Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Neiman Marcus $250 Cookie Recipe

Neiman Marcus $250 Cookie Recipe
Source: Maida Heatter's Brand-New Book of Great Cookies (Random House, 1995 ed.), pg. 148.

You have probably heard the urban legend about this cookie recipe. A lady has lunch at a Neiman Marcus restaurant and has some delicious cookies for dessert. She asks the waiter if he can get her the recipe from the chef and he says "no problem". A few weeks later, the lady is looking over her credit card bill and finds a $250 charge for the cookie recipe. She calls the restaurant and demands a refund, they refuse, and in retaliation she distributes the recipe to as many people as she can. 

A columnist at the New York Times got to the bottom of the story by calling the restaurant and they assured her that they have never charged anyone for the recipe. Of course it makes a great story and perks your curiosity to want to try one. I can attest that they are quite good. Michael says that these are his second favorite (his first being the Oatmeal Raisin cookies recipe that come on the Quaker Oats box).

At the end of the recipe, Maida suggests reducing the amounts of both sugars and that makes them taste like they are worth $350. Well, I did not notice this note until it was too late but I will try that next time. She does not say how much to reduce it! Anyway, they are pretty darn good with the amounts stated in the recipe.

2 cups sifted unbleached flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
4 oz. milk chocolate, broken into small pieces
8 oz. (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups walnuts, in medium-sized pieces

Preheat oven to 375. Line cookie sheets with parchment or aluminum foil. 

Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a food processor, add the oatmeal and milk chocolate. Process for about 20-25 seconds until the mixture is almost powdered. Set aside.
Beat the butter until soft and then add both sugars.
Add the vanilla.
Add eggs one at a time, mixing well.
Add the sifted dry ingredients.
Add the oatmeal mixture. Beat only until mixed.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir in the chocolate chips.
Stir in the walnuts.
Stir (this will be a stiff mixture)
Form into balls (wet your hands for this) and place on the baking sheet, pressing them lightly to flatten them a bit. Bake two sheets at a time for about 12-14 minutes, reversing sheets halfway between baking. They are ready when the cookies are lightly browned and firm to the touch. Let them stand on the baking sheets for a minute before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container.


Kathryn said...

Thank you! Perfect timing!

Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking said...

This recipe has been on the my list for a while! I am kind of bummed that the story isn't true, but they look delicious regardless!

And I have to agree with Michael - I recipe on the top of the Quaker Oats box is my fav oatmeal cookie recipe too :-)

Manisha Sharma said...

Hi Philip

This recipe sounds amazing! volume measure in Maida's recipes make me nervous as I used to weight measure.

Today are biscottis in the making may be sometime next week I shall try these cookies.

Thanks for sharing.