Chewy Chocolate Walnut Cookies

The chocolate chip cookie is a classic and iconic cookie, one which we are usually introduced to first as children.  It is simple and appeals to just about everybody who has a sweet tooth.  In this recipe, cream of tartar is added to give the cookie its chew, while walnuts add extra texture and dimension. Why change such a great classic, you ask?  Because, sometimes even an icon wants a little make-over.

Makes about 6 dozen

3 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter (room temperature)
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar (firmly packed)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs (room temperature)
2 cups chocolate chips
2 cups walnuts (roughly crushed to pieces)

1.  Preheat oven to 350F.  Line (or grease) baking sheets.
2.  In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt.
3.  In another large bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, and brown sugar until fluffy.  Beat in vanilla and then the eggs, one at a time to ensure an even mixture. Add the dry ingredients, a quarter at a time, to the wet ingredients until just combined.  Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts.
4.  Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of the dough, 2 inches apart, onto the prepared baking sheets.  Bake at 350F until the sides and tops are lightly browned.  Allow cookies a couple minutes to set before removing to cool completely on a rack.
5.  Wasn’t that easy?  Now go eat!

*  Want to make this cookie even more gourmet?  Use 10 ounces of a nice dark chocolate bar instead of the chocolate chips.  Just chop it into chunks, but don’t add in the shavings or really small bits – those will melt into the dough during baking and can make the cookie deflate or oily tasting.
*  Also, toast the nuts in the oven first to deliver an extra punch.  Place them in a single layer on a baking sheet for 5-7 minutes at 400F.  Pecans work nicely too!

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