COMBINE shortening, brown sugar, milk and vanilla in large bowl. Beat at medium speed of electric mixer until well blended. Beat in egg. Combine flour, salt and baking soda. Mix into shortening mixture until just blended. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.
DROP by rounded measuring tablespoonfuls 3 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheet.
BAKE 8 to 10 minutes for chewy cookies, or 11 to 13 minutes for crisp cookies. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheet on a cooling rack. Remove cookies to rack to cool completely.
TIP: If nuts are omitted, add an additional 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips.
BAR COOKIES: HEAT oven to 375ºF. Follow recipe above to prepare dough. Spray a 13 x 9-inch pan with no-stick cooking spray. Spread dough evenly in pan.
BAKE 19 to 21 minutes or until top is golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and center feels slightly firm to the touch. Cool completely before cutting into bars.
LARGE ROUNDS: HEAT oven to 375ºF. Follow recipe above to prepare dough. Spray small area in center of baking sheet with no-stick cooking spray. Cover with 12-inch square of foil.
PLACE one-fourth of dough in center of foil. Form into a small circle with spatula or rubber scraper. Spray 12-inch square of wax paper with no-stick cooking spray. Place sprayed side down on top of dough. Flatten with round cake pan or pie pan to form a 7-inch circle. Remove wax paper.
BAKE 9 to 10 minutes or until light golden color. Cool 5 minutes on baking sheet on a cooling rack. Remove to rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining cookie dough.
CHOCOLATE DRIZZLE OR DIP: DRIZZLE: Melt 1 cup semi-sweet or white chocolate pieces with 1 teaspoon shortening over very low heat. Stir well. If too thick to drizzle, add 1/8 to 1/2 teaspoon more shortening to thin. Drizzle from end of spoon back and forth over cookie. Sprinkle with nuts before chocolate hardens. To harden chocolate quickly, place in refrigerator for a few minutes.
DIP: Spoon melted chocolate into custard cup. Dip one end of cooled cookie halfway up in chocolate. Sprinkle with finely chopped nuts before chocolate hardens, or drizzle with contrasting white or dark chocolate. Place on wax paper.