So, I’m starting off simple, with my favorite chocolate chip cookie in the world. I’ve never made another chocolate chip cookie recipe that could beat it for flavor and texture – chocolaty, chewy, and crispy. It keeps well in an airtight container or plastic storage bag, and freezes well. Although it’s not a fancy schmancy “holiday” cookie, I don’t think any cookie platter would be complete without a really good, rich chocolate chip cookie.
The “Neiman Marcus” Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe started making the rounds of the Internet (such as it was), as an urban legend, about 15 or more years ago, back when the Internet as we all knew it, consisted mostly of e-mail and dancing babies. I’m betting that most of you have never heard the story, having been way too young to remember green screens and DOS, so a quick retelling. The story goes something like this:
A man and his young daughter were eating lunch in a Neiman Marcus restaurant, and ordered their chocolate chip cookies for dessert. They loved the cookies so much, that the man asked their waitress if they could have the recipe. She replied that they could have the recipe, but it would cost them two-fifty. The man thought that $2.50 was pretty reasonable and the waitress gave them the recipe. When he received his Neiman Marcus bill sometime later, he noticed a restaurant charge for $250. Outraged, he called customer service and was told that they could not remove the charge and he was stuck with it. Now apoplectic, the man told them that as revenge, he would e-mail the recipe to all his friends and relatives and urge them to do the same. The End.
This recipe makes an enormous quantity of cookies, so feel free to halve or even quarter the amounts. I quartered it and ended up with 30 cookies. The calculator is your friend.
2 cups butter
2 cups brown sugar
2 cups white sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
4 cups flour
5 cups blended oatmeal *
2 tsp. soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
24 oz. chocolate chips
8 oz. milk chocolate candy bar (grated) *
3 cups chopped nuts (I made these with California Walnuts)
Preheat oven to 375º F.
Cream the butter and both sugars. On low speed, add eggs and vanilla till completely incorporated.
Add the flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder, and baking soda, mixing till combined, then add the chocolate chips, grated milk chocolate, and nuts.
Roll into balls about the size of a ping pong ball and place two inches apart on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool on the cookie sheet for several minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely. Or not. A cold glass of milk or hot cup of coffee at this point would be awesome.
* To make “blended oatmeal”, measure the amount of oatmeal and run through the food processor or a blender on high, till ground to a fine meal consistency.
* The “original” recipe called for an 8 oz. Hershey Bar. Now, you and I know that Hershey Bars haven’t come in an 8 oz. size in probably 10 years. Also, this time, I didn’t have any Hershey Bars, so I used some Hershey milk chocolate Kisses. In order to grate the chocolate, put it in the freezer for about an hour, then pulse it in your food processor.
*Variation: For a delicious change of taste, substitute peanut butter or your favorite nut butter for half of the butter. You can also add up to 3 tsp. of instant coffee!
Well, of course it’s too early for Christmas, so why wait to make these fabulous cookies? Make ’em for Halloween or Chanukah, or anytime at all!