Neiman Marcus $250 Cookie

Neiman Marcus Cookie Recipe

As the story goes (and there are many variations), a woman and her daughter are shopping at Neiman Marcus and snacking on a chocolate chip cookie in the luxe department store’s café. Impressed, they ask for the recipe. They’re informed that it will come with a “two-fifty” charge, which will be put on the mother’s account. Not bad for a good chocolate chip cookie recipe, right? But as it later turned out, the amount billed was $250, not a mere $2.50. Incensed, the mom photocopies the recipe for the chocolate chip cookie and shares it with all her friends, urging them to share it with their friends, so that the store will never make another penny off this cookie—and, more altruistically, so that it may be enjoyed by all.

As fun a story as it might be—the little guy giving “Needless Markup” the what-for—well, it’s just not true. For one thing, it’s a tale that has been circulated before. It’s famously associated with the Waldorf Astoria hotel and its red velvet cake. Also, a variation of the same cookie legend has been attached to Mrs. Fields cookies.

Here’s the real clincher, though. Before the emergence of this legend, the department store didn’t sell chocolate chip cookies, much less have a recipe to share. But after the legend started circulating, you can bet your bottom dollar they got themselves a cookie recipe. Yes, indeed—they created a cookie in response to the demand created by all the hubbub. Neiman Marcus has published the recipe in one of their cookbooks (which, by the way, retails for less than $250), and has also shared it on their website. That version of the cookie recipe differs from the official Neiman Marcus cookie recipe invented by the store. I, in homage to the Cookie Revenge movement, have shared the recipe for the people’s cookie. It yields a great cookie—and a great number of them. In essence, this recipe is an interesting riff on classic chocolate chip cookies—some would even say it’s an improvement, based solely on the fact that it calls for both semisweet and milk chocolate. What appears to be an alarming amount of chocolate in this recipe actually doesn’t come across as excessive in the final product, so fear not. You may just find yourself wanting to share the cookies and the recipe, thus continuing the legend.–Jessie Oleson Moore

LC Secret Chocolate Chip Cookie Ingredient Note

Uh, all of the above about this chocolate chip cookie recipe is well and true—well, probably not the legend itself, but every other description pertaining to this lovely little cookie is factually accurate. Although something’s missing. There’s no flowery prose in praise of what we consider to be the best part about these I-swear-I’m-just-going-to-have-one-more chocolate chip cookies. Oatmeal. Yup. Not that you’d necessarily guess it if you didn’t know about it, seeing as the oats are blitzed in a blender until powdery and flourlike before being added to the dough. What results is a slightly hearty, though still delicate, intensely chocolatey cookie with an atypically tender texture and an enigmatically nutty taste. We love it.

Kindly note that the recipe below makes half a batch of the original chocolate chip cookie recipe, seeing as the actual cookie recipe makes an enormous number of cookies. [Editor’s Note: Not as though that would be a bad thing. Ooooooh no. Though it’s time-consuming to make so many cookies, we heartily encourage you to consider doubling this recipe and making ample to have on hand should you wish to bake some off, give some away, and still have some left to stash safely away in the freezer for future cravings. The dough keeps ridiculously well when frozen, provided you can keep from snitching some. We’ve learned from experience to intentionally mislabel the container of dough, for what we think are obvious reasons.]

Neiman Marcus Cookie Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 45 M
  • 1 H, 30 M
  • Makes 4 dozen 2-inch cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups oat flour, or oats blitzed in a blender until powdery
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips, or chopped bittersweet or milk chocolate
  • 4 ounces milk chocolate, grated (about 1 cup)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped nuts (your choice)

Directions

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • 2. In a large bowl, stir together the oat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • 3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium-low or with a handheld mixer on medium-high, beat the butter and both sugars until fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes.
  • 4. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, pausing after each addition to scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Stir in the vanilla.
  • 5. Add the flour mixture gradually, in 2 to 3 additions, scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition. Stop using the mixer and gently stir in the chocolate chips, grated chocolate, and nuts. Drop 1-inch balls or blobs of the chocolate chip cookie dough 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.
  • 6. Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Let cool for a couple of minutes before carefully transferring the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. The cookies will be rather tender and delicate, so treat them accordingly. (You can store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 7 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.)
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Comments
Comments
  1. Testers Choice Testers Choice says:

    [Renee Schettler Rossi] I’ve been holding onto this recipe since sometime around 1984, which is when I clipped it from the Omaha World-Herald (or was it the Des Moines Register? I can’t recall which) with the scissors my mom usually reserved for cutting coupons from the Sunday paper. I was 12 and lived on a farm in Iowa, so there wasn’t much else to do. Besides, my grandmother was a hard-core recipe clipper, so this always-trying-new-recipes thing is in my genes. It was several years before I actually made the recipe, seeing as we didn’t have anything as fancy as a blender in our farmhouse kitchen with which to blitz the oats into a powdery flour. But when I make it for the first time, whoa! It was a chocolate chip cookie revelation. These were sorta crinkly on top. Slightly but not terribly gooey in the center. A little nutty. Gobsmackingly chocolatey. Laced with just the right amount of crunch from the occasional walnut. And delicately tender in a sorta chewy, sorta cakey way all at once. And the dough when snuck by the spoonful? Lord, oh Lord. I was smitten. I still am. I’ve made these cookies countless times, either exactly according to the recipe or, more times than not, with all milk chocolate, a few times with all dark chocolate, even once with chopped dried figs and pumpkins seeds stirred in for a sorta granola cookie. I’ve never, ever had a bad batch. I can’t imagine you will, either.

  2. Carla says:

    Outstanding recipe…I’ve been making these for years…the large batch. The dough does indeed freeze well. The cookies are addictive, everyone loves them and they make fantastic ice cream sandwiches or crumble topping for a fruit pie/tart.

    This is one recipe everyone should have in their keeper box!!

  3. Veronica Lanz says:

    I have even converted these to gluten free and they are just as delicious as the original.

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Terrific, Veronica! Many thanks for letting us know. I’ve been meaning to try that. Tell me, please, did you use a store-bought gf flour blend or did you create your own?

      • Veronica Lanz says:

        I make my own. I use a scoop and use 2 scoops brown rice flour and 1 scoop each millet flour, coconut flour, sorghum flour, tapioca starch, cornstarch, & arrowroot starch (you could use potato starch but I’m intolerant to all nightshades). I use this mixture, cup for cup, in place of all-purpose flour, adding 1/4 tsp xanthan gum per cup of flour in the recipe.

        • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

          Veronica, thank you so much for sharing this, it sounds swell! Really looking forward to trying this. Again, thank you! And for what it’s worth, I’ve dallied with this recipe countless times over the years in terms of stir-ins, if ever you have a health-minded crowd around, toss in some chopped pumpkin seeds and chopped dried Turkish figs along with the walnuts. Not terrible at all!

      • Veronica Lanz says:

        It is a given that you would need to use gluten free oats. I am one of the 10% of celiacs that can not tolerate even the gluten-free oats so I use quinoa flakes instead.

        • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

          Excellent substitution. I’ve seen quinoa flakes at countless stores, even ones I would not expect to carry such a thing. Many thanks.

  4. carlrscott says:

    Wonderful story. I love urban myths and the dopey things that people will believe. Even though it isn’t true it’s still in the realm of possibility, thanks for sharing.

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      You’re so very welcome, carlrscott. Your comment reminds me of one of the quotes I love most. It’s from Alice in Wonderland, and it goes something like “Why, sometimes I’ve believe in six impossible things before breakfast.”

  5. Anna says:

    Can you freeze the dough as a log and cut coin-shaped slices?
    How long should they be baked if you want bigger cookies, say 6 per pan?

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Anna, yep, you can absolutely freeze the dough as a long and slice-and-bake as many cookies as you need to satisfy an urgent craving. Just allow a few extra minutes in the oven. As for bigger cookies, I haven’t baked them that way, so I can’t say…I’m a little concerned because the texture of these is hearty yet delicate, I worry large cookies may crumble really easily and even give you a very hard time getting them off the pan. If you want large cookies, I’d instead recommend baking some of the dough in a skillet or a baking dish as bars and cutting it into large slabs. Although again, I haven’t tried that approach with this particular recipe, and so I’m sorry, I can’t offer foolproof timing. Anyone else tried larger cookies or bar cookies with this recipe?

  6. Susan says:

    I must be the only person alive who doesn’t care for this recipe. The first time I looked at it (probably 30+ years ago-yikes!) I thought “there’s too much flour and oats and not nearly enough salt in this recipe.” but I made it as written. I was right. It wasn’t chewy and the cookie base was bland. I reduced the oats to 1 cup and used salted butter plus I increased the salt to 1 tsp, added 1 Tbsp of sour cream and used chopped chocolate rather than chocolate chips. Not perfect but, to my taste, better! In looking around the internet, this tale has many different versions of the cookie recipe, excluding the post legend recipe that Neiman Marcus now offers. Not glaring differences but they do vary, so who knows anymore what the original recipe circulated really was. I’m such a downer…sorry!

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Everyone has their preferences, Susan. There are probably plenty of cookies out there that you’re over the moon for and that I probably don’t care for. And that, my dear, is why there are so many blissfully different cookie recipes in existence.

      • Susan says:

        Amen!

        • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

          Heh.

        • Meryl says:

          I agree, Susan. I made these a long time ago, and didn’t like them at all. There are so many great chocolate chip cookie recipes out there, and I’ve tried many—unfortunately, this recipe rated as one of the worst. The dough was too sweet with an overall bland taste, plus the texture was too soft and gooey. I like chocolate chip cookies with crispy edges and chewy centers, and unfortunately, these had neither. If it weren’t for the high quality bittersweet and semi-sweet chips I used, the cookies would have had no redeeming qualities. Out of the countless recipes I’ve tried so far, my favorite is Thomas Keller’s with my tweaks. Outstanding!

          • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

            Well, as I mentioned in my response to Susan, there are all sorts of folks in this world, and all sorts of cookies to match. Seems you’ve found one that suits you well. The world would be a better place if everyone could find a sort of security blanket equivalent of a chocolate chip cookie as you have and focus on the things that we have to be grateful for, don’t you agree?

  7. tam says:

    I’ve baked these the last 12 yrs @ Christmas time, you can freeze them after they’re baked & cooled so you always have fresh cookies thru the season!

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Ah, tam, I’d completely forgotten that I used to do that, thank you! During summers as a kid I’d eat them straight from the freezer. The cookie equivalent of frozen Snickers.

  8. Jessica says:

    Oh my god. I thought this was my Mom’s recipe.

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Hah! Well, Jessica, it still is your Mom’s recipe. Just not her original recipe.

  9. Saschakat says:

    LOL! That $250 recipe story is an oldie, but goodie. I think in the late ’80s or ’90s, the story was called the “$250 Mrs. Field’s Cookie Recipe”, so it must be like having a person whisper a story to one person in a room and then that person whispers it to another, etc., etc. by the time it gets to the end, it has become Neiman Marcus’s cookie.

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Hah! Love that, Saschakat. So true. And I gotta admit, I am over the moon for these cookies. Have you ever tried ‘em?

  10. Mary says:

    I substitute cranraisins and walnuts and add 1 tsp cinnamon.

  11. Beth says:

    Funny – Cannot picture them as gooey! I like the flavor of these very much, especially with chopped 80% chocolate, but I find that the batter is quite dry and crumbly as compared with other oatmeal and chocolate chip cookie recipes. Fortunately, they come together in the oven. I suspect these are really for the oatmeal cookie lovers, not the chocolate chip cookie purists among us. :)

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Yes, definitely not for purists, Beth! And you’re also quite right about the dough, which is very dry and crumbly. Though I find the resulting cookies to be tender and, yes, gooey when snuck hot off the baking sheet. Okay, maybe almost gooey…

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