March 20, 2014

Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookies

Most people have probably heard the famous Neiman Marcus Cookie urban legend by now but if not, I'll recap it here...

Neiman Marcus is a very expensive department store in the United States.  The story goes that many years ago a lady ate at one of the Neiman Marcus cafes and finished her meal with one of their signature chocolate chip cookies.  She liked the cookie so much that she asked the waitress for the recipe.  She was told that she could purchase it for "two fifty".  She happily purchased the recipe and went on her way.  A few days later her credit card statement arrived and there was a charge of US$289 from Neiman Marcus.  She found the till receipt from her visit and among her other purchases she found she had been charged "two hundred and fifty dollars" for the recipe, not "two dollars fifty" which she had assumed the waitress had meant.  She called Neiman Marcus to dispute the charge (who in their right mind would spent $250 in a cookie recipe!) but they refused to refund her the money as "she had already seen the recipe".  Needless to say she was furious.  As her revenge she began circulating a copy of the recipe to anyone and everyone so no one else would ever get caught the way she had.  No one knows the origin of the story and Neiman Marcus deny it ever happened.

In 1998 Neiman Marcus decided to acknowledge the now urban legend by publishing their chocolate chip recipe online for free for anyone who wants it however they have changed it several times over the years and differs greatly from the original recipe that I received many many years ago.  Whatever the origins of this recipe, these are hands down the most delicious chocolate chip cookies I have ever ever tasted.  I think it's the oat bran and the grated chocolate that make the difference.

This recipe makes approximately 100 cookies so you may want to halve the ingredients (although I have already halved it from the original recipe).

Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup or 226gms butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup soft brown sugar, gently packed down
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 cups standard flour, sifted
2.5 cups oat bran
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
220gm bar Cadbury milk chocolate, grated
340gm chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
Cream butter and both sugars.
Add eggs one at a time, beating each well.
Add vanilla essence.
Add flour, oat bran, salt, baking soda and baking powder and mix.
Add grated chocolate and chocolate chips and mix.
Roll teaspoon sized balls of cookie mixture and place on a lined baking tray.
DO NOT flatten the balls.
Place the balls about 5cm apart on the baking tray as they spread out when baking.
Bake for 12 minutes.

Handy tip - Get a production line going!  You will have noticed that the mixture is HUGE so while the first batch of cookies are baking get your next batches ready to go.  I had 5 sheets of baking paper ready and waiting to go one after the other.

The cookies will be very soft when you take them out of the oven.  Leave them to cool on the baking paper for 10 minutes or so.  They will firm up beautifully and then you can transfer them to a cooking rack.  The undersides should be beautifully golden.

This recipe has been halved from the original.  It makes approximately 100 cookies (yes, 100!) so you may want to half it again for a smaller batch.

You might like to try adding some chopped dried apricots or cranberries (they would be perfect to take away camping or tramping).  This recipe is also ideal for bake sales as it makes such a big batch of cookies.

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