November 19, 2008

The $250 Cookie Recipe

Here is a "true story" almost everyone has heard by now — the infamous "$250 Cookie Recipe," most recently associated with the Neiman Marcus company, but previously (during the 1980s) the bane of Mrs. Fields. The story, by the way, is not true. It's a classic urban legend, a variant of a popular tale that Jan Brunvand has traced as far back as 1948, when the overpriced recipe yielded a "red velvet" fudge cake and the amount allegedly charged was $25. The current adjusted-for-inflation version (reproduced below) is still making the email rounds and shows no signs of waning, even though it has been debunked again and again over the past two decades. A good tale of revenge never dies...

What is written below is not written by me --- it's part of the myth.

THE $250 COOKIE RECIPE Okay, everyone....a true story of justice in the good old U.S. of A. Thought y'all might enjoy this; if nothing else, it shows internet justice, if it can be called that. My daughter & I had just finished a salad at Neiman-Marcus Cafe in Dallas & decided to have a small dessert. Because our family 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 they said with a small frown, "I'm afraid not." Well, I said, would you let me buy the recipe? With a cute smile, she said, "Yes." I asked how much, and she responded, "Two fifty." I said with approval, just add it to my tab. Thirty days later, I received my VISA statement from Neiman-Marcus and it 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." Boy, was I upset!! I called Neiman's Accounting Dept. and told them the waitress said it was "two fifty," and I did not realize she meant $250.00 for a cookie recipe. I asked them to take back the recipe and reduce my bill and they said they were sorry, but because all the recipes were this expensive so not just everyone could duplicate any of our bakery recipes....the bill would stand. 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 $250.00 worth of fun." I told her that I was going to see to it that every cookie lover will have a $250.00 cookie recipe from Neiman-Marcus for nothing. She replied, "I wish you wouldn't do this." I said, "I'm sorry but this is the only way I feel I could get even," and I will. So, here it is, and please pass it to someone else or run a few copies....I paid for it; now you can have it for free.

(Recipe may be halved.):
2 cups butter
2 tsp. baking soda
5 cups blended oatmeal**
2 cups brown sugar
1 8-oz. Hershey Bar (grated)
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. vanilla
4 cups flour
2 cups sugar
24 oz. chocolate chips
1 tsp. salt
4 eggs
3 cups chopped nuts (your choice)

** measure 5 cups of 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 two inches apart on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees. Makes 112 cookies.

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