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The Sweetest Myth

As urban legends go, this one must be the sweetest. Years ago, storied Dallas upscale retailer Neiman Marcus earned itself a place among American urban myths. The culprit? A legend-worthy chocolate chip cookie recipe. According to the story, a lady was lunching with a friend at the store’s popular Zodiac restaurant and, after the meal, she complimented her server on the chocolate chip cookie served following the lunch. She inquired if she might have the recipe, and the server quickly returned with it. A few weeks later when the woman received her credit card bill, she was shocked to discover that she’d been charged a ghastly amount for the recipe.

It’s a fun story, and no doubt often more-colorfully told. However, Neiman Marcus has never sold its recipes and many, including the one for the legendary cookies, can be found online and in its cookbooks. I’ve made the recipe, and the cookies are delicious.

Neiman Marcus Famous Chocolate Chip Cookies


½ cup butter, softened

1 cup light brown sugar

3 Tbsp. granulated sugar

1 large egg

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1¾ cups all-purpose flour

½ tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

1½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup chopped pecans (my addition to the recipe)

1½ tsp. ground Sanka coffee

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with nonstick spray.

  2. Place butter and sugars in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed for about 6 minutes, until mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla for 30 seconds longer, until well combined.

  3. In a separate mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add to the flour mixture to the mixer while beating at low speed. Beat for about 15 seconds, and then stir in the chocolate chips, pecans and ground coffee.

  4. Using a 1-ounce scoop, drop the cookie dough onto the prepared cookie sheet in dollops about three inches apart. Gently press with the back of a spoon to spread out into 2-inch circles.

  5. Bake for about 20 minutes, until browned around the edges. Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack. Cool and grease the sheet before baking more batches.

Yields about 3 dozen cookies, so plenty to share.

1 Comment

Melissa Kowalis Pekar
Melissa Kowalis Pekar
Apr 13, 2020

Our family has been filled with so many of these goodies - thank you, Carolyn! - and these are some of our faves. (Not to mention her marshmallows...) Don't question anything she recommends, just bake and eat!

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