Showing posts with label $250 Neiman Marcus Cookie Recipe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label $250 Neiman Marcus Cookie Recipe. Show all posts

Friday, October 29, 2010

Testing the famous $250 Urban Legend Cookie Recipe by Cleo Coyle

Here it is! (No kidding.)
The famous $250 Urban Legend
Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe!

You know what urban legends are, right? Generally speaking, they're folktales that are passed along in a somewhat viral process. Because these tales tend to focus on the darker side of modern life, I found myself thinking about my favorites this Halloween week.  

Cleo Coyle, sucker for
urban legends and author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries
Do you have a favorite urban legend? Is it one of the three tales I mention below? Or do you have another to share?

Let me know in the comments section (or leave any other comment you like).

Congrats to my past comment winners of HOLIDAY GRIND, my eighth Coffeehouse Mystery, which sets a puzzling murder smack in the middle of New York City between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

HOLIDAY GRIND: A Coffeehouse Mystery was a top-10 national hardcover mystery bestseller last year and this week Penguin is releasing it in paperback. (Woot!)

So here are my top 3
urban legends…

1. Alligators in the New York sewers – Supposedly the descendants of a family who brought back a few babies from Florida and flushed them into the system. I never saw any, but it would be an interesting way to, uhm...go. (Hey, no groaning. Juvenile puns are allowed. It's Halloween week.)

2. The Hook – A young couple on “Lovers’ Lane” hears a radio report about a crazy escaped convict with a hook for a hand. The boy doesn’t want to leave, but the girl makes him. When they arrive home, the girl gets out of the car and screams. A hook is hanging from her door handle. This is supposed to serve as some sort of cautionary tale for young people who park and fog up windows. Honestly, I didn't "park" in my youth (late bloomer), but I never heard of my friends or classmates seeing a psychotic killer through their car windows. I did once see a cop appear at my car window with a flashlight. But that was in my thirties. At the beach. With my husband. And, wow, were we embarrassed...

3. Bloody Mary – Stand in front of a mirror and chant “Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary,” and her ghost will appear. (
Love this one, and...)

Speaking of ghosts...

To see a real ghost caught on tape,
(if you dare!)…
click the arrow in the window below

Video posted via YouTube

BTW - for a Bloody Shirley recipe
from my co-blogger, author Julie Hyzy, click here!

Today's recipe actually tests a culinary urban legend. Here's how the story goes: A woman asks a waitress for the recipe of the Neiman Marcus chocolate chip cookies that she just enjoyed in their café. The waitress delivers the recipe to the woman’s table. A few weeks later the woman sees a $250.00 charge from Neiman Marcus on her credit card—the cost of the recipe.

The story is, of course, totally false…but one true thing happened as a result. So many people believed, or at least repeated, the tale of the $250.00 cookie recipe that Neiman Marcus made their recipe available free to the public. So three cheers for Neiman Marcus! And for those of us who just love testing new chocolate chip cookie recipes.  


My co-blogger author Krista Davis gave us a fantastic Freezable Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough recipe recently. To get Krista's Domestic Diva recipe, click here! And our Monday guest blogger, literary agent Jessica Faust, gave us a Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. To get her recipe, click here!

And now, without further ado...

The Urban Legend $250 Cookie Recipe


1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

1 cup light brown sugar
3 Tablespoons (T) granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoons instant espresso coffee powder
1-1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

* See my my tips (below) for getting the
best results out of this recipe. ~ Cleo


1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Cream the butter with the sugars using an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy (approximately 30 seconds)

2. Beat in the egg and the vanilla extract for another 30 seconds.

3. In a mixing bowl, sift together the dry ingredients and beat into the butter mixture at low speed for about 15 seconds. Stir in the espresso coffee powder and chocolate chips.

4. Using a 1 ounce scoop or a 2 tablespoon measure, drop cookie dough onto a greased cookie sheet about 3 inches apart. Gently press down on the dough with the back of a spoon to spread out into a 2 inch circle. Bake for about 20 minutes or until nicely browned around the edges. Bake a little longer for a crispier cookie.

CLEO'S VERDICT – A very good recipe. I especially like the espresso powder (aka instant espresso) addition. Don’t be put off by this. You do not taste the flavor of coffee at all. The function of this ingredient is to intensify the chocolate flavor and I think it works very well, so don't leave it out.


1 – Hydrate the dough: For the best results here, I strongly suggest that you chill this dough in the fridge overnight – or 24 to 36 hours before baking. Simply form the dough into a ball, wrap it snugly in plastic, and place the wrapped dough ball into the fridge. Allowing almost any cookie dough to rest in the refrigerator gives it a chance to “hydrate” – giving the liquids time to penetrate the dry ingredients. You are also giving the flavors time to develop. This is really THE best tip I can give you for any chocolate chip cookie.

2 – Forming the cookies: I didn’t bother with a measuring scoop as the recipe suggests. I simply used clean fingers to roll little balls (slightly smaller than golf balls - see photo below) and used the heel of my hand to press them into rounds of about 2-inches in diameter.

3 – Baking the cookies: I use a simple $5.00 oven thermometer to make sure my oven temperature is accurate. If your oven is truly preheated to 300 degrees F., then I suggest baking the cookies for only 17 minutes. 15 minutes is a little too chewy and 20 a little too crispy, but 17 minutes at exactly 300 degrees F.…ah, just right!

This is one urban legend
that’s easy to swallow...

Eat with
(chocolate chip) joy!

~ Cleo Coyle 

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Friend me on facebook here
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Visit my online coffeehouse here.

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the
12 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. 
To learn more, click here. 


The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure

Book #1 of 

The Haunted Bookshop
, which Cleo writes
under the name
Alice Kimberly

To learn more, click here.