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$250 Urban Legend Cookie Recipe

$250 Urban Legend Cookie Recipe

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Do you know about the infamous “$250 cookie recipe”?  I recently came across an old copy of this recipe in my mom’s recipe box. Along with the ingredients and procedure, it basically says “Mrs. Fields Cookies…$250.00 recipe – give to everyone”.  

Even though I had never seen this recipe before, I was pretty confident that I had NOT hit the “Motherload” for Mrs. Fields’ secret recipe.  Since this was my first encounter with the recipe, I did a quick internet search and found that this is a very popular recipe hoax, an urban legend that has been around for a very long time.


The Story Behind the Mrs. Fields Neiman Marcus $250 Urban Legend 

Maybe you know of the $250 cookie recipe already, but just in case you live in a cookie jar like me, here’s the scoop…

Based on some research, it seems there are several versions of this urban legend. 

The original version seems to have evolved from a secret chocolate cake recipe about 50 years ago. Each version over the years has similar undertones. 

Most of the tales involve a corporate conglomerate ripping off or duping some innocent patron whose only request was asking for a recipe. In all accounts, the requests were granted but not without asking for an unreasonable amount of money in exchange. 

Feeling scathed in one way or another, the innocent patron gets revenge by recanting their tale of whoa, sharing the recipe, and then asking others to do the same.

The most current and probably, the most known version of this story is the Neiman Marcus, $ 250 cookie recipe.

In this version, a woman and her daughter were having lunch at Neiman Marcus and ordered a chocolate chip cookie for dessert. 

Mrs Fields Urban Cookie Legend

The story goes that they loved the cookie so much, that the woman asked the waitress for the recipe. The waitress agreed and said it would cost “two fifty”. Thinking the cost was $2.50, the woman requested to have the recipe put on her Neiman Marcus account. 

Upon receipt of her monthly bill, the woman was surprised to see she had actually been charged $250.00 for the chocolate chip cookie recipe. She requested a refund but was told there was nothing she could do. She had to pay the outrageous bill.

In turn, to spite the department store, the woman shared the chocolate chip recipe in a chain letter. In the letter she shared her experience and urged anyone who received the letter, to pass it on. 


  • You can half this recipe and it will still make plenty
  • Grind all the oatmeal into fine powder
  • Optional: instead of grating, chop the chocolate bar in the mini processor until finely flaked
  • Bake cookies on the middle rack
  • Refrigerate the dough for about 30-40 minutes before baking

$250 Urban Cookie Legend

Whatever the story and whatever the version, I personally made these chocolate chip cookies and can say they were delicious! I do urge you to pass on this recipe but ONLY because I think it makes for one good cookie!

If you like baking you might also like these recipes:

Candy Corn Rainbow Cookies

Italian Candy Corn Rainbow Cookies

Ricotta Lemon Cookies

ricotta lemon cookies

Chocolate Chip Biscotti

chocolate chip biscotti

Mrs. Fields Cookies - $250.00 Neiman Marcus Cookie

Urban legend has it that these are the recipe for the infamous $250 Neiman Marcus Cookie.
5 from 3 votes


  • 2 cups butter
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp Vanilla
  • 4 cups flour
  • 5 cups oatmeal
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp bakng powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 24 oz chocolate chips
  • 8 oz Hershey Chocolate Bar (grated)
  • 3 cups chopped walnuts optional


  • Cream together the butter and both sugars. Then add the eggs and vanilla.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder, baking soda. Mix together all ingredients. Then add the chocolate chips, walnuts and grated chocolate bar. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until fully incorporated. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet. Make even golf size cookies and space them 2" apart. Put them into a 375 degree F preheated oven and bake for 6 minutes. This recipe should yield 112 cookies.


*This recipe can be cut in half
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Mrs Fields Cookies – $250.00 Neiman Marcus Cookie



Urban Legends

*Content in this recipe was updated from original post of August 24, 2013* 

Recipe Rating

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Libby Prince

Sunday 31st of March 2024

Neiman Marcus cookie recipe doesnt have oats in it, that is Double Tree cookies, if you go to Neiman they give their recipe and it has espresso in it.

Tina DiLeo

Monday 1st of April 2024

Interesting. The recipe I was handed down is about 40+ years old so I'm wondering if any of them have been modified since then. Thanks for your comment I love learning about all these old myths and urban legends.


Friday 12th of January 2024

Is the oatmeal regular or quick oats? Thank you!

Tina DiLeo

Saturday 13th of January 2024

Hi! Great question... I use Quaker Old Fashioned Oats.

Joan Harrison

Friday 16th of June 2023

My aunt sent me this recipe forever ago. It was not an urban legend, sadly. The gal at the next desk bought this recipe, not from Neiman but another store. My aunt said she was madder than a wet hen when her card was charged. aunt was gifted this recipe, and then was I. I can not tell you how many batches of these I have given away, but I can tell you that everyone LOVED them! From those with new babies, new neighbors, having stressed friends, and tucking them into my son's and husband's lunches.. These bring back such sweet memories..Oh the timer is going off!! Gotta go and take out another tray of them! Can't wait to give these to my neighbors daughter before she goes to camp. Another memory in the making.

Tina DiLeo

Friday 30th of June 2023

Oh boy! I would've been mad too. Well at least it makes a good cookie and a story to go with it. Thanks for sharing!

Christian Schlegel

Sunday 25th of December 2022

I remember my mom making this recipe in the 1970s and it was fantastic. Thank you for sharing.

Tina DiLeo

Tuesday 27th of December 2022

Aw. Love to hear comments like this. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Happy Baking!

Lorie Ensz

Friday 28th of January 2022

Barbera, please remember to grind the oatmeal. But not all of it, Just 1/2 of it and leave the rest whole. Also remember to drop golf ball size spaced out drops. This makes soft chewy cookies. You can also vary this recipe, white chips with macadamia nuts, half and half White chips with candy cane chips for Christmas add favorite nuts or leave them out. I've also done oatmeal raisin with nuts or without. Mint chocolate chips with or without nuts. All these are done and they're good.

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