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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.
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.
URBAN LEGEND COOKIE TIPS AND TRICKS
- 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
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:
Mrs. Fields Cookies - $250.00 Neiman Marcus Cookie
- 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.
Mrs Fields Cookies – $250.00 Neiman Marcus Cookie
*Content in this recipe was updated from original post of August 24, 2013*