Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookies are the stuff of legends. Urban legends. In summary, someone claimed to have requested and received the recipe from the department store and was billed for $250. Whether true or false isn’t our concern. All we care about is how we can’t get enough of this chocolate chip cookie recipe that’s really something special. (And we also have a recipe for a slightly different Neiman Marcus chocolate chip cookie recipe that calls for ground oats rather than espresso powder. We may have been following a hoax, but it’s a darn good hoax at that. One that we’ve been pretending to fall for over and over and over again.Renee Schettler Rossi

A stack of Neiman Marcus chocolate chip cookies separated by pieces of parchment.
4.75 / 8 votes
These Neiman Marcus chocolate chip cookies, made popular through urban legend as the “$250 chocolate chip cookies,” are crispy, chewy, and downright delicious.
David Leite
Servings24 servings
Calories177 kcal
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time45 minutes


  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso or coffee powder, (optional)


  • Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until the mixture is fluffy, 30 to 60 seconds.
  • Beat in the egg and vanilla and mix until well combined, 30 to 60 seconds.
  • In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the mixer, reduce the mixer speed to low, and beat until combined, 15 to 30 seconds.
  • Add the chocolate chips and espresso powder and mix for 15 seconds more.
  • Using a 1-ounce scoop, or using a 2 tablespoon measure, drop the cookie dough onto the parchment in dollops about 3 inches apart. Gently press down on the dough with the back of a spoon to spread out into 2-inch circles; there should be room for 6 or 8 cookies at a time.
  • Bake for about 20 minutes, until the cookies are nicely browned around the edges.
  • Place the baking sheet on a wire rack to cool slightly. Transfer the cookies to the rack to cool completely.
Neiman Marcus Cookbook by Kevin Garvin

Adapted From

Neiman Marcus Cookbook

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Serving: 1 cookieCalories: 177 kcalCarbohydrates: 23 gProtein: 2 gFat: 8 gSaturated Fat: 5 gMonounsaturated Fat: 2 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 19 mgSodium: 79 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 15 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2003 Kevin Garvin. Photo © 2003 Ellen Silverman. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

Where has this recipe been hiding? A definite Testers Choice, this is just what you’d expect from a cookie Neiman Marcus would put its name on—rich, sophisticated, well-crafted, and superbly delicious.

I used Ghirardelli 60% bittersweet chocolate chips, which paired especially well with the instant espresso coffee powder, both adding depth and richness to these upscale cookies. I don’t know if it was just my thinking about the grandeur, luxury, and larger-than-life scale of Neiman Marcus, but the chocolate chips seemed not only just the right intensity and bitterness, but also just a bit larger than the usual semisweet chips from the grocery store.

First, I baked a batch for 20 minutes, and then baked another batch for a few minutes longer. The latter batch produced cookies that were crisper—more to my liking. For those who prefer a not-so-crisp cookie, remove them promptly from the oven at the 20-minute mark. Either texture, you’ll have a cookie you can proudly pull out for company, or serve at snack time at home with a tall glass of milk.

These cookies do keep well. I set aside a tin for an event I was hosting nearly a week later and the cookies showed little apparent loss of freshness, flavor, and texture. On a table of offerings that also included homemade chocolate caramel cake and peanut butter cookies, these were the first to go.

These chocolate chip cookies are fantastic! Easy to make and they turned out perfectly. I didn’t soften my butter and omitted the espresso and the resulting cookies were the best possible combination of crispy and chewy. Everyone in our household loved them.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Yummy, chewy and crispy! Just plain delicious. I was baking to take treats to new neighbors on our street. I can’t think of a better welcome gift than these cookies. I did omit the espresso powder and used milk chocolate chips since I don’t yet know my new neighbors’ tastes. They declared the cookies to be absolutely perfect.

    1. How wonderful, Deb! Friendly and thoughtful gestures are worth a million dollars—so glad these cookies took part in yours!

  2. 5 stars
    Oh, geez. I just pulled these out of the oven and a group of us is arguing over which are better, these or David’s recipe. So now I’m going to have to make both the same day so the troops don’t riot and can have a proper taste test. Thanks for the delicious dilemma!!

  3. Waaaay too much flour in this recipe? My dough was crumbly and hard to gather. I baked at 350F for 15mins in a convection oven because they were so pale after 12mins I thought id leave them for longer. My cookies were dry 🙁 and I live in a moist climate.

    1. vincci, i’m sorry to hear you had a disappointing experience with these cookies. when i make the dough—which i’ve done countless times over the decades—it does remain sorta crumbly, but the resulting cookies are quite moist. since oatmeal is such a sponge for moisture, i suspect perhaps there was a touch too much oats in your dough. i’m not faulting you. we all know how tricky the science of baking can be—some days, even the barometric pressure seems to make a difference. if you’re curious to try it again, i’d cut back just a touch on the oatmeal…and if the dough still seems a touch too dry, add just a dribble of whole or 2% milk. worst-case scenario, you drop some blobs of cookie dough in some vanilla ice cream and call it a day.

      1. 5 yrs after the post, but you said oatmeal is such a sponge for moisture. I didn’t see oatmeal listed as one of the ingredients. Sorry to be nit-picky.

        1. Candie, I like what a careful reader you are! My profuse apologies, I had confused the recipe above with our other, similar recipe for chocolate chip cookies that are also attributed to Neiman Marcus but that DO call for ground oats. I am so incredibly sorry for the gaffe. In this instance, for the recipe on this post, I suspect that the cookies were in the oven a touch too long or perhaps the reader’s oven ran a touch too hot. Another possible issue could be the butter being a touch too soft when mixing the dough.

          1. Thank you for your response. I should have noticed the link, but I was so focused on the recipe because I’m probably going to make them later in the week.

          2. I think the person who had a very dry dough probably didn’t use a scale, but cups. Nobody should use cups in baking ever. Kitchen scales are not very expensive and are much more accurate.