There's something about fall weather that always makes me want to bake. The crisp, cool air, the apple and cinnamon candles I start lighting, the shorter days ... something about all of them just begs me to bake.
Now, I'm not Paula Dean (shoot, I'm not even a distant cousin of her dishwasher), but I've got a few baked goods that I like to turn out. Thankfully, even if I wasn't in the mood to bake, Stephanie usually was. One of the things we both like to make are Neiman-Marcus cookies.
You may have heard of the urban legend of the NM cookie. (How could there be an urban legend about a cookie?!?) Some woman was supposedly eating at the lunch counter in a Neiman-Marcus in Dallas. (Or fill in your favorite big city here.) She loved the cookie and asked for the recipe. After some reluctance, the manager sold her the recipe, but charged the woman's credit card for $250. They wouldn't give her money back, so she vowed to plaster the cookie recipe all over the internet so they could never take anyone else like they took her. Snopes.com identifies the story as a myth, and the Neiman-Marcus website even addresses it. They said they didn't even have a cookie recipe when that story supposedly came out, but in response to the legend, they developed one and gave it away for free. It's posted on their website.
It's a funny story, and it probably helps the recipe go further, but to be honest, this cookie needs no help. In fact, the recipe I'm going to post is not even the "official" NM recipe. It's the recipe that supposedly went with the myth. But it beats any other cookie ever made. Hands down. I do feel the need to post a warning: this cookie is tremendously and immediately addictive. You will not stop at one. You may not even stop at one batch, and this recipe makes a lot of them!
Stephanie once made these cookies for a bake sale that the volleyball team was having. I guess she inherited a bit of her father's business savvy. She knew that the cookies would sell, but she wanted to make sure she got the most money she could. So she gave away the first cookie to anyone that came to her table. Knowing the tremendous power of the cookie, she knew those free cookies would not be a waste.
In fact, the only time these cookies weren't a hit was when we took them to a potluck dinner at church. And that was really my fault. Stephanie started making the cookies that Sunday afternoon while I fixed dinner. After we got everyone fed, I took over the cookies, and Steph moved on to making some other things for the fellowship. I picked up right where she left off, but the cookies had a different consistency when I put them on the pan to bake. They also had a different taste. They were edible, but that's about all you could say for them. (Sadly, that's true of many of my culinary attempts!) Steph backtracked through the recipe and discovered that I'd left out the brown sugar. We both laughed my mistake, and decided we could always bill the cookies as sugar-free.
But that's the only time this cookie hasn't lined up cookie connoisseurs around the block. So please promise me you will be careful with the weapon I'm about to place in your hands. Use it wisely.
Unfortunately, I just realized I've gone the distance on this post. I'll have to actually post the recipe tomorrow. Yes, I know it's Saturday, but I'll post it anyway so you can have a bake-a-thon this weekend. In the meantime, here's to cookies, baking with your daughter, and sugar addicts around the world.