The Neiman-Marcus cookie myth

The Neiman-Marcus cookie myth is one which was circulating long before the invention of the internet.

The story goes something like: A woman and her daughter visit a famous café/chain store food court. They order food and drinks, and then to finish they each have a cookie. The cookie is so good that the mother asks for the recipe. She is told that the recipe will cost her “two-fifty”, so she asks them to add it to her tab. Two days later the bill arrives, and on it is a charge for $250 for a cookie recipe. The mother rings the company to ask them to reverse the charge, but as she has already seen the recipe she is told that this is impossible. The mother decides that the only way to get even is to make the recipe public.

The most recent version of this story is set at Neiman-Marcus in Dallas. Funnily enough Neiman-Marcus happily gives its recipes away for free to anyone who asks, and when the recipe first began to circulate Neiman-Marcus didn’t actually sell cookies. The store has developed a cookie in response to the story (not the other way around).

Here we have the recipe from the original story. The recipe makes 112 cookies to make it seem like it really did come from a commercial kitchen. We recommend quartering it.

2 cups butter
4 cups flour
2 teaspoons soda
2 cups sugar
5 cups blended oatmeal*
24 ounces chocolate chips
2 cups brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 8 ounce Hershey Bar (grated)
4 eggs
2 teaspoons. baking powder
3 cups chopped nuts (your choice)
2 teaspoons vanilla

Cream the butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla; mix together with flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder, and soda. Add chocolate chips, Hershey Bar and nuts. Roll into balls and place two inches apart on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees.

* measure oatmeal and blend in a blender to a fine powder.