The Myth of the $250 Cookie Recipe

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The “Neiman Marcus $250 Cookie Recipe” story

The store is featured in an urban legend involving a supposed recipe for its popular chocolate chip cookie.In the legend, a woman and her daughter enjoy a cookie while shopping at Neiman Marcus in Dallas, Texas, and ask for the recipe. The waiter informs her there will be a “two-fifty” charge, which the woman interprets as $2.50. Upon receiving her VISA statement, she is shocked to discover she has been charged $250.00 instead. In revenge, she photocopies the recipe and urges her friends to distribute it for free to everyone they know so that the store will make no further profit on its sale.

Mythbusters have pointed out three chief holes in the story:

  • Prior to the emergence of the legend, the store did not have a chocolate chip cookie;
  • A similar story has been around since the 1940s, originally involving a red velvet cake recipe from the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. It wasn’t until the 1980s that the story’s focus shifted to cookies.
  • Neiman-Marcus for most of its history only accepted its own card and American Express

Although the story is untrue, Neiman Marcus published a cookie recipe to quell rumors. The $250 Cookie Recipe follows.


2 cups butter

24 ounces dark chocolate chips

4 cups flour

2 cups brown sugar

2 teaspoons soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups sugar

1  8-ounce Hershey Bar (grated)

5 cups blended oatmeal

4 eggs

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons vanilla

3 cups chopped nuts of your choice

Measure oatmeal and blend in a blender to a fine powder.  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 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet.  Bake for 10 minutes and 375°.  Makes 112 cookies.

photo courtesy of


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