It's been raining here in Southern California, and when it rains, I feel like baking!  There is nothing like the smell of freshly-baked chocolate-chip cookies filling the house on a chilly day. 

This is my "secret" recipe taken from Sunset magazine years ago when they published an article on the best recipes for cake-like, traditional, and crispy-chewy cookies.  I tried them all, but the crispy-chewy was my favorite.

Chocolate chip cookies
(the best you ever had-promise)

1 cup softened butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup walnuts or pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 375.  Using an electric mixer (I use a Kitchenaid), beat butter for 30 seconds.  Add both sugars, baking soda and salt; beat until combined.  Beat in egg and vanilla.  Beat in flour, 1 cup at a time.  Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.  Bake 10-12 minutes, depending on how large you make your cookies.  Cool 5 minutes on cookie sheet before transferring to cooling rack.

Tip:  Make sure the edges are brown - the caramelized sugar is heavenly!

Note:  Nuts are optional-when baking these for kids, I usually omit nuts, just in case someone's allergic.

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