Famous Department Store Chocolate Chip Cookies

Did you hear the one about the (choose one) Neiman-Marcus, Mrs. Field's etc. chocolate chip cookie recipe?

This story has been making the rounds for years now, and shows no signs of dying down. It seems someone — usually a friend of a friend of the person telling the story — contacted some famous retailer, by phone (or at the store) for their "secret" chocolate chip cookie recipe. Told the charge would be "two-fifty," this person said to charge it to their credit card. Later they discovered the actual charge was $250.00, and then and there they decided to "tell the world" the "secret" recipe, to get even.

Well, it's a funny story, but completely untrue. Neiman-Marcus will gladly let you in on the secret of their chocolate chip cookies at no charge. One good thing has resulted from this story, however; the following chocolate chip cookie recipe.
20 mins
12 mins to 1 hr 11 mins
1 hr 8 mins
about 10 dozen
Famous Department Store Chocolate Chip Cookies


  1. Preheat your oven to 375°. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until smooth.
  3. Add the eggs one by one, then add the vanilla.
  4. In a blender or food processor, grind oats until they're a fine powder.
  5. Add oats, flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda to butter/sugar mixture; mix well.
  6. Stir in nuts, grated chocolate and chips.
  7. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto your baking sheet (a tablespoon cookie scoop makes short order of this job). Gently flatten each dough ball with the palm of your hand to about 1/2" thick.
  8. Bake the cookies for 12 to 15 minutes, or until they're beginning to brown. Remove them from the oven, and cool right on the pan.
  9. Cookies will keep for up to a week in a closed container; freeze for longer storage.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Too many cookies at once? Scoop all the dough onto cookie sheets, closely packed together. Freeze until solid, then transfer the dough balls to plastic bags. Freeze for up to one month. To bake, let the cookies thaw on a tray while you preheat the oven, and bake as above.
  • This version comes from Janet Matz of Norwich, Vermont, a good friend of King Arthur, who got it from "a friend of a co-worker of a friend."