$250.00 recipe?

  1. THIS IS A TRUE STORY

    My daughter and I had just finished a salad at a
    Neiman-Marcus Cafe in Dallas,
    and we decided to have a small dessert. Because both
    of us 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
    the waitress
    said with a small frown, "I'm afraid not, but you can buy the
    recipe.
    "Well," I asked, "How much?"
    And she responded, "Only two fifty--it's a great deal!"
    I agreed to that, and told her to just add it to my tab.
    Thirty days later, I received my VISA statement, and the
    Neiman-Marcus
    charge 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".
    That was outrageous!
    I called Neiman's Accounting Department and told them the
    waitress said it
    was
    "two fifty", which clearly does not mean "two hundred and
    fifty dollars"
    by any reasonable interpretation of the phrase. Neiman-Marcus
    refused to
    budge. They would not refund my money because, according to
    them,
    "What the
    waitress told you is not our problem. You have already seen
    the recipe.
    We absolutely will not refund your money at this point."
    I explained to the Accounting Department lady the criminal
    statues which
    govern fraud in the state of Texas. I threatened to report
    them to the
    Better Business Bureau and the Texas Attorney General's office
    for engaging
    in fraud. I was basically told, "Do what you want. Don't
    bother thinking
    of how you can get even, and don't bother trying to get any of
    your money back.
    " I just said, "Okay, you folks got my $250,
    and now I'm going to have
    $250 worth of fun. I told her that I was going to see to it
    that every

    cookie lover in the United States with an e-mail account has a
    $250
    cookie recipe from Neiman-Marcus ........ for free. She replied, "I
    wish you
    wouldn't do this. I said, "Well, perhaps you should have
    thought of that
    before you ripped me off!" and slammed down the phone.

    So here it is! Please, please, please pass it on to everyone
    you can
    possibly think of. I paid $250 for this, and I don't want
    Neiman-Marcus
    to EVER make another penny off of this recipe
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    NEIMAN-MARCUS COOKIES (Recipe may be halved)
    2 cups butter
    24 oz. chocolate chips
    4 cups flour
    2 cups brown sugar
    2 tsp. soda
    1 tsp. salt
    2 cups sugar
    1 8 oz. Hershey Bar (grated)
    5 cups blended oatmeal
    4 eggs
    2 tsp. baking powder
    2 tsp. vanilla
    3 cups chopped nuts (your choice)
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Measure 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.

    PLEASE READ THE RECIPE AND SEND IT TO EVERY PERSON YOU KNOW
    WHO HAS AN
    E-MAIL ADDRESS! THIS IS REALLY TERRIFIC!!
    •  
  2. 22 Comments

  3. by   live4today
    Gee thanks...Neiman-Marcus! I've never had a Neiman-Marcus anything, but I'm sure going to try out their recipe, and pass it on one hundred times over. Yummy-Yummy!

    So sorry this happened to you, tiger. I hope you are baking your little heart out. Hey, I know...pass it on to all the parents at your children's school so they can sell those cookies at the next PTA Bake Sale! Charge a dollar per cookie, sell 250 of them, and WALAH...they've just raised $250.00 for a school project. Hmmmmmm...wonder how much I can make off these cookies. I do have a bill or two that needs paying.
  4. by   nursejws
    I actually bought every single ingredient for this recipe and made these cookies. The story is false, the cookies are good and taste expensive.
  5. by   nursegoodguy
    I copied all above and sent it out to everyone in my address book, 18 people! I'm so sorry you got took like that... You need write the manager a nasty letter and tell them they should include a package of KY with that $250.00 recipe! Better yet why don't you go in to the store in person and throw a minor fit about the bill in front of the other customers... I bet you'd get more done about it in person...
  6. by   eltrip
    Excellent cookies. I received the same story over 10 years ago...in '89 I think. A couple of months ago it was mentioned on one of the "debunking" websites (urban legends on about.com) as one of those urban legends that just won't die. Enjoy the cookies...and if you DO have proof that the story is for real, please share the info.

    By the way, the dough can be made up & frozen for several months. I made the dough during the summer before my last year of nursing school...I was off from classes & realized that I wouldn't have time to mix up cookie dough in December. During exam time I would take a break & slice & bake the cookie dough that I'd made in August. Brought fresh-baked cookies to my class & all of the faculty. Didn't make finals any easier, but we all sure enjoyed the cookies!

    Happy Baking,
    Joy
  7. by   nursejws
    Oh Renee, it will cost you to buy all of the ingredients. :chuckle
    And it really is a pin in the butt to grate the hershey bar...too much friction and the darn thing starts MeLtInG.
  8. by   sandstormsdust
    Thanks to Snopes here is the truth... sorry about that you'll


    Claim: Neiman-Marcus charged a shopper $250 for its cookie recipe, not the $2.50 the woman had been expecting to pay. As revenge on the store for refusing to reverse the charge, she now provides the recipe for free and exhorts others to pass it along.
    Status: False.

    Origins: What we have here is a golden oldie of an urban legend, one second in tenacity only to Craig Shergold's request for business cards. It's the ultimate "strike a blow for the little guy," and in that lies its appeal. That by forwarding it on, we can be armchair heroes.

    Though its present incarnation casts Neiman-Marcus as the bad guy, this legend has been around for at least 50 years, and it's been told of various companies (and various confections) during its long history. Here's a fine example from a 1948 cookbook, Massachusetts Cooking Rules, Old and New, which lists not only the recipe for "$25 Fudge Cake" but also gives the following explanation for the name:


    This friend had to pay $25 upon the receipt of the recipe from the chef of one of the railroads. She had asked for the recipe while eating on a train. The chef gladly sent it to her, together with a bill for $25, which her attorney said she had to pay. She then gave the recipe to all her friends, hoping they would get some pleasure from it.



    Sound disturbingly familiar?

    The 1960s saw this tale mutate into a villainization of New York's famed Waldorf-Astoria hotel over a dessert known as "Red Velvet Cake." A woman who'd dined at the hotel later wrote to ask for the recipe. The recipe arrived . . . along with a bill for $350, a bill her lawyer assured her she had to pay. Her way of getting even was -- you guessed it -- to distribute the recipe far and wide.

    ($350 is a shocking figure for those times. Just to give an idea of the relative worth of things back then, the grocery budget at my house was $50 a week for a family of four. Faced with a $35 dentist bill, my mother would for the next two weeks stand over me as I brushed my teeth at bedtime, making sure I wasn't half doing the job and thus sentencing the family to the poor house.)

    By the late 1970s, this legend had shifted to Mrs. Fields and chocolate chip cookies. Indeed, this version proved so fiendishly popular that in 1987 the following notice signed by Debbi Fields was displayed in her stores:


    Mrs. Fields recipe has never been sold. There is a rumor circulating that the Mrs. Fields Cookie recipe was sold to a woman at a cost of $250. A chocolate-chip cookie recipe was attached to the story. I would like to tell all my customers that this story is not true, this is not my recipe and I have not sold the recipe to anyone. Mrs. Fields recipe is a delicious trade secret.



    You rarely hear this tale told of Mrs. Fields these days -- the 1990s saw it shift yet again, this time to point a finger at Neiman-Marcus. One possible reason for this shift could have been a double misremembering of names as the legend was briefly told of the department store Marshall Fields: Mrs. Fields to Marshall Fields (similar name) and Marshall Fields to Neiman-Marcus (similar-sounding name plus both are department stores).

    As the latest in a long line of victims, Neiman-Marcus has fielded numerous inquiries about the following tale (which I've excerpted from the rather lengthy canonical version):


    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.




    (Neiman-Marcus refuses to strike down the bill; then comes the usual exhortation from the writer to pass this along to as many as possible.)

    Especially in their particular case, the legend is even more improbable than usual in that:


    Until quite recently there was no such thing as a "Neiman-Marcus" cookie. They developed a chocolate chip cookie in response to the rumor.

    There is no "Neiman Marcus Cafe" at any of the chain's three Dallas-area stores. Instead, the restaurants are named Zodiac, Zodiac at North Park, and The Woods.

    Neiman Marcus does not sell recipes from its restaurants. The department store gives them away for free to anyone who asks.
    (Check out the Neiman Marcus web page for a bit about this piece lore and their newly-developed chocolate chip cookie recipe.)

    As to why this legend has taken on a life of its own despite persistent and detailed debunkings, it's a classic David and Goliath story. It is, after all, the little guy smacking the big, heartless corporation a swift one right across the nose, something both you and I have often longed to do. This bit of faxlore invites -- nay, demands -- participation. Painless participation too. One tap of the "Forward" key and someone who always saw herself as part of The Forces For Good (but who could never find the time to change the world) gets to enjoy that wonderfully warming self-righteous feeling that comes from Striking A Blow. All it takes is either a couple of pins and a bulletin board or e-mail capability and an alias list and your good deed of the day is done and finished before the morning's first coffee has cooled.

    What's the possible slandering of an innocent company when there's a cheap 'n' easy "warm fuzzy feeling" to be had? Like, would an anonymous, forwarded-a-million-times e-mail lie to you?

    Barbara "just desserts" Mikkelson
  9. by   tiger
    yeah, it didn't happen to me. i got an e-mail from one of my friends. if the story is not true, at least maybe the cookies are good!
  10. by   live4today
    Originally posted by nursejws
    Oh Renee, it will cost you to buy all of the ingredients. :chuckle
    And it really is a pin in the butt to grate the hershey bar...too much friction and the darn thing starts MeLtInG.
    I figured the story was false which is why I thought I'd have some fun with it...ie. all the laughing faces on my post. STILL...it had me good for a second... I'm still going to try those cookies out for myself and my grandchildren. As for that Hershey bar melting as you try to grate it...the melting part aint got nuttin' on me eating the dang thing before it hits the cookie batter good. I luuuuuuvvvvvvv Hershey Bars! :kiss
  11. by   eltrip
    Originally posted by nursejws
    Oh Renee, it will cost you to buy all of the ingredients. :chuckle
    And it really is a pin in the butt to grate the hershey bar...too much friction and the darn thing starts MeLtInG.
    Don't grate the Hershey bar. Just break the bar into like 3 or 4 pieces & cut it into smaller pieces with a bread or other sharp knife. Less melting to become frustrated about while baking.

    I've also broken wooden spoons with this batter. Now, I divide the recipe by half & mix it in my Kitchen Aid mixer. It's the only mixer that has enough power!

    Renee, send me some when you get a chance to bake! Pretty please with sugar on top?

    tastefully yours,
    Joy
  12. by   live4today
    Originally posted by eltrip


    Don't grate the Hershey bar. Just break the bar into like 3 or 4 pieces & cut it into smaller pieces with a bread or other sharp knife. Less melting to become frustrated about while baking.

    I've also broken wooden spoons with this batter. Now, I divide the recipe by half & mix it in my Kitchen Aid mixer. It's the only mixer that has enough power!

    Renee, send me some when you get a chance to bake! Pretty please with sugar on top?

    tastefully yours,
    Joy
    I sure will Joy! BTW: If that batter is that hard to mix...even with a mixer...I'd better get me a huge iron spoon to stir it with then. As for the Hershey Bar: freeze it first so it's hard...then grate it on the grater. Don't hold it with your warm hands...hold onto it with a cold cold cloth while you grate it to cut down on the heat transferring from your hand to the candy bar. If all else fails...call me...I'll grate it down to nothing with me teeth!
  13. by   eltrip
    Originally posted by cheerfuldoer


    If all else fails...call me...I'll grate it down to nothing with me teeth!


    You go girl! You're my hero!
  14. by   nursegoodguy
    Originally posted by tiger
    yeah, it didn't happen to me. i got an e-mail from one of my friends. if the story is not true, at least maybe the cookies are good!
    That's ok Tiger, we'll all enjoy the cookies nonetheless!

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