In a heavy bottom saucepan over low heat, melt the chocolate chips with the sweetened condensed milk and the salt. Remove from the heat, stir in the nuts, if using, and the vanilla. Spread evenly into a foil-lined 8 or 9-inch square pan. Chill for 3 hours, or until firm. Remove the fudge from the pan and place onto a cutting board. Remove the foil from the bottom of the fudge and cut into squares. Store, covered, in the refrigerator or freezer.
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