salt
2 eggs (3 if you want more of a cake-like cookie)
2 1/2 c. flour (use part whole wheat if you want) OR 1 c. oatmeal and 2 c. flour
1-2 c. chocolate chips, dried fruit like craisins or cherries or currants, nuts, coconut, sprinkles, or whatever combination you like
1 t. spices like cinnamon, ginger, anise seeds, fennel seeds, poppy seeds
1/4-1/2 t. spices like nutmeg, cloves, allspice, ground black pepper, chili powder
Cream butter and shortening with sugar until well mixed. Add vanilla, baking soda/powder, salt, and eggs. Beat for 3-4 minutes until fluffy and creamy and smooth. Make sure you scrape the sides once or twice during the mixing. Add flour/oatmeal and whatever stir-ins you like. Mix together.
Scoop by generous tablespoonfuls onto a greased or lined cookie sheet. Bake at 375° for 8-11 minutes, until lightly browned and set. Longer baking times will give you crunchier cookies, shorter ones will give you softer gooier cookies. Makes about 36 cookies.
Some combos I like:
Dark chocolate and craisins with a little cinnamon in the dough, use oatmeal/flour and half-and-half sugar
white chocolate, chopped almonds, and coconut, use all brown sugar. Use either all flour (half whole wheat) or part oatmeal.
sprinkles (only about 1/3 c.), use all white sugar and all white flour
gingersnaps - 1 t. ginger, all brown sugar, all whole wheat flour
Experiment and see what you like. Please share your versions in the comments.