Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Would the real Neiman Marcus Cookie please stand up?

As I was purusing through my favorite foodie sites tonight one post in particular caught my eye. Barbara Bakes posted the $250 Neiman Marcus Cookie recipe. Interesting! I had read this story more than once in my email, but never made the recipe myself. The cookies look delicious.
Then I got to thinking, trying to remember exactly how the story went. I went to my favorite 'is it real' site to check it out. I found the story - I also found out that the story is fiction!
Here's the story as it appears in the emails:

A TRUE "GET EVEN STORY " MUST READ The following is a story of a lady who decided to get even with a company that ripped her off. I thought it was an interesting way for one to get even and illustrates the power of people when empowered with the Internet. Enjoy...Not A Joke

My daughter & I had just finished a salad at Neiman-Marcus Cafe in Dallas & decided to have a small dessert. Because both of us are such cookie lovers, we decided to try the "Neiman-Marcus cookie". It was so excellent that I asked if they would give me the recipe and the waitress said with a small frown, "I'm afraid not, but you can buy the recipe". Well, I asked how much, and she responded. "Only two fifty, it's a great deal!" I agreed, just add it to my tab, I told her.

Thirty days later, I received my VISA statement from Neiman-Marcus andit was $285.00. I looked again and I remembered I had only spent $9.95 for two salads and about $20.00 for a scarf. As I glanced at the bottom of the statement, it said, "Cookie Recipe - $250.00". That's outrageous!

I called Neiman's Accounting Dept. and told them the waitress said it was "two-fifty," which clearly does not mean "two hundred and fifty dollars by any *POSSIBLE* interpretation of the phrase! Neiman-Marcus refused to budge.

They would not refund my money, because according to them, "What the waitress told you is not our problem. You have already seen the recipe. We absolutely will not refund your money at this point."

I explained to her the criminal statutes which govern fraud in Texas. I threatened to refer them to the Better Business Bureau and the State's
Attorney General for engaging in fraud. I was basically told, "Do what you want, it doesn't matter, and we're not refunding!! your money."

I waited, thinking of how I could get even, or even try and get any of my money back. I just said, "Okay, you folks got my $250.00, and now I'm going to have $25,000.00 worth of fun." I told her that I was going to see to it that every Cookie lover in the United States with an e-mail account has a $250.00 cookie recipe from Neiman-Marcus... for free. She replied, "I wish you wouldn't do this." I said, "Well, you should have thought of that before you ripped me off," and slammed down the phone on her.

So here it is!!! Please, please, please pass it on to everyone you can
possibly think of. I paid $250 for this... I don't want Neiman-Marcus to *ever* get another penny off of this recipe....
COOKIE (Recipe may be halved):
2 cups butter
4 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 cups sugar
5 cups blended oatmeal (measure oatmeal and blend in a blender to a fine
24 oz. chocolate chips
2 cups brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 - 8 oz. Hershey Bar (grated)
4 eggs
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. vanilla
3 cups chopped nuts (your choice, but we liked pecans best)
Cream the butter and both sugars.
Add eggs and vanilla; mix together with flour, oatmeal, salt, baking
powder, and soda.
Add chocolate chips, Hershey Bar and nuts. Roll into balls and place two
inches apart on a
cookie sheet.
Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees.
Makes 112 cookies.
Have fun!!! This is not a joke-this is a true story. Ride free, citizens!

Great story, but not true. (Cookie is still worth making though).

Truth or Fiction posted this find: This is one of the classic urban legends. It has circulated for decades and various versions have named different restaurants and hotels, although one of the most common versions says it happened at Neiman-Marcus.

Hmmm....very interesting. So I googled Neiman Marcus and they have addressed it on their site. Their post reads like this: An urban myth is a modern folk tale, its origins unknown, its believability enhanced simply by the frequency with which it is repeated. Our signature chocolate chip cookie is the subject of one such myth. If you haven't heard the story, we won't perpetuate it here. If you have, the recipe below should serve to refute it. Copy it, print it out, pass it along to friends and family. It's a terrific recipe. And it's absolutely free.

Oddly enough (or maybe not) their cookie recipe is completely different than the one in the email version. Here it is:


# 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
# 1 cup light brown sugar
# 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
# 1 large egg
# 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
# 1-3/4 cups all purpose flour
# 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
# 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
# 1/2 teaspoon salt
# 1-1/2 teaspoons instant espresso coffee powder
# 1-1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Cream the butter with the sugars using an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy (approximately 30 seconds)

2. Beat in the egg and the vanilla extract for another 30 seconds.

3. In a mixing bowl, sift together the dry ingredients and beat into the butter mixture at low speed for about 15 seconds. Stir in the espresso coffee powder and chocolate chips.

4. Using a 1 ounce scoop or a 2 tablespoon measure, drop cookie dough onto a greased cookie sheet about 3 inches apart. Gently press down on the dough with the back of a spoon to spread out into a 2 inch circle. Bake for about 20 minutes or until nicely browned around the edges. Bake a little longer for a crispier cookie.

Yield: 2 dozen cookies

So, I thought I have all these ingredients in the house, why not make this version and share. So really we get 2 great cookie recipes out of all this hoopla. Both very yummy!

You can find more Neiman Marcus restaurant recipes free here.
To find a recipe just choose a store and from there you can find recipe links.
The original cookie recipe is found here


Barbara Bakes said...

And now for the rest of the story. A fun post! I love the picture of your cookies. The chocolate looks gooey and delicious!

Lissaloo said...

What a fun post I really enjoyed reading that & now need to make and compare both recipes :)

Katy ~ said...

My mother was one who was thrilled to have the $250 Neiman Marcus cookie recipe and she shared it with many of her friends. I never told her the true story as it made her feel as if she were passing along a treasure from Solomon's goldmine.

Both versions of the cookie look very good and very worth sharing! Wouldn't you just love to know how the original story originated?

girlichef said...

I've heard this before! Too funny...they do look pretty awesome :D

Chow and Chatter said...

what a fun story they look great

Melody said...

I wonder which one is better. I need to run to the store for some butter. Ciao! :)

Heidi said...

I have made these cookies a ba-zillion times (the email version with the ground oatmeal and grated candy bars). They are absolutely amazing. We all love them and I get requests to make these from friends for their birthdays.

Bunny said...

Wow 2 recipes! I need to try this one, your cookies look fantastic!

Donna-FFW said...

These cookies look incredible. Always looking to try out new CCC recipes.

finsmom said...

Ive heard of these and always wanted to try them :)

Anonymous said...

lol! I LOVED the story. I was almost sad it wasn't true. I think both cookies sound great, though.

Monica H said...

I think it's interesting that the recipes aren't the same. I always belived this story to be true, but never thought too much of it.

Great looking, chunky cookies!

Lara said...

How fun to know the rest of the story. I always wondered whether there could be any shred of truth to it. We already love the fake Neiman Marcus recipe, so now we'll have to try the real one for comparison's sake.

Talita said...

I don't know if is a true or false story, but these cookies look so yummy!!

Natashya said...

I had never heard that story - what a fun basis for a post!

Delectable Dining said...

Your picture looks great! I, too, have received this email countless times! Thanks for doing the research on it! :)

Chef E said...

I remember my aunt would take me to the cafe inside the store for some chicken salad with grapes, and I thought that was so me some cookies!