Position two oven racks so that they divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 375°F.
Place the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium-size mixing bowl and whisk to mix. Set the flour mixture aside.
Place the butter, 3⁄4 cup of the granulated sugar, and the confectioners’ sugar in a large mixing bowl and, using an electric mixer, beat them on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the eggs one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Add the vanilla and mix until the batter is very light and smooth, about 2 minutes longer. Gradually add the flour mixture, mixing each addition until blended.
Place the remaining 1⁄2 cup of granulated sugar, if using, in a shallow bowl. Roll pieces of dough into 1 1⁄2-inch balls; they’ll be sticky and soft and don’t have to be perfectly round at all . Roll each ball of dough in the sugar, then arrange them about 3 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. You’ll probably fit 12 cookies on each baking sheet so it will take at least three baking sheets for all of the cookies. You’ll want to bake two sheets at a time, placing one on the top rack and one on the bottom.
After you have placed all of the balls on the baking sheets, using your palm, gently press down on each ball until it is about 1⁄3-inch thick (this is enjoyable to do, very satisfying somehow).
Bake the cookies for 11 to 14 minutes, depending on how chewy or crisp you like them. I like them chewy, hence the name of the recipe, so I bake them for the shorter time. The cookies will still be very pale when they are done, so don’t think you should be waiting for them to turn golden brown.
Remove the baking sheets from the oven and let the cookies sit on them for about 1 minute to firm up a bit. Using a spatula, transfer the cookies to wire racks to finish cooling.
Cooking Tip #1:
If the cookie dough is very soft, you can refrigerate it for 20 to 30 minutes so that it firms up a bit and is easier to handle.
Cooking Tip #2:
You don’t have to roll the little balls of dough in granulated sugar. This adds that extra something, and children find it entertaining to do, but if you’re not in the mood, just skip it. The balls of dough will be a bit sticky when you press them flat, so instead of using your palm you may want to butter the bottom of a glass and use that to press the cookies down.
These will keep in a tightly sealed container for three to four days.