Hungry Bear Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hungry Bear Chocolate Chip Cookies
Servings: 8

8 Ounces Butter, Unsalted -- cut in pieces
1 Cup Packed Brown Sugar
3/4 Cup Sugar
1 Teaspoon Salt -- optional
1 1/2 Teaspoons Vanilla
2 Large Eggs
2 1/2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 1/4 Teaspoons Baking Soda
2 Cups Walnuts -- coarsely chopped
3 Cups Semisweet Chocolate Chips

Preparation instructions:
In a large bowl, beat butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and salt with an electric mixer until creamy and no butter flecks remain. Beat in eggs and vanilla until well blended. Add flour and baking soda. With a spoon, stir in walnuts and chocolate chips.

With a small ice cream scoop or 1/4 cup measure (fill cup about half-full), shape dough into 1 1/2-inch-diameter balls (about 2 1/2 Tbsp.) and place close together on 10x15-inch baking pans. Cover and chill at least 6 hours or up to four days. (If time is short, you can omit chilling step, but cookies may not brown as rapidly.)

To bake, transfer cooky balls to 12x15-inch baking sheets, ungreased or lined with cooking parchment; space balls about 2 1/2 inches apart. Flatten each ball to a 3/4-inch-thick round: make sides go straight up and depress center of each cooky slightly. Let cooky dough warm to room temperature, about 30 minutes.

Bake in a 400 degree oven until cookies are golden brown all around edges but center 1-inch is still pale, 8 to 10 minutes. (If you bake 2 pans in 1 oven, switch pan position halfway through baking for more even browning.) Remove from oven and cool on pans until firm, about 5 minutes. Then transfer to racks. Serve cookies warm or cool.

If made more than 1 day ahead, cool, cover, and freeze in an airtight container. To reheat, place frozen cookies slightly apart on 12x15-inch baking sheets and bake in a 200 degree oven until warm, 12 to 15 minutes.

Makes 3 to 3 1/2 dozen