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
- 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)
- 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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Neiman Marcus Cookie Recipe © 2013 Jessie Oleson Moore. Photo © 2013 Clare Barboza. All rights reserved.