Anxious People / Chocolate Chip Cookies

In my continued effort to read through Fredrik Backman’s books, I recently read Anxious People. It’s an unlikely story of a random group of people who are taken hostage during an open house for an apartment. As the story unfolds and we learn more about each of the characters and their motivations, you can’t help but be drawn in and start rooting for them. Each revelation feels earned and makes you re-evaluate your preconceived notions.

In honor of Anxious People, I decided to try out Joanna Gaines’ chocolate chip cookie recipe. They say that real estate agents will bake chocolate chip cookies for their open houses to give the space a warm and welcoming feel.  

I am incredibly picky about my chocolate chip cookies, and unfortunately I have yet to find my ideal recipe. This one had a lot of promise, but I still feel like it was missing something. Maybe some sea salt sprinkled on top before baking? I’m beginning to suspect that the answer may be the New York Times recipe that I have been avoiding because it involves chilling the dough overnight. I don’t have that kind of patience or fridge space.

This recipe leans hard into the brown sugar for an extra rich and chewy result. If you prefer a chewy cookie with a nice crunch around the edges, this recipe is for you!


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 heaping teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips


Arrange a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside.

Place the butter and sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. (Alternatively, use an electric hand mixer and large bowl.) Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the eggs and beat until blended. Add the vanilla and beat until blended.

Turn the mixer off and add the flour mixture. Mix on medium speed just until the flour is mixed in, then turn the mixer to high speed for a few seconds to pull the dough together; it will be chunky. Add the chocolate chips and beat on high speed to thoroughly and quickly mix in the chips, about 5 seconds.

Drop the dough by large spoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheet; don’t flatten them. Bake until lightly browned on top, 10 to 11 minutes. Cool on the pan on a rack for 1 minute, then transfer the cookies to the rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough.

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