Saturday, May 30, 2009

Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookies: An Urban Legend Well Worth Repeating

You’ve probably heard the urban legend about the woman who was so enraptured with the chocolate chip cookies at the Neiman Marcus Cafe that she asked for the recipe. She was told it would cost “two-fifty.” "Done!" went her inner thought bubble, and she eagerly agreed to let them charge "two-fifty" to her account.

To her horror, when the bill arrived it was for “two hundred and fifty dollars!” Outraged, she decided to get even. She quickly dispersed the recipe to every one she knew and asked them to do the same. It turns out that the story isn’t at all true. Not even a little bit. It makes for a great tale though, and it’s still making the rounds in one form or another. Some versions would have you believe it was the Mrs. Field’s cookie recipe and in another, it's a red velvet fudge cake from the Waldorf Astoria.
I love serving miniature versions of this cookie as dessert at dinner parties accompanied by shots of ice cold milk! Urban legend or not, this is truly the best chocolate chip cookie I have ever tasted.

Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 pound unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 cups light brown sugar, packed
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
5 cups oatmeal, blended*
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
24 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 Hershey bar, grated
3 cups walnuts, chopped

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and both sugars. Add the eggs and the vanilla, mix well to incorporate. Whisk the oatmeal, flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda together in a medium bowl and combine with the wet ingredients. Mix on low speed to form the dough. Fold in the chocolate chips, grated chocolate and walnuts by hand, so as not to break them up or melt the chocolate with the heat of the mixer. It takes a bit of elbow grease, but trust me, it is well worth the effort!

Roll the dough into “golf ball” sized rounds and place 2 inches apart on a parchment lined sheet pan. Bake for 10 to 14 minutes until the top of the cookie cracks and turns golden brown. The key is to slightly “under bake” them so the cookie stays soft and chewy. Cool completely, (if you have that kind of willpower) on a cooling rack and store in an airtight container.

* Measure the oatmeal first, then blend in a blender to a fine powder before adding to the other dry ingredients.

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1 comment:

  1. I've been looking for a new chocolate chip cookie recipe, mines getting a little boring. Thanks for the post, I'm trying it in the next few days.