Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes about 80 cookies

16 tablespoons (2 sticks or 1 cup) butter, softened
3/4 Cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup dark-brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon hot water
2 cups chopped walnuts
2 cups (12 ounces semisweet chocolate morsels or 2 cups coarsely chopped chocolate

Preheat oven to 375. Grease some cookie sheets
Beat the butter until smooth. Add the granulated and brown sugar and beat until thoroughly blended, then add the eggs and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy.

Combine the flour and salt, and stir and toss them together. Stir the baking soda into the hot water. Add half the flour to the butter-sugar mixture and beat well, then beat in the baking soda and water. Add the remaining flour and beat until completely mixed. Stir in the walnuts and chocolate.

Drop the dough by heaping teaspoonfuls onto the cookie sheets, placing them about 2 inches apart. Flatten each cookie slightly with your wet fingertips into a disk about 1/3 inch thick and 1 1/2 inches across. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until they have spread slightly and are lightly browned all over. Do not undertake; they should be crisp and crunchy. Remove from the cookie sheets and cool on a rack.

Peanut-Butter Chocolate chip cookies. Add 1 cup peanut butter to the butter sugar mixture. Omit the walnuts, and add 2 cups roughly chopped peanuts.

Whole-Wheat Carob-Chip Cookies. Omit the granulated sugar and increase the brown sugar to 1 1/2 cups. Substitute 2 cups whole-wheat flour for the 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour, and substitute 2 cups carob chips for the chocolate morsels.

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