This is the definitive classic from the back of the Nestle Toll House chocolate chip bag. It's comforting and simple and is the cookie we crave from childhood. Crisp on the edges and soft in the middle, it has a lovely caramelized sweetness from the brown sugar. —Posie (Harwood) Brien
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat the butter with the sugars until light and creamy.
Add the vanilla and the eggs, one at a time, and beat thoroughly, scraping down the bowl as you go.
Add the flour mixture gradually to the wet ingredients. Mix until combined.
Fold in the chocolate chips and the nuts (if using) with a spatula.
Drop heaping spoonfuls of dough into an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes, or until just beginning to brown around the edges.
Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.
**The dough freezes beautifully: Just scoop out spoonfuls on a baking sheet and freeze for at least 20 minutes. Once frozen, transfer to a plastic bag or freezer-safe container. When ready to bake, place on a baking sheet and bake as instructed, adding a few minutes to the baking time.**