1. Place the butter, brown and granulated sugars, eggs, and vanilla in a mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer or wooden spoon until well blended.
2. Add the baking soda, salt, and flour half-cup cup at a time, and stir to form a smooth, fairly stiff batter. Add the chips and nuts and fold into the batter.
3. Drop rounded teaspoons of batter onto an ungreased cookie sheet, leaving about an inch or so of space between them. (For larger cookies, use a tablespoon of batter.)
4. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until light golden brown. Cool for a minute before removing the cookies from the sheet with a spatula. Transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
For best results YOU MUST USE SOFTENED BUTTER! Do not use melted butter, hard butter, or margarine. To soften butter, place it unwrapped on a plate at room temperature for at least four hours. It should be very soft but still maintain its shape.
Try These Variations!
Instead of semi-sweet chocolate chips, try: Milk chocolate, white chocolate, or butterscotch chips; M&Ms; or broken-up chocolate bars. Instead of walnuts, try: Pecans, hazelnuts, or macadamia nuts. Here are some of my favorite combos:
* Macadamia nuts and white chocolate chips.
* Pecans and butterscotch chips.
* Pecans and semi-sweet chocolate chips.
* Hazelnuts and milk chocolate chips.
I never plan on eating more than a few cookies at a time. So I usually bake a few, then put the remaining dough in a plastic bag and store it in the refrigerator, where it will keep for up to two weeks. That way, I can enjoy freshly baked cookies any time!
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