The $250 Cookies


They say that a balanced diet is a cookie in each hand, and this week I discovered what a work-life balance is: getting home in time to make said cookies.

‘Work- life balance’ is a bit of a buzz phrase. Everyone knows what the term means, of course. Or do they? What does it actually mean?

I for one didn’t realise I had been unaware of its meaning until last Monday, when I left work early enough to make cookies. I found myself positively bouncing into the supermarket to fetch the ingredients. Yes, I thought, this arrangement is quite alright by me.

The story behind these cookies is that a woman ate one at a Neiman Marcus department store in Dallas and asked if she could purchase the recipe. The waitress replied in the affirmative, saying that it would cost ‘two fifty’. The customer realised later that her card had been charged $250 rather than the $2.50 she had been expecting. She went public with the recipe- praise the Lord (Texas is a Bible Belt state after all)- when the store refused her a refund.

Cookies are the only baked good with which I have an entirely monogamous relationship; I have not looked twice at another cookie recipe for five years. With everything else I’m a too-many-recipes-too-little-time kinda gal. Sure, I have old favourites, but the temptation to experiment is ever-present, ever- troubling.

It crept up on me but I guess this is ‘it’: this is the recipe that nourishes and fills fulfils.


These cookies are super easy to make, and the shopping bag to tea towel cycle can be completed in under 30 minutes. They are chewy on the outside and oh-so-soft on the inside. They freeze well too. They are different- maybe even better – straight from the freezer. Yes, that’s right- I hold my hands up and proclaim that I have eaten these frozen. Think cookie dough ice cream, but just the good part- there’s no tub fodder here.

On Monday I made a batch with Mini Eggs on top. I took them to work on Tuesday and received more than one recipe request.

I entreat you to make them.


Neiman Marcus Cookies (adapted from ‘500 Cookies’ by Philippa Vanstone)

115g unsalted butter
200g light brown sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla essence
200g plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp instant coffee powder
200g chocolate chips (half milk, half white)

1. Pre-heat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius

2. Beat the butter and sugar together, and add the egg and vanilla essence.

3. Sift together the remaining dry ingredients, including the coffee powder. Stir the dry ingredients into the butter mixture and mix in the chocolate chips.

4. Roll into balls. Use your fingers to flatten onto a non-stick baking sheet 5cm apart.

5. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes.

6. Store in an airtight container for 4-5 days.

This entry was posted in Chocolate, Cookies. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The $250 Cookies

  1. Tollhouse Girl says:

    Brilliant post, I’ve always wanted to try this recipe and will make sure I do it next week

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