There’s an old and tired urban legend about a certain Neiman Marcus chocolate chip cookie recipe, but did you know there’s a very good recipe for Neiman Marcus oatmeal cookies? I got it years ago from Katy G. who found it in a Neiman Marcus cookbook. We like it as much if not better than the chocolate chip cookie recipe.
Like the Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookies (the real ones, not the urban legend ones), these are baked at 300 degrees for 20 minutes so they bake evenly and have a chewy texture. Without nuts, chocolate or dried fruit they’re fairly basic, so I do recommend add-ins.
This week I made some with walnuts and chocolate chips, walnuts and raisins, a combo of prunes and coconut and another with apricots, walnuts and white chocolate. That’s kind of the beauty of this particular cookie dough is that it’s really easy to work with and can hold just about any combo of add-ins.
Another nice thing about this recipe is that it is made with melted butter and doesn’t require an electric mixer. So hooray for that, and here’s the recipe. I keep a big bag full of dough rounds in the freezer and bake as needed.
Update: The original recipe calls for 1 cup (240 grams) brown sugar. Brown sugar usually weighs closer to 210 grams per cups, but if it’s really moist brown sugar it might be as much as 240. A reader notified me that her cookies spread too much when she used the 240 grams measure without using volume. I didn’t have this issue, but to be safe I’ve changed the measurement to 1 cup (210 grams). This is still 1 cup of of packed brown sugar, just a lower weight (210 instead of 240) to accommodate brown sugar with less moisture.
Neiman Marcus Oatmeal Cookies
- 2 sticks 230 grams unsalted butter
- 2 cups 280 grams unbleached all-purpose flour (weigh)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon optional
- 1 cup light brown sugar 210 grams
- 1 cup 200 grams superfine or granulated sugar
- 2 eggs cool room temp
- 1 teaspoon pure almond extract or vanilla extract
- 3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
- 1 1/2 cups raisins or any other chopped dried fruit prunes, dates, dried cherries OR use chopped chocolate or chips
- 1/2 cup walnuts optional
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Have ready two ungreased baking sheets (or feel free to line with parchment).
- Melt the butter and set it aside to cool.
- Weigh the flour and stir together flour, baking soda and salt (and cinnamon,if using).Set aside.
- Weigh out the brown sugar so that you get 210 grams. Add it to the mixing bowl along with the granulated sugar and the cool melted butter. Beat until well mixed, then beat in eggs and extract.
- Add flour mixture to sugar mixture and stir until blended, then stir in oats, raisings and nuts (f using).
- Scoop very large, golf ball sized rounds and arrange on trays, spacing 3 inches apart. You can leave them as balls or press down slightly so that the tops are flat.
- Bake for about 20 minutes, until golden. A bit longer for crisper cookies.
JP, Neiman Marcus has published a couple of cookbooks with different recipes. The one on this page is actually an oatmeal cookie from one of their cookbooks. The one I linked to is a chocolate chip cookie that is also from one of their cookbooks and it does NOT contain oats. Its signature ingredient is espresso powder. https://www.cookiemadness.net/2008/03/19/neiman-marcus-mocha-cookies/
The one with ground oats is known as the Neiman Marcus Cookie or Urban Legend Cookies because there’s a story that goes with it about a lady being charged $250 for the recipe after requesting it in the NM restaurant. It is an urban myth and not a true story and Neiman Marcus never charged for the recipe.
I be looked at several recipes for Neiman’s Chocolate Chip cookies. They have all said to grind the oats to a fine powder. I’m curious are saying that there were 2 types of Neiman Marcus cookies – 1 with oats and 1 without???
Finally got around to making these and they turned out really great. Practically perfect in fact! They’re so attractive and I’ll be proud to give them to a really nice neighbor who recently did the snow blowing of our sidewalk.
I omitted the cinnamon and out of curiosity used half vanilla and half almond extract. The almond extract is nice without screaming almond! I also used chocolate chips instead of raisins. Next time I make them I’m using raisins because I think these will be awesome with cinnamon and raisins. They’re awesome the way i made them too.
Anna & Sue —
Both of you raise excellent points about the changes in ingredients, food production, and packaging! I’d completely forgotten about the Crisco formula changes to remove the trans fats. I mostly use Crisco for American style buttercream frosting. I now am wondering if Mom used Parkay sticks to bake those cookies when we were kids — that was the 80s and butter was getting quite the backlash.
I think what we are looking for is a cookie that satisfies the memory & taste buds rather than just to replicate the recipe. I will try each of the oatmeal raisin cookie recipes that you have suggested in addition to this NM oatmeal cookie. Now I just have to wait till the weekend so I can bake! (it was 116 here in AZ today)
Donna. This recipe is a really good basic oatmeal raisin cookie. Maybe they would be close to what you grew up with? Even if they aren’t they’re really good and worth trying.
I think so much of our food production and packaging has changed over the years. Sometimes it’s nearly impossible to replicate older recipes.
Sue, you are right! Back when that book came out the long and slow bake time was kind of unique.
Donna, I know that recipe.
Donna, I looked around and saw some other people saying the same thing. I think it’s the Vanishing Oatmeal Cookie recipe that changed, because if you look around people have posted the old one, while Quaker has the new one (less butter, less sugar) on their site. Personally, the one I like better than Vanishing Oatmeal Cookies is the Quaker’s Best Oatmeal Cookies recipe. It has more butter and less egg. You can find it with a quick search. Compared to the Quaker recipe, I’d say these are a little less rich (again — they need the nuts and fruit) and chewier.
Also, you mentioned that when you follow your mother’s old recipe the cookies don’t stay the same. I’ve had that experience with other recipes and just chalked it up to differences in brands of flour, compositions/moisture in how the brown sugar was measured and the type of fat used. When I was growing up a lot of people baked with margarine or used half margarine and half butter so some cookies back then were chewier or softer due to that. And then there’s the whole issue with shortening. Cookies made with Crisco might seem different because they changed the composition of that to remove the trans fats. But I honestly don’t know. In my mind, my grandmother’s chocolate chip cookies always taste better than the ones I make no matter the recipe.
Darla, I need to make a batch of the chocolate chip ones again soon now that I have espresso powder. In the past I thought it could use a little more butter, but people still love the cookies. I like the fake Neiman Marcus (ground oats) version too.
Long slow baking times for cookies always make me think of the Mrs. Field’s Cookie Book. Is it weird that I don’t like chocolate and raisins together? Needless to say I’ve never purchased Raisinets. LOL!
We have new neighbors and I’ve been wanting to make some cookies for them. I bought the stuff to make the cookies you recently posted with the ground oatmeal and three kinds of chocolate but I’m thinking of making something more basic since I don’t know these people at all.
These cookies look very good! You’re a trooper to bake with the heat down there!
Chewy texture? I’m in! My sister and I have been looking for a replacement to our Mom’s oatmeal raisin cookie recipe. Mom says her recipe came from the Quaker Oats container at least 40 years ago. Problem is, something has changed — her recipe doesn’t match the one on the canister anymore, and following her recipe as written is no longer producing the cookies we grew up with. It’s quite odd.
I love the Chocolate Chip version, so I’ll have to try these!!