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.
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
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!