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Chocolate Chip Cookie Series #6: The $250 Department Store Cookie

Chocolate Chip Cookie Series #6: The $250 Department Store Cookie

Chocolate Chip Cookie Series #6: The $250 Department Store Cookie

For the sixth cookie in the Chocolate Chip Cookie Series I will be tested the famous $250 Department Store Cookie!

This cookie has a fairly funny story behind it so I thought it would be a great addition to the series.

The Story

So here it goes. A mother and daughter are enjoying a wonderful lunch at “Neiman Marcus Cafe” in Dallas, TX. As all meals should end, the ladies were enjoying some chocolate chip cookies for dessert. Upon trying the cookies, the women were amazed at how yummy and wonderful they were and asked the waitress for the recipe. The waitress was happy to oblige and told the women the recipe would be theirs for “two-fifty.” The women were thrilled to with this news and of course purchased the recipe.

When they received the bill, the ladies were shocked to find that the total check was nearly $300! They were thinking how could this be? They only purchased two $9.95 salads, a $20 scarf, and one cookie recipe. The ladies then realized the recipe cost two hundred – fifty dollars, not “two-fifty!”

Angered that they couldn’t get their money back for this ridiculous purchase, the women
attempted to take revenge on the cafe by emailing all of their friends and family the recipe with the encouragement of passing the recipe onto their friends and family. This recipe has gone around the world multiple times and may be known as the “Justice Cookie” or the “Ultimate Revenge Cookie.”

Truth by told, this is just a good old wive’s tale! There is no Neiman Marcus Cafe in Dallas, TX. A $20 scarf from Neiman Marcus is completely out of the question. AND Neiman Marcus did not sell chocolate chip cookies at that time!

Due to all the hype from this story, Neiman Marcus finally created their very own chocolate chip cookie recipe. You will find that these two recipes differ quite a bit so I will be trying out the official Neiman Marcus recipe next week!

Neiman Marcus claims that their stores would never charge for providing a recipe to customers. Interestingly enough, this is not the first time that a story like this has been told. A similar story was told regarding the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York and their recipe for Red Velvet Cake. They were reported to be charging $100 for their recipe when the hotel didn’t even serve red velvet cake at the time! The bakers at the Waldorf-Astoria also came up with a Red Velvet Cake recipe in the same fashion as Neiman Marcus did with chocolate chip cookies. Another story like this has also circulated with Mrs. Fields’ cookies, but they never give out their cookie recipes.


1 cup butter

1 cup dark brown sugar, packed

1 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

2 ½ cups oatmeal (old-fashion or quick rolled, not steel cut)

2 cups flour

½ tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

12 ounces chocolate chips

1 4-ounce milk chocolate bar (Hershey’s)

1 ½ cups chopped nuts



Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Use your oven thermometer to verify temperature.

Cream together butter and sugars. Beat in eggs and vanilla bean paste.

Finely grind oats in a food processor or blender until until fine and powder-y (I kept mine with a little texture to them).

Combine oats, flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder in large bowl. Gradually add in dry ingredients to wet mixture making sure not to overmix but just until combined.

Grate in milk chocolate bar using microplane or pulse in food processor. Add in chocolate chips and nuts until completely incorporated.

Drop cookies onto parchment lined baking sheets using medium size ice cream scooper. Bake for 10 minutes until lightly golden brown. Remove from oven and cool on baking sheets for several minutes prior to removing to a wire rack to cool completely. This recipe makes ~60 cookies.


These cookies can be left on the counter in a sealed container for several days. If placed in the fridge, they are good for 1-2 weeks. These cookies freeze very well and can last up to several months.


Overall, I thought this was a good cookie! This recipe is very different than any of the other recipes I have tried so far in the Chocolate Chip Cookie Series so it was a nice change of pace! These cookies are quite crunch and chewy from the edges to the center. I felt like I was underbaking most of my batches when I pulled them out of the oven, but the 10 minute mark was perfect for the right amount of chew and crisp. I enjoyed the addition of the oats in the recipe as well as the milk chocolate shavings. I left my oats with a little more texture to them instead of pulsing them to a complete powder because I wanted a little extra texture in my cookie, which I did enjoy! But I could also see how pulsing the oats to a complete powder would also be quite tasty. Either way the taste will be the same, but you might have more or less added crunch in your cookie. I did find that when I added the dry ingredients into the wet, I came out with quite a dry dough that was very crumbly when placing my dough on the baking sheet. Although I am not the biggest of milk chocolate fans, I am very into having the chocolate shavings in my cookies! I love having each bit filled with chocolate-y goodness and the milk chocolate did add another dimension to the recipe that I certainly enjoyed.

I hope you enjoyed the sixth cookie in the Chocolate Chip Cookie Series! What did you think about this infamous department store cookie? Would it be worth the $250 to you if it was the only way to get the recipe? How did you feel about adding in the ground oats with the shaves of milk chocolate? Check back next wee for Neiman Marcus’ OWN chocolate chip cookie recipe. If you haven’t checked out the first four chocolate chip cookies in the series, click on the links below for each recipe. Happy Baking!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Series #12: Gluten Free

Chocolate Chip Cookie Series #11: Brown Butter

Chocolate Chip Cookie Series #10: Pinch of Yum Soft Baked

Chocolate Chip Cookie Series #9: Momofuku Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow

Chocolate Chip Cookie Series #8: Double Baked

Chocolate Chip Cookie Series #7: Neiman Marcus

Chocolate Chip Cookie Series #6: The $250 Department Store Cookie

Chocolate Chip Cookie Series #5: Crisco’s Shortening

Chocolate Chip Cookie Series #4: Jacques Torres

Chocolate Chip Cookie Series #3: Levain Bakery

Chocolate Chip Cookie Series #2: Throwdown! With Bobby Flay

Bobby Flay's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookie Series #1: Tollhouse

The Chocolate Chip Cookie Series, Which Recipe Ranks as King?











14 thoughts on “Chocolate Chip Cookie Series #6: The $250 Department Store Cookie”

  • The oats seems like it would give a nice flavor and prevents it from being over-chocolate-y 🙂
    Anyone who likes oatmeal cookies will be a fan of this!

  • Hi Bailey, your post makes me salivate profusely. It’s lunch time and I’m still in the office waiting for some meeting. Reading a post like this doesn’t help. Anyway thanks for your recipe and posting a unique one too. I love chocolate cookies but am not very good at baking. I will be passing this recipe to my daughter who loves to bake. Keep the recipes coming.

    • I can understand the feeling! Chocolate chip cookies are my weakness. I love hearing that your daughter bakes. I think its so good for kids to learn baking while they are young! Thank you for stopping by!

  • Lol! I enjoyed reading that story. I’ll definitely try your chocolate chip cookie recipe cos my kids love cookies and they love helping whenever I bake so it will definitely be fun! The images look great too. Looking forward to baking soon! Thank you.

  • This one looks fantastic. I love oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. This story has been around as long as I can remember. I’m pretty sure my mom got a version of it in the mail along with a similar recipe in the late 1970’s. I don’t recall ever having them, but I’ve sure eaten my share of Neiman Marcus Bars!

    • I think this recipe has been around since the 60’s or something crazy like that! I love hearing that you got the recipe in the mail. That totally makes the story even better for me! I’ve never had Neiman Marcus Bars so I will certainly be trying them soon! I hope you enjoy the recipe!

  • Hi Baily – I enjoyed reading your post and now I am hungry for chocolate chip cookies! lol! I have never heard this story before and found it amusing. Honestly, I don’t think $250 is a huge amount if it really was that great of a cookie recipe, but what do I know?

    I am going to share this recipe with my wife and my teenage son who loves to make cookies. Now if we could just get him to clean up the kitchen after baking! Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Scott! Thanks for your comment! I think I would agree with you on the $250 for a really great recipe! I hope your family loves the recipe as much as I did!

  • What a gorgeous post, love the story behind it and will try your chocolate cookie recipe, my daughter loves chocolate cookies 🙂 thanks for a great post

  • Haha I love the story behind the cookie, that is a smart marketing move… True or not… a great story 🙂 Now the cookies look yummy this is definitely a recipe I have to use this summer. The kids will be thrilled to get some baking in and the two fifty story will be fun to share. Thank you for sharing!

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