Our cookie staples: The “$250 Neiman Marcus” + The Subway White Chocolate-Macadamia

Left: white-chocolate-macadamia. Right: "$250 Neiman Marcus Cookie"
Left: white-chocolate-macadamia. Right: “$250 Neiman Marcus Cookie”

Since we had lots of grounded oatmeal left over from our oatcakes experiment, we made one of our cookie staples in this house: the $250 Neiman Marcus cookie. Yes, back when the Interwebs was a relatively new thing, and forwarding chain (e-)mail suddenly was quick and simple, everyone was chowing down on this urban legend.

I made the recipe below healthier by reducing the sugar to 3 cups (yes, it seems like a lot, but it makes 180 bite-size cookies!). I also secretly added 1/4 cup of my blend of ground-up chia seeds, flax seeds, and hemp hearts. Omit the nuts, to make this school-safe.

For half of this batter, I added white chocolate chips and macadamia instead of regular chocolates, for our version of the popular Subway cookie. The copycat recipe is available, if you want it more authentic. (There was a time when I loved these cookies so much, that a student would buy one for me every day, just out of the goodness of his heart. I had to tell him to stop it after a couple of days, because I felt it was too generous. And a restaurant cookie a day probably isn’t the best thing.)

“$250 Neiman Marcus” Cookies (yield: approximately 180 x 1″ cookies)
Pre-heat oven to 375° F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicon sheets.

2 c. butter 1) Cream together.
2 c. brown sugar
2 c. white sugar


4 eggs 2) Add to butter mixture and mix.
2 t. vanilla extract


5 c. oatmeal, ground 3) Sift, then add to butter mixture.
4 c. flour
2 t. baking soda
2 t. baking powder
1 t. salt


24 oz. (680 g.) chocolate chips 4) Add to batter.
(8 oz.) chocolate, grated
2 c. nuts, chopped (optional)

5) Scoop 1” balls and place 1” apart on cookie sheet.
6) Bake for 10 min.


Indulgence in 5 minutes (or less)

One of my all-time faves

One of the joys of the Internet—besides the availability of photos of mischievous and/or deliciously-cute kittens—is the quick spread of easy recipes. I remember in university when it seemed that everyone had a copy of the urban-legend-status “Neiman Marcus $250 Cookie” (which is a good cookie, but doesn’t quite live up to its hype). All of a sudden, anyone could be a great baker.

Nowadays, it seems that the one doing the rounds is the 5-Minute Cake-in-a-Mug, aka “The Most Dangerous Cake in the World”—dangerous to your hips because now you’re always only five minutes away from having cake.

We got this recipe from a friend a while ago, and we have to keep the recipe hidden from a certain someone in the house who claims that he has no willpower, and would make this all the time. It’s so easy that kids can whip up cake for themselves in five minutes (or less, depending on how powerful your microwave oven is, and how hungry and frantic they are in throwing the ingredients together).

Normally, this is where I'd insert a pic of my cake-in-a-mug, but then it would look too tempting, and that combined with the simplicity of the recipe at left, would make you completely lose all control, wouldn't it?

Wanna make the whole experience even faster? Pre-mix the dry ingredients and keep it ready in a container in the pantry, which is what we do for often-used homemade mixes like pancakes, waffles, and favourite cupcakes. Then all you have to do is add the wet ingredients, and voilà, you’re down to four-and-a-half minutes! Just make sure to keep your cookie mix hidden from spouses who have no willpower.

Five-Minute Cake-in-a-Mug

1) Mix these first four ingredients in a mug.

> 4 tbsps. flour
> 3 tbsps. sugar
> 2 tbsps. cocoa powder
> 3 tbsps. chocolate chips

2) Add these ingredients to the mixture and stir well.

> 1 egg
> 3 tbsps. milk
> 3 tbsps. melted butter or oil
> 1/2 tsp. vanilla

3) Microwave on high for 3 to 5 minutes.